Our Leadership Team

Gary Steele

Chief Executive Officer

Gary Steele is founding CEO of Proofpoint. With more than 30 years of technology industry experience, he directs a global workforce of 2,000+ employees to protect people, data and brands from advanced threats and compliance risks. An established cybersecurity thought leader, Mr. Steele’s expertise has been featured on CNBC, Forbes, Fortune, Fox Business, Investor’s Business Daily, MarketWatch and the Wall Street Journal. He also serves on the board of directors for Malwarebytes, Synack and Vonage. Prior to Proofpoint, Mr. Steele held the position of CEO of Portera and leadership roles with Sybase, Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard. He earned a B.S. in Computer Science from Washington State University.


Klaus Oestermann

President and Chief Operating Officer

Klaus Oestermann has 25 years of leadership experience on the global technology stage within the networking, security, cloud, and enterprise software industries. He directs the company’s go-to-market and operations functions as well as the company’s product divisions. He spent 17 years at Citrix Systems Inc. where he served as senior vice president and general manager of the Delivery Networks Division. Prior to this he held senior positions in the sales and services organization in both EMEA and the U.S. and had responsibilities for worldwide channel strategy and development. He has a deep-rooted passion for nurturing tech startups and has been active in Silicon Valley’s investment community. Mr. Oestermann earned a graduate diploma (HD-A) in business administration from the Copenhagen Business School.

Paul Auvil

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Auvil brings more than 20 years of experience in finance, technology and corporate leadership to Proofpoint. Prior to joining Proofpoint, Mr. Auvil spent six months with Benchmark Capital as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence, where he evaluated investments and advised portfolio companies. Prior to Benchmark, he spent four years serving as the CFO at virtualization leader VMWare, where he played an important role in helping the company to evolve from a promising start-up to one of the fastest growing companies in the history of the software industry. Previously, he served as the CFO for Vitria Technology, Inc. In that role, he executed both initial and secondary public offerings and led Vitria's acquisition of XML Solutions, Inc. Before joining Vitria, he held various executive positions at VLSI Technology, including vice president of the Internet and Secure Products Division. Mr. Auvil holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Dartmouth College, and a Master of Management degree from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University. In addition to a wealth of business experience, Mr. Auvil also holds patents in digital video compression in Japan, and one patent in the U.S. for a high speed, PCI compatible on-chip data bus.


Lyn Campbell

VP, Global Operations

Lyn Campbell brings more than 20 years of experience to her role as vice president of Global Operations for Proofpoint. She is responsible for overseeing the platforms and services that support Proofpoint’s global operations worldwide. Prior to joining Proofpoint, Ms. Campbell led the international media production engineering team for Yahoo!, which served hundreds of millions of global customers. Known for her success with SaaS companies, her experience also includes directing teams at Sybase, WebEx and Intraware (now Flexera software). Ms. Campbell earned a B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley.


Marcel DePaolis

Chief Technical Officer

Before coming to Proofpoint, Mr. DePaolis was the vice president of Engineering, Applications, and Operations at Webraska (formerly AirFlash, Inc.), the leading provider of location-based software and solutions, including services targeted at wireless mobile users and geospatial mapping and routing engines. Prior to AirFlash, Mr. DePaolis was with Netscape Communications/AOL, where he was technical director of Messaging and Collaboration for iPlanet E-Commerce Solutions, a Sun/Netscape alliance. Previously, Mr. DePaolis held senior architect and engineering management positions at ISOCOR; the leading supplier of Internet messaging, meta-directory software solutions, and at Quarterdeck Office Systems; developing some of the earliest consumer Internet browsers and utilities. Earlier in his career, Mr. DePaolis co-founded and held the position of CEO of Pittsburgh Powercomputing Corporation, a company that specialized in fast X Window System servers and other graphics software. Mr. DePaolis holds a triple major B.S. degree in electrical, computer, and biomedical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.


