McAfee Shifts Channel Focus, Lays Off Staff


"McAfee will now be focusing more on partners that cater to SMBs rather than large enterprises," a spokesperson for the Santa Clara, Calif.-based security vendor confirmed in an email. The spokesperson also confirmed the channel layoffs at McAfee.

Sources told CRN the layoffs include John Castaldi, U.S. sales director for enterprise channel sales, and Kelly Tullos, manager of McAfee's inside channel sales in Plano, Texas.

McAfee declined to comment on the identity of those laid off.

One solution provider who requested anonymity said the move could mean that McAfee is planning to take its enterprise accounts direct.

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"It's a little troubling, and sounds like a return to their previous model, where they signed up every reseller in the country and then take all the decent sized accounts for themselves," said the source, adding that many other vendors are doing the same thing when it comes to lucrative enterprise accounts.

Another source, who also requested anonymity, said it's always a concern when a vendor pulls back on channel resources. "However, it hasn't affected us that much, because I think McAfee's channel organization may have been perceived as slightly bloated," the source said.

The source added that while other vendors dedicate three or four people to his company, McAfee had eight people interfacing with him on a regular basis.

McAfee has been doing well in the enterprise over the past couple of years, but the SMB has always been lacking, said another solution provider, who requested anonymity. What McAfee doesn't have is solid relationships with SMB-focused VARs," the source said.

The source doesn't expect McAfee's channel-centric approach to change as a result of the new focus on the SMB market. "If they achieve the success they're looking for, I think they're going to use that bigger channel to cross-sell and upsell more SMB customers," said the source.