Cisco to buy Ann Arbor’s Duo Security for $2.35B

ANN ARBOR — Duo Security, a cybersecurity firm that now employs 700 people, will be acquired by the San Jose, Calif.-based tech giant Cisco Systems Inc., for a combination of cash and stock worth $2.35 billion.

Duo develops systems that help businesses secure online information and authenticate approved users. It started with two-factor authentication, hence the company’s name, and now provides a variety of sign-on services.

Duo co-founder Dug Song says he will stay with Cisco as general manager of Duo within Cisco.

David Goeckeler, executive vice president and general manager of Cisco’s networking and security business, said in a press release that “Duo’s zero-trust authentication and access products integrated with our network, device and cloud security platforms will enable our customers to address the complexity and challenges that stem from multi-and hybrid-cloud environments.”

Dug Song, CEO of Duo Security, left, with Gee Rittenhouse, senior vice president and general manager of the Security Business Group at Cisco, and Jon Oberheide, CTO of Duo Security. Duo Security photo.

Song wrote in a blog post to Duo staff: “You’re likely feeling mixed emotions, some excitement, some worry, some sadness, some joy. I have felt all of those emotions too, as we’ve built something amazing together over almost a decade. But I can also say, without a doubt, that this is the right thing to do for Duo, our team, our customers, partners, and stakeholders, and our industry.”

Song noted that Cisco is the world’s largest networking company and “the world’s leading enterprise security business. They agree with us on the past state of security, and we’re going to fix it together.” And, he added: “Our strategy, purpose, and values remain unchanged. Cisco is committed to our leadership and core values that have made Duo a trusted advisor, industry leader, and a great place to work.”

In a blog post, Rob Salvagno, Cisco vice president of corporate development, said the Duo deal is another in “Cisco’s build, by, partner, invest and co-develop innovation strategy… I am extremely impressed by the Duo team and the business it has built… In fact, about 75 percent of Duo’s customers are up and running in less than a week, compared to six to 12 months for comparable products. This focus on customer success has led to over 12,000 customers, including over 100 of the Fortune 500 companies, strong renewal rates, and a very impressive net promoter score.”

To listen to a replay of the conference call discussing the transaction, vall (800) 925-0258 or (203) 369-3861, as well as at http://investor.cisco.com.

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