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Barracuda Picks Channel Veteran Jason Beal As Global Partner Chief

Jay Fitzgerald

His appointment comes seven months after Barracuda’s takeover by private equity powerhouse KKR

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Seven months after KKR’s takeover of the company, Barracuda Networks announced Wednesday the hiring of its first head of global channel strategy and development as the email-security provider attempts to turbocharge sales in the coming years.

Jason Beal, who has previously worked in top channel positions at AvePoint, Palo Alto Networks and Ingram Micro, started his new job as vice president of worldwide partner ecosystems on Oct. 31.

Among other things, the newly created position is designed help coordinate various Barracuda partner programs around the world, Beal told CRN in an interview.

“We see big opportunities not only to accelerate channel investments, but to do more with partners and more with our distributors,” Beal said.

[RELATED STORY: Axcient Taps Former Barracuda Networks Exec As New CEO]

He said channel partners around the world are facing “rapid diversification and a transformation in the global channel ecosystem” – and Barracuda needs to respect and adapt to those changes.

“It’s our role is as channel leadership to put our company in a position to meet these unique needs of all these different partner business models,” he said, adding Barracuda is committed to a “global strategy, global enablement, global programs.”

In April, private equity powerhouse KKR announced it was acquiring Campbell, Calif.-based Barracuda from another private equity stalwart, Thoma Bravo, for an undisclosed sum.

From the start, KKR made clear its goal was to “accelerate growth” by further pushing the company into key security markets such as managed detection and response, extended detection and response, and secure access service edge (SASE) technology.

And Barracuda Networks CEO Hatem Naguib also made clear to CRN last spring that his and KKR’s goal was to pursue aggressive revenue growth through the channel, with the aim of boosting revenue from more than $500 million to $1 billion “as soon as possible.”

Beal wouldn’t say what percentage of Barracuda’s revenue currently come via the channel, nor would he say how big his current channel team is at Barracuda. But he said KKR is indeed investing in the channel with the intent of growing revenue.

“We’ve been a channel-centric company since its founding (in 2003),” said Beal.

Barracuda’s partner program recent received a 5-Star Award in the 2022 CRN Partner Program Guide, with its focus on providing small- and medium-sized enterprises with a broad suite of cybersecurity offerings, including email protection, application security, network security and data protection.

Neil Medwed, director of strategic partnerships at Meriplex, a Houston-based MSP, said he expects Barracuda’s channel business to take off under Beal, who Medwed has professionally known “for decades.”

“He’s always been channel-focused,” said Medwed, whose firm has a long-standing partnership with Barracuda. “Jason has unsurpassed skills. He’s extremely respected. I think it’s going to be a big plus for Barracuda.”

In a statement, Chris Ross, Barracuda Networks’ chief revenue officer, said the hiring of Beal is a clear sign of the company’s commitment to the channel.

“We’re looking forward to his focus on continuing the growth acceleration across our partner ecosystem and to drive innovation within our business model,” Ross said. “He will also play an integral role in continuing to build and grow a world class channel go-to-market strategy and partner program for our business.”

Beal previously served as senior vice president of global channel and partner ecosystems at AvePoint, the Jersey City, N.J.-based provider of data protection, governance and cloud migration solutions. Before AvePoint, he held top channel positions at Palo Alto Networks, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based cybersecurity giant, and Ingram Micro, the IT solutions vendor based in Irvine, Calif.

 

Jay Fitzgerald

Jay Fitzgerald is a senior editor covering cybersecurity for CRN. Jay previously freelanced for the Boston Globe, Boston Business Journal, Boston magazine, Banker & Tradesman, MassterList.com, Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge, the National Bureau of Economic Research and other entities. He can be reached at jfitzgerald@thechannelcompany.com.

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