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McAfee ‘Can’t Get Into Details’ About Reported Channel-Impacting Layoffs

Layoffs

Cybersecurity vendor McAfee has launched a new organization in charge of partner and customer management.

A McAfee spokesman confirmed a reorganization has taken place, and that “in the spirit of keeping our partners and customers at the core of all we do,” the vendor has created a new chief revenue office, comprised of corporate sales, corporate marketing and customer success.

He wouldn’t confirm reports of executive layoffs, including global channel chief Richard Steranka.

“As part of this new organization, all corporate customer-facing functions, inclusive of the sales team from the formerly acquired SkyHIgh Networks, now report to John Giamatteo, president and chief revenue officer, a proven leader with more than 30 years experience in leading transformation at technology companies,” the spokesman said. “Most recently, Giamatteo led McAfee’s successful consumer business where, under his leadership, McAfee developed sustaining partnerships with OEMs, service providers and alliance partners to improve the consumer experience.”

McAfee completed its acquisition of SkyHigh, a provider of cloud access security broker (CASB) software, in January.

Giamatteo’s “expertise” is in modernizing corporate go-to-market engines and improving the customer experience across all routes to market, the spokesman told us.

“With this change, partners will see no degradation in service or commitment from McAfee as we make this transition,” he said. “Finally, I can’t get into details, but the number of reported executive actions (layoffs) is grossly inaccurate.”

GlobalData's Brad Shimmin

GlobalData’s Brad Shimmin

Brad Shimmin, service director at GlobalData, said executive turnover is often an “unfortunate consequence of corporate evolution,” particularly for a company like McAfee, which is seeking to make the leap from perpetually licensed software to cloud-based subscription services.

“A move like this, particularly because it coincides with (the) company’s newly introduced Mvision SaaS-native service, presents the company with both an opportunity and a challenge,” he said. “It marks a clear commitment to finding a new way of doing business, one that necessitates a new approach to channel management. And yet it also casts some doubt on both the viability of that strategy and may perhaps strain the patience of its private equity backers.”

Rik Turner, principal analyst at Ovum, said while he’s not familiar with the specifics of McAfee’s channel strategy, it’s fair to say that the company has been “downsizing here and there, essentially withdrawing from parts of the market it believes it cannot be at least No. 2 (e.g. next-gen firewall), and it does seem the company has become somewhat more narrowly focused than two or three years ago, when it was more of a broad security-systems vendor facing off against Symantec.”


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