In April, Bill Conner became Entrust's president and CEO and he's grabbed the wheel at a shaky time.In April, Bill Conner became Entrusts president and CEO and hes grabbed the wheel at a shaky time. Despite being a market leader in public key infrastructure (PKI) technology and other security technologies, Entrust had a disappointing first quarter and laid off nearly a third of its work force. Conner, who as Nortel Networks first chief marketing officer made Nortel into a household name, brings to Entrust an aversion to "technical gobbledygook." As part of remaking the company, hes already changed its name: The old "Entrust Technologies" is now simply "Entrust." Conner spoke with Senior Writer Brian Ploskina. It has been several years since we first began to sing the praises of PKI technologies. At the time it seemed like PKI would be on every desktop, and everyone would be sending messages using digital certificates. What happened?
I think people got fixated on PKI technology, and not on what it does. One of the misperceptions in our first-quarter miss was that the demand for PKI had gone away, when actually, when you looked at what happened, we had as many customers as we had before. What changed is that people used to buy a bunch of enterprise licenses, and now they want to pay as they go and buy as much as they need for specific applications. . . . What Entrust is trying to do is move away from technical gobbledygook and ask, "What are businesses trying to do?"