Finite State hires Gün Akkor as CTO and Kirk Appelman as EVP of Sales
To secure devices with complex supply chains in an expanding threat landscape, Finite State has added Gün Akkor as its chief technology officer and Kirk Appelman as executive vice president of sales.
The two veteran leaders are joining at a time when connected device manufacturers are struggling to stay on top of increasingly exploitable security flaws inherited from suppliers.
“Even though billions are spent on security every year, it’s an underserved aspect of technology,” said Akkor. “I saw it first-hand as an electrical engineer and firmware developer. Joining Finite State makes the journey full-circle for me and it’s exciting to reach back to those roots and partner with developers to address the most pressing security challenges in a new generation of connected devices.”
Akkor was part of the founding team of Carbon Black, where he led the engineering and product departments, as well as having customer-facing roles through the company’s IPO in 2018 and its eventual acquisition by VMware in 2019. He has a doctorate in Electrical and Computer Engineering and was a lecturer at the University of Maryland at College Park and the University of Pennsylvania.
On the sales team, Appelman will develop connections to new customers using over 20 years of cybersecurity sales leadership experience for companies including Juniper Networks, McAfee, Proofpoint, and EfficientIP.
“The security space has evolved over the course of my career. OT and IoT is the next frontier that needs to be protected,” Appelman said. “I am excited to expand our sales and customer support teams, learning about customers’ journeys, and finding security solutions so we can grow with this thriving market.”
The two new hires represent an evolution in Finite State’s approach to security risks for embedded and connected products and devices.
“Our team has made great strides in illuminating the risks of connected devices and we’ve entered a growth stage where Gün and Kirk will help guide the expansion of our capabilities and success,” said Matt Wyckhouse, founder and CEO of Finite State. “Gün’s impressive engineering and product experience will strengthen our research team to improve our product and solve the most challenging issues our customers face. Kirk has been a cybersecurity sales leader for more than 20 years and his ability to build relationships and deeply understand our customers will lead us to finding new innovations that our customers need.”