Kaspersky’s new General Manager of UK and Ireland, Christopher Hurst is a seasoned veteran of the software industry, with 34 years’ experience in building teams to take new products to market across EMEA, including those of several start-ups.
Hurst joined Veritas/Symantec in 2006, via an acquisition, and for 12 years ran several incubation businesses, including the xSP business. He also had responsibility for the EMEA Security Practice, advancing emerging products with a team of specialists. More recently, he built the EMEA operation of Cloudistics, a private cloud platform backed by Bain Capital Ventures.
Hurst’s initial objectives in his new position are to drive aggressive growth in Kaspersky’s enterprise business, to build a stronger presence in the UK channel, and to develop a solid strategy to recruit more partners and customers across the B2B portfolio.
He said: “I’m excited to be taking on this role within such a fast-paced industry and with a growing company, as Kaspersky continues to take a frontline role in making the world more cyber-secure. The cornerstone of our business strategy in the UK and Ireland is to transform our leading security intelligence into real protection for our clients, to enable them to use technologies in their lives and businesses safely and with trust. I’m passionate about protecting this country’s industries and consumers, and that’s one of the key reasons I’ve joined Kaspersky.”
HOME OR OFFICE?
I’m currently quite comfortable working from home, though the converted stables I work in can be inhospitable in the extremes of winter or summer! Generally, my preference is to be out and about with my team, my customers and our partners, and I’m eagerly awaiting the green light for that to happen. I hope it will be soon, as I still haven’t met any of my team face to face!
TOWN OR COUNTRY?
I’m fortunate to have visited numerous cities around the world in my business life. Incredible experiences in restaurants, from Kagaya in Tokyo to the Vogue Cafe in Moscow and the Latin Quarter in Melbourne, will always stay with me. But when it comes to family and downtime, I’m a bit of a country bumpkin and have always chosen to live in the countryside. In fact, after a number of years in Germany, I returned to, and now live in, the same rural town I was born in – many years ago!
SAND OR SNOW?
Sand is so messy! And the sight of this archetypal Englishman on the beach has long been a source of embarrassment to my family. So, even if my knees aren’t what they used to be, an annual trip to the mountains of Switzerland (my wife’s birthplace) is a must. These days, there may be less skiing and more visits to mountain restaurants, but snow is definitely my preference, every time.
WALK OR RUN?
I’ve always enjoyed a run, and last year saw me return to running (jogging really) in the forest across the road from my house. In lockdown, it’s too easy to spend 8+ hours at a desk, so building some exercise into my daily routine is a priority. In fact, I encourage all my team to find the time for exercise.
NIGHT OWL OR NESTER?
I have to say I’ve become a bit of a ‘binger’ and a nester recently – Netflix and Amazon Prime Video have been a great support over the last year! I mostly enjoy being at home with the family, but on occasions I can still be a night owl – so long as there is plenty of recovery time built in!
CAT OR DOG?
I’ve had two labradoodles for the past 11 years and added a third last May. Need I say more? Nobody told us that the little brown puppy we picked up just after the first lockdown would quickly grow to become the size and shape of a moderately large bear. The question now is who’s taking who for a walk?
CAR OR BIKE?
I’ve always been a bit fond of motor cars. My pride and joy is a 1993 BMW 850 CSi, which lives in my garage and gets taken out every now and then. I did buy a mountain bike when I was living in Germany back in the ’90s and its tyres and brakes are still not even slightly worn. That says it all.
PAPER OR SCREEN?
Whilst it’s reassuring to hold a hard copy newspaper or magazine in my hands, I do feel uncomfortable seeing the paper pile up around me – it’s difficult to justify the impact that has on the planet. So, nowadays, with the assistance of glasses, I prefer to absorb my content through various screens.
SPOTIFY, CD, LP OR CASSETTE?
I’ve got plenty of cassettes and CDs ‘in storage’ in the garage, I just don’t think I’ve got a device to play them on. I believe we have a family Spotify account (if there is such a thing), so that has become the way forward for me.
NEW OR RECYCLED?
Having visited Kenya a couple of years ago and learned about their need to ban plastic bags, I have completely changed my behaviour and now use reusable cotton bags for shopping. The quantity of plastic bags we used to consume is a disgrace.