Security Bytes

Aug 22 2007   11:37AM GMT

Jim Bidzos back as chairman of VeriSign

David Schneier David Schneier Profile: David Schneier

Hey kids, it’s 1995! Well, sort of.

Jim Bidzos is back as the chairman of VeriSign. Bidzos helped found the company in 1995 and spin it off from RSA Security, where he was the CEO from 1986 to 1998. The company started as a certificate authority, selling digital certificates at a time when not many people knew what they were or what to do with them. But VeriSign later diversified into a number of other businesses, eventually getting into domain registrations, managed security services and even mobile-phone content. That strategy led to some rough years, and the company is now back to focusing mainly on security.

Bidzos is a legend in the security industry, both for his involvement in RSA’s early days and the development of the industry as it exists today. For years he served as the MC of the RSA Conference, until the organizers hired a pro to do it. (Big mistake, but that’s another whole story.) He was CEO of RSA from 1986 to 1998 and was also chairman of VeriSign until 2001. He’s been the vice-chairman of the board for the last six years.

“It was Jim’s vision that launched VeriSign over a decade ago, and his leadership and experience make him the ideal person to take over as our new chairman,” said Bill Roper, president and chief executive officer of VeriSign. “Jim has already made significant contributions to VeriSign and to the industry, and we look forward to partnering with him as we bring more focus and discipline to VeriSign’s future.”

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