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Palo Alto Networks Nabs Barracuda Networks CEO BJ Jenkins As President

‘It is refreshing to see that Palo Alto Networks is bringing in channel friendly leaders who hopefully will dramatically increase channel incentives and engagement,’ says the top sales executive for an SP 500 company, who did not want to be identified. ‘If Palo Alto Networks is going to compete head to head with CrowdStrike they need to embrace the channel as a whole rather than cherry pick only the biggest solution providers to go to market with to drive sales growth.’

Palo Alto Networks, which is in the midst of a revamping of its sales team, has poached Barracuda Networks CEO B.J. Jenkins to become its new president.

Current Palo Alto Networks President Amit Singh, a former president of Google Cloud and former vice president of sales at Oracle, is moving into the new role of chief business officer as a result of the new hire.

Jenkins, who spent nearly 10 years as CEO of channel savvy Barracuda Networks, is a 30-year industry veteran with deep channel experience including as a member of Nimble’s board of directors and as a 15-year EMC veteran, including as president of EMC backup recovery systems business.

Barracuda said that current Chief Operating Officer Hatem Naguib – a five-year Barracuda veteran- has been appointed CEO and a member of its board of directors. Barracuda also said Jenkins will remain on the Barracuda Networks board.

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The addition of Jenkins comes with major changes in the Palo Alto sales team. That includes the addition of Jas Sood, a 26-year Hewlett Packard Enterprise veteran, as new senior vice president of enterprise sales and Chad Gardner — a one time executive vice president of worldwide sales for SP 500 powerhouse Denali Advanced Integration- as vice president of global SASE sales.

“It is refreshing to see that Palo Alto Networks is bringing in channel friendly leaders who hopefully will dramatically increase channel incentives and engagement,” said the top sales executive for an SP 500 company, who did not want to be identified. “If Palo Alto Networks is going to compete head-to-head with CrowdStrike they need to embrace the channel as a whole rather than cherry pick only the biggest solution providers to go to market with to drive sales growth.”

The stepped-up sales effort from Palo Alto Networks comes after CEO Nikesh Arora complained recently that rival CrowdStrike has eight times more dedicated salespeople chasing the extended detection and response (XDR) category, neutralizing whatever technical advantage Palo Alto Networks brings to the table.

Palo Alto Networks said that Singh – who spent three years as president - will now work with Jenkins on large deals and also with Chief Product Officer Lee Klarich to deliver “industry leading” products.

Barracuda Networks implemented its first MSP focused North American partner advisory council in 2020. Its MSP program and its mainstream partner program both were awarded five stars by CRN in 2021.

In CRN’s annual 2021 outlook, Jenkins pledged to continue to invest in systems that make it easier for partners to continue to do business with Barracuda Networks, including an updated partner portal, automated ordering for partners, and improved consumption- based models. “We’ll also be focusing more than ever on providing partners with comprehensive sales, technical, and marketing enablement programs designed to help grow our partners’ businesses and maximize our collaboration and engagement,” he said. “I’m looking forward to seeing accelerated growth with the partners who opt into these programs with us.”

Barracuda hit the $500 million billings mark in 2019 and had set a goal under Jenkins of reaching the $1 billion in sales in the next three-to-four years. Over the last year, the number of Barracuda Networks partners using multiple solutions from the company increased by 12 percent.

The sales executive for the SP 500 company, who did not want to be identified, said Jenkins’ hire could be a flash point for a stepped up channel sales charge. He said he is heartened by the new sales team including the addition of HPE’s Sood. “HPE is one of our best channel partners so to see Jas join Palo Alto Networks is a big boost,” he said.

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