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Mobile security firm Lookout names new CEO, looks to expand

By Jim Finkle

BOSTON (Reuters) - Lookout, the mobile security software maker, named telecommunications industry veteran Jim Dolce as chief executive officer on Thursday, succeeding company co-founder John Hering.

Seven-year-old Lookout said in a statement it "decided to bring in a CEO with deep experience in building and scaling companies to ensure Lookout's ongoing success."

Dolce, 51, has founded several companies and worked as an executive at two major telecom industry firms, Akamai Technologies Inc and Juniper Networks Inc, Lookout said.

Privately held Lookout says its technology protects some 50 million mobile devices that run Google Inc's Android operating system and Apple Inc's iOS system, making it one of the world's biggest mobile security firms. The bulk of its customers are consumers using smartphones and tablets. It has declined to release details on revenue or profitability.

Lookout has said it hopes to extend its reach into the corporate market and expand the use of its technology that protects embedded computers in other types of devices such as automobiles, home automation systems and consumer appliances, which are increasingly being connected to the Internet.

"The company has certainly found a niche in many areas. The question is how do you put it all together," Dolce said in an interview. He said his first job will be to identify "a repeatable and scalable business model."

When asked if he intended to take the company public, Dolce said he would examine the matter "once we have achieved the business metrics that would allow us to seek different financial opportunities."

Hering, who started the company at age 23 after graduating from the University of Southern California, will become executive chairman and focus on strategic partnerships, long-term planning and ties with the security community.

Founded in 2007, the firm has raised $131 million to date and competes with established security companies like Symantec Corp and Intel Corp, Japan's Trend Micro Inc and Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab.

The San Francisco company's investors include Deutsche Telekom AG and Qualcomm Inc along with Accel Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners, Index Ventures, Khosla Ventures and Mithril Capital Management.

(Reporting by Jim Finkle; Editing by Richard Valdmanis; and Jeffrey Benkoe)

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