Exclusive: SafeNet CEO Dave Hansen on Govt Solutions Unit Sale, IT Market

Dave Hansen
Dave Hansen

SafeNet’s decision to sell its government solutions unit to Raytheon divests a piece of the customized government business that did not fit growth strategies for its federal data protection business, according to new SafeNet CEO Dave Hansen.

ExecutiveBiz spoke with Hansen and Todd Moore, vice president of product development, to discuss the transaction and what the government is looking for in technology.

(Click here to read GovCon Wire‘s coverage of the deal).

Hansen described the nature of the products in the government solutions business unit as “lumpy” and unpredictable due to budget requirements and the complexity of the environment.

The company will continue having a balance between commercial and government customers, he said.

“We are still in that space, we still work with many of the government agencies and we will continue to do,” Hansen said. “We divested a piece that wasn’t exactly our growth trajectory plan.”

Moore said that the government business unit customers primarily focus on only customized, high-grade type products and the market is moving toward commercial-off-the-shelf technology.

“They are moving to where we are heading, which is making sure that a commercial product can meet the government needs,” Moore said.

Hansen, a former chief information officer at CA Technologies, also identified cloud computing and virtualization as drivers in the company’s pursuit of the larger information technology market as it breaks out further into the commercial sector.

“I wouldn’t be in a hurry to be out there buying a lot of net new technology, especially hardware and data centers when I can deploy things in the cloud with different cloud infrastructure and service providers,” Hansen said.

In the data sharing segment, Moore highlighted the healthcare, financial services and banking sectors as prime users of data sharing systems including electronic records.

Hansen joined SafeNet from a general manager post at BMC Software and was CEO of Numara Software prior to BMC’s acquisition of that company.

His first few days as SafeNet’s chief executive comprised of staff meetings, meetings with senior leaders and he also hosted two town hall events with employees.

By the end of February, he plans to visit locations covering close to 90 percent of the company’s workforce.

“I want to make sure I understand what they are thinking and how we then build and enforce the plan to take the company to the next new level,” Hansen said.

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