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Sources: Fortinet Channel Chief Sykora Out, Security Vendor Appoints Former Proofpoint Exec Bove To Lead Partner Sales

Fortinet Vice President of Americas Channels and Enhanced Technologies Joe Sykora has left the security vendor, multiple sources confirmed to CRN. Jon Bove, who previously led regional channels at Fortinet before a brief stint at Proofpoint, rejoins the company.

Fortinet Vice President of Americas Channels and Enhanced Technologies Joe Sykora has left the security vendor, multiple sources confirmed to CRN.

Jon Bove has replaced Sykora, sources said. Bove most recently served as senior director of North American channels at Proofpoint. However, before joining Proofpoint Bove served as regional vice president of U.S. channels for Fortinet.

Sources said Sykora's last day with Fortinet was Thursday and that Fortinet planned to announce the move Monday.

[Related: The Firewall Evolution: Fortinet CEO Says Security Vendor Prepping For The Fourth Generation Of Firewall Market]

Fortinet confirmed Sykora's departure and Bove's appointment to CRN.

"We are pleased to announce the appointment of Jon Bove as Vice President of North America Channels. Jon will focus on deepening and extending our partner strategy as well as accelerating new opportunities with our channel partners. Jon has extensive industry experience in security and channel sales and previously spent six years at Fortinet where he served as regional vice president of U.S. Channels. Jon replaces Joe Sykora who is departing Fortinet. We thank Joe for his contributions to Fortinet and wish him well in his future endeavors," a Fortinet spokesperson wrote in an email to CRN.

Fortinet said Bove started with the company Friday.

Sykora did not respond to direct calls for comment from CRN. A Proofpoint spokesperson would not confirm Bove’s departure in an email to CRN.

"We do not comment on executive departures; however, we remain committed to our aggressive channel strategy, dedicated to building opportunities with our strategic partners, and ensuring organizations are protected from today’s sophisticated cyberattacks,’ the spokesperson said.

Sykora has been with Fortinet since 2010, holding a variety of marketing and channel sales leadership roles at the security vendor. In his most recent role, he was responsible for management of all of the company's channels – including both inside sales teams, distribution teams and reseller engagements -- and enhanced technologies groups. He helped oversee multiple acquisition integrations at the companies, as well as an expanding base of technology alliances and partnerships.

Sykora's tenure at Fortinet saw the security vendor's channel sales grow 40 percent to 50 percent year over year, compared with 20 percent to 25 percent growth under his predecessor, according to Sykora's LinkedIn profile.


Partners said they were sad to see Sykora go. However, they also said they think Bove will bring a "new take" to the role.

One partner, who did not know about the change but knew Bove from his previous time at Fortinet, cheered the move, saying he thinks Bove's time away from Fortinet will bring some outside perspective to the role. That experience, combined with his many years at Fortinet, will allow him to ramp up quickly, the partner said.

"I think it will be good," the partner said. "I like John a lot. I think it will be good for Fortinet."

Another Fortinet partner, who also did not know about the change, said he was thrilled to see Bove back at Fortinet, calling him a "smart individual" who "knows the partner community well."

"Jon's a great guy. I was sad when he left … he was very entrenched in the partner community. … He knows Fortinet well and he's highly thought of by the Fortinet partners," the executive said.

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