Roberts Leaves McAfee in Good Shape

Security vendor McAfee’s popular channel chief, David Roberts, left the company on April 24 after 19 months on the job, but company officials say they are confident in the program he built and the talent he recruited.

Roberts oversaw more than half of the vendor’s three-and-a-half-year shift toward a partner-led go-to-market strategy, and leaves behind a team of channel talent he recruited and a legacy system similar to one he crafted at Microsoft, said Jim Lewandowski, McAfee’s executive vice president of the Americas.

In short, Roberts leaves the program in good condition.

“We were fortunate to have David on board in terms of guidance and assistance,” Lewandowski said, “but it is important to understand we have people and a company that [understand] the channel and a channel organization that has grown by four, since David started.”

That recruitment effort, quadrupling McAfee’s channel staff, is Robert’s greatest legacy to the program and will shape it into the future, Lewandowski said.

McAfee takes its first channel steps without Roberts at its annual partner conference the week of May 1 in Las Vegas, where executives plan to announce several program changes designed to align the vendor’s market strategy around partner-led service delivery.

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Roberts led a channel buildup as part of the Santa Clara, Calif., company’s shift from a direct-led to a channel-led go-to-market strategy.

Under Roberts, McAfee developed the Security Alliance channel program that streamlined the vendor’s channel and rewards programs and the MAX partner portal, which formalized a communication platform between partners and the channel organization.

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Roberts could not be reached for comment and left no indication with McAfee about his plans, officials said.

Prior to his time at McAfee, Roberts was executive vice president of enterprise sales and professional services at Corel and held several positions at Microsoft, where he developed sales strategies for Microsoft’s 40 largest customers and built the channel infrastructure to support and grow those accounts.

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