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Dave Dewalt, President and CEO, McAfee

If there's one true accomplishment McAfee President and CEO Dave DeWalt's proud of, it's McAfee's transformation from a struggling antivirus company, drowning in stunted single-digit growth and channel conflict to a true channel player.

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No doubt, one of the biggest channel changes under DeWalt's watch is the company's accelerated growth, which can be attributed, in part, to critical acquisitions and partnerships, and an expanding portfolio of products. Once known primarily as an antivirus vendor, the company has morphed into a one-stop security shop with comprehensive security suites that house numerous best-of-breed products, including spyware, host intrusion and personal firewall, as well as network access control, and data loss prevention and encryption products under one roof. And perhaps now more than ever, McAfee's signature security suites are resonating strongly with all market segments as IT budgets are slashed with the ever-worsening economy.

These and other strategies are part of a concerted effort to create more of a channel community within McAfee and significantly enhance its product lines, DeWalt says--a pledge that was kicked off by last year's declaration that it would be 100 percent channel, and solidified by the appointment of Channel Chief Lisa Loe and hosting its first user/partner conference last October.

"Some of that [channel community] is having fun with your customers and partner at events. Some of that is treating them with respect and creating inside information so they're able to make decisions about our product road maps and strategy," said DeWalt in a recent ChannelWeb interview. "These are all the things that good channel companies do."

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