The CEO of NSO Group is stepping down as part of an internal shake-up at the Israeli spyware company, whose technology has been claimed by the government and other groups to have been taken by the government and other groups. used to hack the cell phones of journalists and dissidents.
NSO said Sunday that chief executive Yaron Shohat will lead the company until a new chief executive is appointed to replace Shalev Hulio, one of the company’s founders.
Shohat is expected to lead a reorganization that is expected to put about 100 employees, 13% of its workforce, out of work, a person briefed on the matter confirmed. For the first time Reuters reported on job losses.
“The company-wide reorganization will examine all aspects of the company’s business, including streamlining its operations to ensure NSO remains one of the leading cyber intelligence firms in the world. world leading high-tech, focused on Nato member countries,” NSO said in a statement.
Hulio will continue to engage in strategic matters and “lead any future investments or purchases,” one person said briefly on the matter. He also remains on the company’s board of directors and is a shareholder.
“NSO has enjoyed tremendous success globally, and our technologies continue to help save lives around the world,” said Hulio. “The company is reorganizing to prepare for the next phase of growth.”
NSO sells its Pegasus surveillance software to governments and law enforcement agencies. It allows users to hack into cell phones and monitor emails, calls and other communications.
It was criticized after it was reported that the technology was being used to target the communications of dissidents in several countries. Previously, the company said it could not control who was monitored by its customers with this technology.
Last year, the company was added to the US list of entities prohibited from receiving exports from US companies.
NSO has denied wrongdoing and said it restricts the sale of its software. Focusing on selling to Nato members will likely address criticism of the use of their products but may limit their customer base.
“The company’s products remain in high demand with governments and law enforcement agencies because of their advanced technology and proven ability to assist these customers in fighting crime,” said Shohat. terrorism”.
“NSO will ensure that the company’s disruptive technologies are used for just and worthy purposes,” he added.
Additional reporting by Kaye Wiggins