Dell Security Steals FireEye Global Channel Chief To Lead Worldwide Security Sales

Dell Security has landed a major executive catch, stealing FireEye Global Channel Chief Steve Pataky to lead its worldwide security sales business, CRN has learned.

Pataky had served as vice president of worldwide channels and alliances at FireEye since August 2013, in a term that came to a close last Friday. Before joining FireEye, based in Milpitas, Calif., he served as vice president of worldwide partner development at Juniper, a position he held from 2004 to 2013.

Pataky will now serve as vice president of worldwide security sales at Dell Security. In that role, he will be responsible for leading sales for the company's identity and access management business and its SonicWall business. Dell, based in Round Rock, Texas, confirmed the move, saying that Pataky started this week in his new role at the company. The move was expected to be announced by Dell later this week.

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Pataky replaces Marvin Blough, who served as executive director, worldwide channels and alliances for Dell's Software Group. Dell confirmed that Blough had left the vendor to "pursue an opportunity outside of the company."

Pataky's exit is another hiccup for FireEye, which in recent months has been the subject of buyout rumors and has seen its stock price plummet, dropping more than 50 percent since Sept. 1 to around $17.38, resulting in skepticism and downgrades by multiple analyst firms.

A FireEye spokesperson declined to comment for the story when reached by CRN, including about who Pataky's replacement would be. CRN also reached out to Pataky directly, but has not heard back.

Jamie Shepard, senior vice president of health care and strategy at Lumenate, an Addison, Texas-based FireEye partner, said he didn't see the move as a sign of a disintegrating FireEye channel.

"I think it makes sense with how [Pataky] thinks and how he wants to run the channel," Shepard said. He added that he would like FireEye to replace Pataky with an executive with a strong sales background. "The timing is just really [strange] to me," he said, referring to the changes going on at the company as the result of the proposed Dell-EMC deal.

Curtis Hutcheson, vice president and general manager of security solutions at Dell, said in an interview with CRN that Pataky is a "huge add" for Dell, calling it a "proof point" of the vendor's increased investment in security in recent months. Hutcheson said CEO Michael Dell was personally involved in the hiring of Pataky, and that he was "thrilled" with the appointment.

"It shows our ability to attract someone deep in security and also well-known and respected in the channel," Hutcheson said. "We're excited about our solution portfolio and the innovation that we have. As we grow our presence in the market, Steve is going to be one of the ways we do that. … Steve will be the catalyst to reinforcing a channel selling model."

In particular, Hutcheson said, Pataky's deep channel experience and background at FireEye will help Dell drive its partnerships with high-value solution providers and security partners, an area that the company has been "aggressively" pushing toward in the past six months.

"We believe we're about to embrace the next wave of customers that are demanding better solutions," Hutcheson said. "We've been making a significant investment in our products, our engineering, and we believe we have a unique approach to our customers. That's one of the ways I think we were able to interest [Pataky]."

Going forward, Hutcheson said, expect more changes to the sales force as Dell Security pivots to a more channel-focused organization. He said partners can expect to see leadership changes under Pataky.