Palo Alto Networks Global Channel Chief Myers To Retire, Americas Channel Head Soderlund To Replace Him


Palo Alto Networks global channel leader Ron Myers plans to leave the company in August and will be replaced by Americas channel chief Karl Soderlund.

Myers (pictured) will retire as senior vice president, global channels after a half-decade in Palo Alto Networks' channel organization, where he spearheaded significant investments to boost channel growth in the enterprise security market.

Myers' shoes will be filled by Soderlund, who joined Palo Alto Networks as vice president, Americas channels a year ago after serving as Imperva's global channel chief for one and a half years. Soderlund's promotion to the global channel chief role is effective immediately, according to the Santa Clara, Calif.-based platform security giant.

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"On behalf of Palo Alto Networks, we wish Ron all the best as he begins his retirement, and we thank him for his countless contributions to the organization," Dean Darwin, senior vice president of sales and channel strategy, said in a statement. "We are delighted to have found the right leader within our own organization, and we congratulate Karl on his promotion."

Palo Alto Networks has not yet identified a new leader for the Americas channel sales organization, according to the company. Soderlund will continue as acting head of Americas channel sales while assuming his new global role, Palo Alto Networks said.

The transition in channel leadership comes just one day after longtime Google leader Nikesh Arora started as Palo Alto Networks' chairman and CEO. Arora replaced Mark McLaughlin, who stepped into the vice chairman role after nearly seven years of leading the company.

Myers, though, began discussing his retirement plans in late 2017, Darwin said in a statement, and offered to remain on board to ensure a seamless channel leadership transition. Myers will stay with Palo Alto Networks through the end of the company's fiscal year July 31.

Palo Alto Networks' stock is up 6 cents (0.03 percent) to $202.98 in pre-market trading Thursday. The company did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment.

Myers was promoted to senior vice president, global channels 19 months ago following more than three years as vice president, global channels, where he was responsible for channel go-to-market strategies, structure, programs, policy and partner success. Before joining Palo Alto Networks, Myers spent more than four years as global channel chief of telecom collaboration vendor Polycom.

During Palo Alto Networks' most recent fiscal year, Myers said more than 600 of Palo Alto Networks' 4,000 global channel partners doubled their business with the company, with 109 of those partners also booking more than $1 million of sales with the company, according to his CRN 2018 Channel Chiefs profile.

Palo Alto Networks partners also earned more than 15,000 sales and technical certifications during the 2017 fiscal year, according to Myers.

Soderlund, meanwhile, joined Palo Alto Networks in June 2017 after building and managing sales and marketing programs across both the networking and security industry. At Imperva, Soderlund launched a new global partner program that doubled the incremental channel-driven pipeline over the first six months, and grew partner certifications by more than 400 percent through a new training philosophy.

Soderlund has helped grow the base of Americas partners specializing in Palo Alto Networks' Traps advanced endpoint protection offering from a dozen or so in the 2016 fiscal year to more than 60 as of February 2018, according to his 2018 CRN Channel Chiefs profile. Soderlund has also helped on-board born-in-the-cloud partners, which he said is another growth area for the company.