WatchGuard Technologies Executive Shuffle Continues With New CTO, Head Of Marketing

WatchGuard Technologies has made its second top-level executive shuffle in just over a month, reporting Wednesday that it has named Corey Nachreiner as chief technology officer and Michelle Welch as vice president of marketing.

Last month, the Seattle-based network security vendor named Prakash Panjwani as CEO, replacing interim CEO Mike Kohlsdorf, who has now joined the board of directors. In a statement, Panjwani said the new additions will help him execute on his visions and growth goals for WatchGuard.

"As I step into my new role as CEO, I'm focused on building a leadership team that will continue to push product excellence, further enhance our service and commitment to our channel partners, while seeking opportunities to expand into new markets," Panjwani said in a statement.

[Related: New WatchGuard CEO Lays Out Three Ways He Will Strengthen Channel Program ]

Sponsored post

Nachreiner is a 16-year company veteran, most recently serving as director of security strategy, the company said. Welch comes to WatchGuard from SafeNet -- like Panjwani did -- where she was vice president of marketing, according to WatchGuard.

For new CTO Nachreiner, the product strategy includes helping partners stay abreast of an evolving threat landscape by identifying emerging technologies to boost the company's next generation firewall offering. Nachreiner said he also will evangelize and educate customers and partners on threats and how new capabilities can help address them. In particular, Nachreiner said, partners can expect him to focus on Advanced Threat Protection and visibility solutions.

"We're in a market now where people realize there's a threat out there. ... We want to help translate all the information we're gathering to show our partners and our customers where they're having a problem in their network," Nachreiner said.

As vice president of marketing, Welch said, she plans to back that approach up by helping partners leverage the WatchGuard brand. To do that, Welch said, she plans on working to make sure marketing tools are more easily available to partners and they are well-educated on evangelizing the brand and its products.

"I think our team has done a great job pushing that message out and that visibility, and the next step is taking that progress ... and pushing it out through the channel, to embrace those messages and continue that story," Welch said. "The tools are there, the message is there, we just have to make it easy to use and benefit from it."

Carl Mazzanti, CEO of Hoboken, N.J.-based eMazzanti Technologies, WatchGuard's first Platinum partner, said that from conversations with the vendor, he believes the executives were chosen to continue driving double- or triple-digit growth through the channel.

"I believe that the organization is going in the right direction," Mazzanti said. "The security space -- and technology space in general -- changes faster than anyone could anticipate, and bringing in some new talent to handle that ever-growing landscape or focus on the current needs is almost a requirement."

He said he hopes the two new executives will continue the company's channel-first strategy.

"I think, from a partner perspective, we want to know that they are partner-friendly, they're going to focus on improving the ecosystem for the partner community. ... Those are all things that drive our ability to service our customers, prove our loyalty to them as a vendor and expand the community," Mazzanti said.