CRN Exclusive: Veracode Names Former Kaspersky Lab Exec As New Channel Chief

Veracode has hired a veteran of Kaspersky Lab to be its new channel chief, as the application security company looks to bolster its partner program in the coming months.

Leslie Bois officially began at Veracode in early January as global head of channel and alliances, a brand-new role for the company. Bois previously had spent nine years in channel positions at Kaspersky Lab North America, most recently as vice president of channel sales. She left the role in December to join Veracode.

[Related: Kaspersky Lab's North American Channel Chief Bois Leaves Security Vendor]

In an interview with CRN, Bois said she will be "taking a look at creating a strong partner program" at Burlington, Mass.-based Veracode. The current program, which includes 150 partners, is "very basic at the moment," she said.

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"The partners working with Veracode absolutely love them, but there's a huge opportunity to move to more of a channel-led model in the business, for exponential growth," Bois said. "Priority No. 1 for me is creating roles and responsibilities across the organization about how everyone can support us going to market with partners."

Veracode, a privately held company that's raised at least $112 million in venture capital since its founding in 2006, focuses on helping developers of web applications to create secure code during the development process.

Patrick Sheehan, managing director of global finance and insurance at Denver-based solution provider Optiv Security, said his company has had a "very positive relationship" with Veracode during several years of partnership.

"Application security comes up all the time" with customers, Sheehan told CRN. "There are changing business models, and folks are facing competition from startups on applications. … Customers are asking us for automation, helping them speed to market, while at the same time balancing security. Veracode helps in our story in that regard."

As for the appointment of Bois and the channel plans at Veracode, Sheehan said that "any time one of our valued partners is investing in programs to be better aligned [with partners], that's music to our ears."

Optiv's Sheehan said he's met Bois several times since her appointment, and found she has a "refreshing perspective."

"I'm excited to see what she develops and what's to come, given the background that she has," Sheehan said.

Bois said her hiring is just the initial step in a larger plan to boost Veracode's commitment to the channel.

"Part of my next 60 to 90 days will be really digging into the program so I understand where we can optimize, and what are some additional benefits we can work into the program, in terms of training, enablement, benefits, support," she said. "We are going to be making some significant investments in technologies that will help support that, creating a much stronger partner program, deal registration program, communication, training— straight across the board."

Bois said she will be ready to share more specifics on the revamped partner program in coming months.

She will be reporting to Mike McGuinness, executive vice president of sales for Veracode. Jacques Lopez--who manages North American channels for Veracode and has done ’a great job at organizing and engaging partners," Bois said—will now be reporting to Bois.

Veracode is not disclosing details on its revenue or the percentage of revenue that is currently generated through the channel. However, channel sales are "growing at a faster pace than the organization" as a whole, Bois said.

Overall, she added, Veracode partners "should expect the full support of the entire organization" going forward.

"We'll be bringing the partners in like they're part of the Veracode family," Bois said. "I look at the partner community as an extension of us."