In Surprise Move, Microsoft Israel's R&D Center Names New 34-year-old CEO

Assaf Rappaport, who joined Microsoft after it purchased his cloud security startup, will manage 1,000 employees at one of the leading R&D centers in the world

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Assaf Rappaport, the new CEO of Microsoft Israel's R&D center.
Assaf Rappaport, the new CEO of Microsoft Israel's R&D center.Credit: קובי קואנקס

In a surprise move, Microsoft Israel's research and development center named Assaf Rappaport as CEO after two and ahalf years at the company.

The 34-year-old Rappaport, who began his new position on Thursday, replaces Yoram Yaacovi, who stepped down a few months ago. Microsoft’s research and development facility in Israel, with its approximately 1,000 employees, is considered one of the corporation’s leading R&D centers in the world.

Rappaport joined Microsoft in 2015 after it purchased the cloud security startup Adallom, which he founded together with two partners, Ami Luttwak and Roy Reznik. After a number of promotions, his most recent role has been head of cloud security, a unit that has grown to employ hundreds of people. In addition to Adallom, Microsoft also acquired the cyber-security startups Secure Islands and Aorato.

Rappaport will continue to head the Cloud Security group at Microsoft Israel in addition to his new appointment. 

Rappaport, who is a graduate of the elite Israeli military Talpiot program, studied mathematics, physics and computer science at the Hebrew University and holds a master’s degree in computer science from the Technion in Haifa. He served for six years in the Israeli army’s 8200 signal intelligence and code decryption unit.  He subsequently works for the Australian consulting firm McKinsey, after which he established Adallom, which was sold in less than three years for approximately $320 million. 

"Microsoft has been undergoing a real revolution in the past few years. This is a company that with a culture of excellence, daring and innovation. Microsoft empowers its people, grows with them, and challenges them to achieve more. I am proud to lead this revolution in Israel,” Rappaport said upon his appointment.