McAfee's Channel Chief Is Out

McAfee confirmed Friday that Dickison had left the company but declined to comment on whether he was terminated or voluntarily stepped down, who would fill his position or other details of his departure. Dickison did not respond to calls from His title at the time of his departure was vice president of channel operations.

Dickison's sudden exit from Santa Clara, Calif.-based McAfee follows a spate of company layoffs and attrition that has plagued its channel organization, particularly in recent months. Just last month, Lisa Loe, who had taken over Dickison's role as vice president of North America channel operations in September, exited the company under mysterious circumstances, and many partners speculated at the time that she was terminated.

Roger King, McAfee's senior vice president of worldwide channel operations, is overseeing North America channels until the company names Loe's replacement.

For many partners, Dickison's exit doesn't come as a surprise. After Loe was hired to head North American channels, Dickison was reassigned to his channel operations role, tasked with working on a project that aimed to "rebalance the channel," according to McAfee. Partners said then his reassignment indicated he might be on his way out.

Sponsored post

Meanwhile, partners today said the holes left by Dickison and Loe are part of a bigger trend of structural instability and rapid-succession turnover at McAfee—something that has kept their partnerships with the company in check.

"I can say that ... all the channel problems over the years is why we're not doing much business with McAfee anymore," said one Texas-based partner who asked not to be named. "Every time we head down a path with McAfee, the ball gets dropped because everyone is fired. Any investment [with McAfee] would be to our detriment because they switch gears so often."

As a result, partners say that Dickison's absence would likely not have a profound effect on their business.

Daniel Duffy, CEO and CIO of Valley Network Solutions, based in Fresno, Calif., said that his company had been doing less business with McAfee because all of the turmoil has led to a diminished channel focus on the lower market segments.

"We just haven't had a lot of success with them," said Duffy. "After all of the transitions with the company, there wasn't a strong channel engagement strategy for the SMB environment that we serve, so [Dickison's departure] has no impact on us."