CEO of Israeli company that made ‘Pegasus’ spyware program resigns

The Israeli company NSO, maker of the Pegasus spyware, announced on Sunday the resignation of its CEO, adding that it will “reorganize” its activities as well as its intention to refocus its sales on the markets of NATO member states.

“NSO announces today the reorganization of the company and the resignation of General Manager Shalev Hulio, who will be replaced by Yaron Shohat, who is the current Director of Operations and will lead the reorganization process,” the company said in a statement received by AFP. . .

According to the Israeli tech press, the company intends to lay off around 100 of its approximately 700 employees as part of this reorganization.

The company did not confirm these figures, but indicated that it will “reorganize the sum of its activities” and “simplify” its operations to “remain one of the largest technology companies in the world” and focus its sales on “NATO members”. state.”

In the year 2021, “NSO” found itself at the center of a global espionage scandal after an investigation published by 17 international media outlets as of July 18 revealed that the “Pegasus” program allowed at least 180 journalists to be spied on, 600 political figures and 85 human rights activists and 65 business owners in various countries.

Pegasus can hack into a mobile phone’s camera or microphone and obtain its data.

The Israeli company has always confirmed that it sells this software only to countries, and the sale must be approved by the Israeli authorities in advance.

However, the disclosure of this information, in addition to the group’s previous debts, negatively affected its finances, to the point of threatening the continuity of the Israeli technology leader, according to court documents to which AFP had access earlier this year.

The documents revealed an internal battle over which countries the Israeli group would sell its program to, as some creditors said they were not opposed to selling it to “high-risk” countries because of their record of respecting human rights, to avoid losing out. money.

“The company is reorganizing itself to prepare for the next wave of growth,” CEO Shalev Hulio, who has resigned, said in a statement. Yaron (Shuhat) is the right person at the right time.”

For his part, Shohat said, “NSO will ensure that its advanced technologies are used appropriately and commendably.”