Entrepreneurship | episode 302

Ken Xie, Founder, Chairman of the Board, and Chief Executive Officer of Fortinet

August 14, 2017

Among other topics, Ken discusses the following issues with Metis Strategy:

  • Staying agile and innovative in a dynamic field
  • The three elements of Fortinet’s culture: openness, teamwork and innovation
  • Fortinet’s Five Stages of Security
  • Forming an ecosystem of external partnerships to mitigate risk for customers
  • The significant impact Stanford’s entrepreneurial culture and industry connections had on Ken’s career path
  • Ken’s complimentary relationship with his brother and collaborator, Michael Xie
  • Attributes of an effective entrepreneur


Ken Xie is the Founder, Chairman of the Board, and Chief Executive Officer of Fortinet, a cyber security solutions firm. Ken founded Fortinet in 2000 with the goal of making an impactful change in the network security space. Ken has grown the company to nearly 5000 team members and $1.3 billion in revenue.

Ken started his first network security company, SIS, in 1993, while studying at Stanford University. In 1996, he founded NetScreen, which developed network security and access products for enterprises and carriers. NetScreen was acquired by Jupiter Networks for $4 billion, in 2004.

Ken earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in electronic engineering from Tsinghua University and a Master of Science in electrical engineering from Stanford University.

The World Class IT principles in yellow were the focus of this interview

  • 01 1- People
  • 02 2- Infrastructure
  • 03 3- Project and Portfolio Management
  • 04 4- IT & Business Partnership
  • 05 5- External Partnerships

From strategy to implementation

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