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Top Gun 51 Profile: McAfee’s Ken McCray Is All In on Diversity — in Innovations and People

Channel Partners Top Gun 51 logo

By Pam Baker

Ken McCray is a highly respected, 30-year veteran who has climbed to stardom by transforming the channel organization one remarkable milestone at a time. His achievements have not gone unnoticed by industry leaders or channel partners.

McAfee's Ken McCray at Mpower 2018

McAfee’s Ken McCray

McCray, head of channel sales and operations for the Americas at McAfee, was this year named a Channel Partners Top Gun 51 award recipient for his efforts in building and executing programs in a way that drive partner, customer and supplier success.

McCray credits some of his success to learning the nuts and bolts of the business by working his way up and then leveraging that knowledge in ways that benefit the company and channel partners alike. Not one to rest on his laurels, McCray already is working on new milestones to help propel channel partners forward.

He started at Contact Software as a technical support representative and worked his way up to a sales engineering position. He later joined Sabre Software as a channel account manager (CAM) supporting partners in the Americas.

McAfee acquired Sabre in 1998, and McCray stayed on as a CAM. In 2001, McAfee split into four different business units. McCray was promoted to a management position and a lead role with the team who built out the McAfee channel organization. From 2002-2016, he rapidly advanced to several roles including VAR regional manager, corporate reseller manager, director of distribution, and director of channel sales and distribution. He was promoted to his current role nearly four years ago.

“I am very fortunate that each position helped me to learn many aspects of the business and prepared me for the role I am in today,” he said.

Channel Partners: During your tenure, you have been known for many milestones in transforming the channel organization. Which are you most proud of?

Ken McCray: I am most proud of the accelerated deal registration program and portal, which is now used globally by more than 30,000 partners. At the time, partners were looking for deal protection and companies were looking for the channel to bring in incremental business. I led the development of a program that had two major components based on our business for SMB to midmarket. The accelerated deal registration program and portal provide a way to identify partner-found/led opportunities and provided an SLA approval time of less than two minutes for SMB, and up to 48 hours for midmarket.

We recently unveiled our “Top Gun 51,” a list of today’s channel executives who deserve recognition for building and executing programs in a way that drives partner, customer and supplier success.

CP: What new things are you working on that may become future milestones?

KM: We’re always looking to be innovative, and one of the ways we’re doing that is by expanding our routes to market by complementing our traditional resellers base with solution integrators and born-in-the-cloud service providers. This move will address new consumption models for our customers and enable them to embrace secure cloud adoption while maintaining customer satisfaction in hybrid environments.

Additionally, I think that diversity is critical to the success of any organization. The Americas channel team comes from many different ethnicities and backgrounds. In everything we do, we have different voices at the table that represent each race, gender and culture. Diversity is something that is important to us today and will continue to be as our team grows and changes.

CP: As a device-to-cloud cybersecurity company, what roles do you see McAfee and the channel playing in securing new IoT devices today and in the future?

KM: I see McAfee continuing to innovate and secure not only IoT, but the Operational Technology (OT) behind it. As McAfee continues to innovate and deliver solutions for IoT and OT in the future, our channel partners will continue to provide customers with choice and flexibility via consumption models and solution deployment options, integrated offerings, managed services, and more. McAfee partners are a vital growth engine that facilitate scale and market presence on McAfee’s behalf.


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