Former Symantec Channel Chief Eldh Takes Global Security Sales Role At CA

John Eldh, who oversaw Symantec's North American channel program during one of the most disruptive periods in the vendor's history, was named senior vice president of global security sales at CA Technologies.

Eldh oversaw channel and inside sales at Symantec beginning in 2012, during a time when former Symantec CEO Steve Bennett completely reorganized the company's internal sales teams and shed thousands of positions in hopes of jump-starting growth against a rising tide of competitors. Bennett's internal changes, part of a strategy to bridge the various security, IT management and storage components of the vendor's portfolio, impacted 90 percent of the inside sales force and placed more of an emphasis on the channel to drive sales. Bennett was fired in March and the company is still in a state of transition.

Eldh, who left Symantec in August, could not be reached for comment and a CA spokesperson did not return a request for comment. A Symantec partner told CRN that Eldh took the position at CA. Eldh's LinkedIn profile was also updated with his new title.

[Related: Symantec Channel Chief Eldh Latest Executive To Depart]

Sponsored post

Eldh was at Symantec for nearly a decade as vice president of inside sales for Veritas in 2005, the year Symantec acquired the company. He spent three years overseeing sales in Ireland and the U.K., and took over as vice president of Americas channel and distribution sales in 2012. He was previously a vice president at research firm Gartner.

Solution providers said Eldh is a welcome addition to CA, which could use consistency in its operations and additional personnel overseeing its channel activities. CA has a strong portfolio buoyed by its identity management portfolio, said Ed Pascua, senior vice president of sales at New Jersey-based solution provider and identity management specialist firm Simeio Solutions.

"In order to be competitive and you want a breadth of offerings that serve the most customers you can't bypass CA because they have a great footprint and a great technology," Pascua said.

CA said in March it was taking a channel-first approach across its entire product line. The company has 1,500 named accounts where CA takes the direct sales lead. The company works closely with its top 60 partners in each of five product areas, including security, service desk and DevOps application delivery services.

The company's security product portfolio is called Securecenter and consists of its identity and access management suite, two-factor authentication and a SaaS-based identity management platform from its $200 million acquisition of Arcot Systems in 2010. The suite, formerly called CA Cloudminder, also has governance, risk management and compliance tools. The company also sells email security, privilege management and a data protection platform, DataMinder for data discovery, classification and data loss prevention capabilities built from its acquisition of Orchestria in 2009. The company last year acquired Layer 7 Technologies for application delivery, cloud and mobile security. Layer 7 components are being integrated into its Web access management, DevOps and Web application delivery.

Just prior to his departure, Eldh oversaw the unveiling of Symantec's new channel program in North America, which was designed to validate and reward partner skill levels in specific areas of its portfolio. The refreshed program, one that was similar to changes made several years ago, focuses on large systems integrators and regional resellers with specialized skills in security, storage and data management.

Growth increased significantly for partners while the company relied more heavily on large systems integrators and regional solution providers with expertise in areas of Symantec's product portfolio, said Alex Moss, managing partner of Conventus, which specializes in information security. Moss said the emphasis was placed on solution providers that could fully manage a deal with minimal support from Symantec. Moss and other longtime Symantec partners stood by the company, despite Bennett's firing in March and the loss of a variety of senior management, including Eldh. Symantec executives said they expect to name a new CEO by the end of September.

Jacob Tukuru, president of New York City-based solution provider, Tukuru Technologies, is also standing by Symantec. Tukuro said he and his engineering team sells and maintains Symantec's cloud security platform and has had a good track record managing client endpoints with it. The company needs to find a channel chief who will be a good listener and supporter of resellers that are large and small, Tukuro said. Meanwhile the vendor's next CEO should come forward with a clear message of support for the channel, he said.

"Symantec needs to continually provide opportunities for the channel and be able to resell their products in a way that makes sense financially and also provide roadmaps to what is happening so that you don't hear from the client of any issues after the fact; you hear from the company itself," Tukuru said.