CRN Exclusive: ForeScout Names Former F5 Exec As New Americas Channel Chief

Fresh off of a new round of funding, ForeScout Technologies has created a new vice president role for its Americas channel chief and named former F5 executive Tom Evans to the role.

Evans starts with the up-and-coming security vendor Monday, assuming the role of vice president of channels. He replaces Devin Archer, who previously served as channel chief under the title of Americas channel director. Archer now serves as head of channels for Warren, N.J.-based risk management and cyberthreat intelligence vendor Prevalent.

In an exclusive interview with CRN, Evans said he was attracted to ForeScout's high growth rates, in which the company jumped 77 percent year over year to $125 million in revenue in 2015, as well as its strong leadership team and plans for the future.

[Related: ForeScout Lands $76M In New Funding, Hits Unicorn Status As It Invests In Beating Cisco]

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’I had a very good job at F5 and I loved my time there,’ Evans said. ’Only a perfect scenario would get me to leave. This is absolutely an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. … I think it’s going to be a great ride and the company is going to do great things.’

CRN reached out to F5 Networks for comment on this story, but did not receive a reply.

Brian Gumbel, vice president of Americas sales at ForeScout, said Evans was the right choice for the job because he had experience growing a channel program of comparable size at F5, fit the culture of ForeScout and had experience working with both reseller partners and distributors.

In addition to adding Evans, Gumbel said the Cupertino, Calif., company already has increased its headcount around the channel. He said ForeScout is still looking to add more headcount in the Americas.

Andy Welsh, vice president of partner management at Optiv Security, a Denver-based ForeScout partner, praised the choice of Evans for the role, saying his channel experience will help the up-and-coming vendor cement its channel strategy.

’Tom’s tremendous channel experience and leadership should help solidify ForeScout’s channel model,’ Welsh said in an email to CRN.

Optiv Security's Welsh said ForeScout already has a strong channel-first approach, but he hopes that Evans will help drive that model to the next level by investing in programs, training and new partner business models.

’While ForeScout’s current channel program is strong, we are confident that Tom will help ensure that their channel program continues to operate efficiently and successfully as it expands,’ Welsh said.

While he hasn’t started in the new role, Evans said he has already started planning what his strategic direction will be for the security vendor’s channel. Evans said he is hoping to push the company toward a 100 percent channel model, up from about 90 percent today.

To do that, Evans said he plans to leverage his relationships with partners in the industry as well as invest in programs that will drive partner profitability. He declined to be more specific on what those programs might look like, saying he wanted to do a deep dive into the partner community to better understand their needs before committing to a course of action. Gumbel added that ForeScout will look to invest in training tools, distribution partners and certifications.

’I think that the opportunity ahead of us is absolutely tremendous. We just need to get in front of this thing,’ Gumbel said. ’It’s going to be a lot of fun.’