Sharyl Givens

VP, Human Resources

Sharyl Givens brings more than 15 years of experience with technology startups and public companies to her role as vice president of Human Resources for Proofpoint. She leads a team of HR professionals, who are responsible for driving global business growth through strategic human resource programs. Prior to joining Proofpoint in 2011, Sharyl held roles at such companies as Rambus and SanDisk; where she was responsible for HR programs to enable the transition of the company as it grew to over $1B in revenue worldwide. She was also in Human Resources at Loudcloud/Opsware and Calico Commerce where she held roles readying the organizations for growth and their eventual initial public offerings. Sharyl holds a B.S. from Menlo College.


Ryan Kalember

SVP, Cybersecurity Strategy

With over 15-years of experience in the information security industry, Ryan currently leads cybersecurity strategy for Proofpoint and is a sought-out expert for media commentary on breaches and best practices for enterprises as well as consumers. He joined Proofpoint from WatchDox where he served as chief marketing officer and was responsible for successfully building and leading the marketing team through the company’s acquisition by Blackberry. Prior to WatchDox, Ryan was instrumental in running solutions across Hewlett-Packard’s portfolio of security products. He has also held a variety of marketing leadership positions at ArcSight and VeriSign including EMEA regional manager. Ryan received his bachelor's degree from Stanford University, where he studied fault tolerance, cryptography, and authentication algorithms.


David Knight

EVP/GM, Threat Systems Products Group

David Knight leads Proofpoint's Threat Systems Products Group. He brings a wealth of large enterprise SaaS experience to Proofpoint, having previously served as CTO of Cisco's Collaboration Software Group, where he was responsible for product and technical vision and strategy, product management and user experience. Mr. Knight was previously vice president of product management for leading cloud-based conferencing and collaboration vendor WebEx Communications, where he played a central role in the company's rapid growth and eventual $3.2 billion acquisition by Cisco. Earlier he was vice president of marketing and product management for SaaS pioneer Portera Systems and an entrepreneur in residence at Institutional Venture Partners. Mr. Knight has also held executive positions at Sybase and Oracle. He holds an M.S. in industrial administration and a B.S. in information systems and industrial management from Carnegie Mellon University.


Darren Lee

SVP/GM Information Archiving and Governance Products Group

Mr. Lee is responsible for Proofpoint’s Information Archiving and Governance Products Group. Before joining Proofpoint, Mr. Lee served as the Founder and CEO of NextPage, a leading provider of Information Governance solutions. Having raised over $60M to fund various startups, Mr. Lee has vast experience in defining markets, creating products, executing acquisitions, and driving revenue to build viable businesses. Mr. Lee holds a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Brigham Young University.


Bhagwat Swaroop

EVP and GM, Email Security

Bhagwat Swaroop leads Proofpoint’s industry-leading email security business unit. His global team delivers advanced email security, targeted attack protection, information protection and business continuity solutions to protect organizations worldwide. With more than 20 years of leadership success during tenures with Intel, McKinsey & Company, NetApp and Symantec, Mr. Swaroop excels in strategy, product development, go-to-market excellence and building high performance teams. Prior to joining Proofpoint, Mr. Swaroop served as vice president of Global Solutions, Product Management and Product Marketing at Symantec. He brings a deep understanding of the enterprise security landscape, technology ecosystem and cloud-driven business models to his role. Mr. Swaroop holds multiple degrees including a B.E. in instrumentation and control from Delhi Institute of Technology, a M.S. in electrical engineering from Arizona State University and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.


Michael Yang

VP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Michael Yang is responsible for Proofpoint's worldwide legal affairs including licensing, intellectual property protection, compliance and corporate governance. Mr. Yang brings to Proofpoint more than 15 years of international business and legal experience at both public and privately-held companies. Prior to joining Proofpoint, Mr. Yang developed and led the corporate legal function and later the products and technology group as Associate General Counsel and Assistant Secretary of VMware, Inc., as that company grew from $200 million to over $2 billion in annual revenues.  Mr. Yang has also held executive and senior management roles as an attorney for Medialive International and Openwave (as well as its predecessor, Software.com, where he contributed to that company's successful IPO and subsequent merger with Phone.com). He began his practice as an intellectual property attorney in the Los Angeles offices of Baker Hostetler. He holds an A.B. in government from Cornell University and a J.D. from the UCLA School of Law. He is admitted to practice law in the State of California.