Following more than two years of controversy, the chief executive officer of Pegasus spyware creator NSO Group is stepping down. On Sunday, co-founder and outgoing CEO Shalev Hulio said he was handing over operations of the company to chief operating officer Yaron Shohat as part of a restructuring that will see it refocus on NATO-member countries. According to Bloomberg, NSO is also cutting its headcount. The firm reportedly plans to lay off about 100 employees before it appoints a permanent replacement for Hulio.
The restructuring comes as NSO Group continues to face scrutiny from both governments and other tech companies. In November 2021, the US Commerce Department added NSO to its Entity List, effectively banning American companies from doing business with the firm unless they obtain explicit permission to do so. That same month, Apple sued NSO to “hold it accountable” for enabling governments to spy on activists and journalists.
“The company’s products remain in high demand with governments and law enforcement agencies because of its cutting-edge technology and proven ability to assist these customers in fighting crime and terror,” Shohat said. “NSO will ensure that the company’s groundbreaking technologies are used for rightful and worthy purposes.”