gateProtect: Expansion continues with new board members

(PresseBox) ( Hamburg, )
The German-based IT security provider gateProtect AG is driving its growth plans forward with an expanded management team. With effect from February 1, the new CEO is Dr. Peter Smeets. Also, Stephan Ziegler has been appointed as the company’s new CTO. As a result of gateProtect’s vigorous international growth, the company has created a new board position called Sales and Global Expansion. Dennis Monner, who has been gateProtect’s CEO up to now, will head up this new area for the company. The management team also includes Dr. Reinhard Festag, who has held the CFO position since last year.

Dr. Peter Smeets, a seasoned manager and entrepreneur in the technology industry, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at gateProtect. As the founder of Constantin Bastian Leander Venture Capital GmbH, he has been investing in multiple technology companies for more than ten years. In dynamic growth phases, he took over a leading role to shape the strategic direction of these companies, position them on the global market, and share responsibility for their business performance. Smeets holds a doctorate in law and in 2002 founded the Smeets Haas Wolff legal practice, which specialized in banking, financial and real estate law. In 2008, the practice became the German operation of the leading international law firm Paul Hastings under Smeets’ management. Smeets has been associated with gateProtect AG since October 2003 as its majority shareholder and chairman of the supervisory board.

The company’s considerable global success and strong growth in international sales made it essential for the company to appoint a Chief Sales Officer (CSO). Dennis Monner, who founded gateProtect and was previously its CEO, is a recognized sales expert and will now take sole responsibility for the overall sales function, which has grown significantly in recent years. “Sales and opening up new markets for gateProtect have always been the focus of my responsibilities as an executive of the company,” says Monner. “I’m looking forward to being able to concentrate all my energies on its ongoing sales performance.”

Under Monner’s leadership, gateProtect has emerged as one of the world’s top ten UTM makers in a fiercely competitive market with up to 500 other providers. In 2011, the company’s international sales volume overtook those from its successful German domestic market for the first time. This proves the success of the international sales campaign that Monner has led since 2009. Independent international analysts such as Frost & Sullivan and Gartner see gateProtect as one of the world’s top players in the IT security sector.

A new member of gateProtect’s board is Stephan Ziegler as Chief Technology Officer (CTO), heading up the research, development and technical support areas. Prior to joining gateProtect, Ziegler – who holds a degree in computer science – held several management positions in the IT industry. He headed up the software division at the industry association BITKOM, taking responsibility for its work on IT architecture, quality management, software development processes, and cloud computing. He also worked as an independent IT consultant for private companies and public authorities. Ziegler was also the IT industry representative in the German IPv6 Council. He started his professional career as an IT consultant at SAP AG in the IT Engineering division.

The management team also includes Dr. Reinhard Festag, who has been gateProtect’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) since July 1, 2011, heading up the company’s financial and strategic functions. Festag, who holds a doctorate in physics and is a visiting lecturer in management consulting at the University of Ludwigshafen, was already associated with gateProtect for a long time in an advisory capacity before taking on his current position.

Print-quality photos of the new management team are available for download at Short biographies of the management and supervisory board members are available at

Alongside their technical highlights, gateProtect products stand out from their competitors with their unique ease of use. gateProtect is a leading provider of next generation firewalls with an end-to-end implementation of the ISO NORM 9241 guidelines relating to ergonomic product design. With its innovative and patented eGUI® (ergonomic Graphic User Interface) technology and its Command Center, gateProtect again raises the bar for easier configuration and management of firewall systems for Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs). The eGUI® technology enables a significant increase in enterprise security as well as higher efficiency levels for ongoing system maintenance. This delivers lower operating costs for customers.

gateProtect currently has 40,000 installations around the world. The company’s customers in Europe include well-known companies and institutions such as TÜV Thüringen, E.ON Energy, Mercedes Benz, Galileo Satellite Systems, Deutsche Bahn, Kneipp, Constantin Film, and the Technical University of Dresden.
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