Watchguard Names CEO

Joe Wang, former CEO at LANDesk Software, on Tuesday took over as president and CEO at Seattle-based Watchguard. Wang replaces former CEO Bruce Coleman, who was tapped to head Watchguard on an interim basis after the $151 million acquisition by Francisco Partners and Vector Capital closed in October.

In his four-year stint at LANDesk, Wang helped boost sales from $40 million to more than $100 million. Before that, Wang was vice president and general manager of Symantec's Enterprise Administrative Division.

One of the biggest challenges Wang will face at Watchguard will be reconnecting with channel partners, many of whom are upset that the vendor hasn't been clear about the direction of its indirect sales strategy.

One solution provider, who requested anonymity, was nonplussed by the news of Wang's appointment. "It's really difficult to get excited about anything coming out of Watchguard," he said.

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In February, Watchguard got rid of all but two of its channel reps and didn't provide any information on who would be taking over the accounts, according to solution provider. "They really left us hanging," he said.

Ben Ball, a co-founder at Francisco partners, which has offices in Menlo Park, Calif., and London, said in a statement that Wang "has the right mix of management and technical skills to meet our objectives for substantial growth for WatchGuard over the longer term."