Ex-NetApp Exec Julie Parrish Takes Over As Check Point CMO

Julie Parish

Security vendor Check Point Software Technologies on Thursday said former NetApp and Symantec marketing executive Julie Parrish has joined the company as its new chief marketing officer.

Parrish brings years of marketing and channel experience in the security and storage markets to her new role as Check Point CMO. She officially started as CMO on Tuesday, taking over a position that has been empty since Marie Hattar, Check Point's previous CMO, left in June to take a similar role at Ixia, a Calabasas, Calif.-based provider of application performance and security resilience solutions.

Before joining Check Point, Parrish served as CMO of Sunnyvale, Calif.-based storage vendor NetApp from 2012 until September. She joined NetApp in late 2008 as senior vice president of worldwide sales after a six-year-plus stint as a top channel executive at Symantec and Veritas.

[Related: CRN Exclusive: NetApp CMO Julie Parrish Departs]

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Parrish told CRN her appointment to Check Point brings her back full circle to her roots in the security industry. Before Veritas, she was with Nokia Internet Communications, a security startup that was eventually acquired by Check Point.

While Parrish enjoyed her seven years at NetApp, she said she was ready for a change.

"Check Point has amazing technology and a growing market," she said. "It's in a really cool space."

Parrish said it was too early to get into specific plans for her new role, but said she is looking forward to making partners and customers better understand the role the company plays in the security of the cloud.

"Check Point is in a very strong position, with strong strategies in the cloud and multi-level defense approaches," she said. "My first question is, why don't people know that more broadly? So I'll look at the vision and how we talk to customers and partners, and make sure everyone understands what we do."

Parrish is also spearheading a move to help channel partners bring the Check Point message to a wider range of key customer personnel.

"We want to ensure the right people know about Check Point, from the security administrator to the CEO," Parrish said. "There's little that a company does nowadays that's not impacted by security, from infrastructure services to merger and acquisition strategies."

Check Point's business model is to work exclusively with channel partners, and the company needs to continually evaluate how to help partners grow their business with that of the vendor, Parrish said.

"My philosophy is, channel partners in general need the same training and capabilities as our sales reps," she said. "They need to understand our value proposition and make sure they have the tools to do the job well. I want to make sure partners know we provide them the right [marketing development funds] and other tools, and know we will provide them the right air cover to drive the value proposition to their customers."

Parrish should help make Check Point a more channel-focused partner, said John Woodall, vice president of engineering at Integrated Archive Systems (IAS), a Palo Alto, Calif.-based solution provider and channel partner to Check Point, NetApp and Symantec.

Woodall, who has known Parrish throughout her NetApp and Symantec/Veritas days, told CRN that Check Point, which has not always been the easiest company to work with from a channel perspective, will definitely benefit from her experience in the channel.

"Check Point is in a very competitive industry," he said. "Check Point, Juniper Networks, Cisco and all the major vendors have to compete with and react to Palo Alto Networks. The company needs to have a strong channel."

For Parrish, Check Point is a good career move, Woodall said. "This broadens her perspective with her returning to security," she said. "In a world of virtualization and the cloud, security has become a top focus point. Julie will bring a lot of value to Check Point."