McAfee's New Channel Chief Promises To Realign Around Partners

Roberts said he also plans to fulfill promises made to the channel by former McAfee executive vice president of worldwide channel sales Donna Troy, who departed the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company two months ago after unveiling changes that could lead to a 100 percent indirect revenue model.

"There needs to be a lot of emphasis around here on ease of doing business," said Roberts. "Otherwise, people will default to our competition.

"Our company is realigning around the channel. A partner program was announced, there was feedback, then we had a key executive [Troy] leave. I want to execute on that program and make good on the commitments we made to the channel," he added.

Roberts said he feels McAfee was nearly there when it came to being the type of channel partner it aspires to be. "I think we are more than halfway there. I think we are 85 percent, and in six months I'd like to be 100 percent there," he said.

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Roberts arrives as the company's new senior vice president of North America channels. He was formerly executive vice president of enterprise sales and professional services at Corel, where he was responsible for restructuring the business to focus on channel sales and corporate accounts.

Roberts reports to Jim Lewandowski, McAfee's executive vice president for North America sales.

On choosing an outsider to head up McAfee's domestic channels, McAfee President Gene Hodges said, "We looked at both internal and external. Dave has a pretty good background, and one of the things we wanted was someone who could work with a wide range of channel partners from distribution to the high-volume partners, the enterprise software resellers, the outsourcers, the service providers in security, network integrators-"it's a pretty wide channel mix and Dave has a lot of experience in key areas."

"At the end of the day, McAfee desperately needs a successful channel," Roberts said.