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VARs Unfazed By McAfee President&'s Exit

Solution providers said Tuesday that they don&'t expect the resignation of longtime McAfee President Gene Hodges to have an impact on the security vendor&'s channel strategy.

resignation of longtime McAfee President Gene Hodges

Hodges hasn't always been very responsive to channel customers, whereas McAfee Chairman and CEO George Samenuk has, said Jim Hindy, CEO of Norcross Ga-based solution provider Entre BTG. "The interface with Hodges has never really been that dramatic. If Samenuk leaves, then I would probably be more concerned," Hindy said.

In the past couple of years, McAfee has sharpened its channel focus, and that&'s not likely to change with Hodges&' departure, Hindy added. "Theire direction is channel-centric. That is their drive," he said.

David Roberts, senior vice president of North American channel sales at McAfee, said Hodges&' resignation won&'t steer the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company off its current channel course.

"McAfee has seen minimal channel partner impact due to this announcement, and we will continue to execute on our channel plan as we've always done," Roberts said.

Hodges, who with McAfee since 1995, is leaving the company to become the president and CEO of Websense, a San Diego-based Web filtering and security vendor. The move is good for Hodges and for Websense, said Steven Palange, president and CEO of TLIC Worldwide, a Wakefield, R.I.-based network security solution provider.

"I really hope that Hodges will push Websense into another league," Palange said. Websense has mostly focused on selling to enterprise customers and not so much to small and midsize businesses, but that may change with Hodges taking the helm, he added.

"Websense has nowhere to go but up. I think this is a great opportunity for Hodges," Palange said.

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