Jay Chaudhry wasn’t happy when the interlopers arrived in his space—one of the most coveted corners in all of tech.
The corner in question was part of a chart called a Magic Quadrant, published by Gartner. The tech research firm used it to show how the products made by Chaudhry’s company—a cybersecurity firm, Zscaler—stacked up against its competitors’. In 2020, Gartner had placed Zscaler by itself in what many people view as the most desirable section of the chart—the top right corner—signaling Gartner’s assessment that the company was in a class of its own in terms of how complete and well executed its products were.
But on a Zscaler earnings call in mid-February, Chaudhry, the company’s CEO and founder, grumbled that Gartner had recently added two new companies, Netskope and McAfee Enterprise, to his corner of the latest cybersecurity Magic Quadrant. Chaudhry told Wall Street analysts that customers were buying Zscaler’s products to replace those made by the other firms, disdainfully adding, “We don’t see them in the real world out there,” according to a transcript of the call.