Page 2 of 2
Bonvanie told CRN that McLaughlin had been in the mix for a while as the company narrowed the list of its potential CEO candidates. He declined to comment on whether former McAfee president Dave DeWalt was under consideration, as had been briefly rumored.
One thing that stood out, said Bonvanie, who was involved with the ultimate selection, was McLaughlin's channel acumen.
"Channels have always been a major portion of the business for him," he said. "It's absolutely clear to us that he values the channel as much as we do. It's part of his DNA."
Bonvanie said average deal sizes for Palo Alto partners are increasing, especially as solution providers wrap more services around Palo Alto technologies. Palo Alto is committed to leaving services in the hands of the channel, he said.
As McLaughlin gets settled into his new role, Bonvanie said Palo Alto is looking to hire as many as 300 new employees over the next year. About half of those will be sales roles, he said, and the rest in marketing and various support functions.
For channel partners, Bonvanie said, Palo Alto is looking forward to its best year yet.
"You ain't seen nothing yet," he said. "We are absolutely killing it. Partners who hang in there will be very happy as far as the opportunity and level of reward in our program."
"I''m hoping they don't change anything," said Accuvant's Wilson. "Things are going so well right now and they need to continue to find ways for the channel to make their model more profitable. My fervent hope is that they continue on the same lines."