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Check Point Taps VMware Vet Geoff Waters To Run Americas Sales

Check Point also made several moves in its partner organization, promoting Nisha Holt to Americas channel chief and bringing in iboss’ Erick Foy and Pulse Secure’s Coletta Vigh for other leadership roles.

Check Point Software Technologies has put in place a quartet of seasoned go-to-market executives to fuel growth in the Americas and across the company’s channel organization.

The San Carlos, Calif.-based platform security vendor hired longtime VMware cloud sales leader Geoff Waters to oversee the company’s 750-person field sales operation in North America and Latin America. The company also made several moves in its partner organization, promoting Nisha Holt to Americas channel chief and bringing in iboss’ Erick Foy and Pulse Secure’s Coletta Vigh for other leadership roles.

“You’re going to see people who are respected, people who have credibility in the channel, and people who are going to maintain the great legacy of Check Point,” Frank Rauch, worldwide head of channel sales, told CRN exclusively.

[Related: 4 Ways Check Point Partners Can Boost Their Profit Margins]

Waters has the unique experience of having led specialty teams, field teams and channel teams at VMware and Intel, and is highly respected inside the offices of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, Rauch said. He spent more than a decade at VMware, culminating in roles leading the company’s global cloud service provider channel and running the 500-person cloud sales organization.

Check Point is looking to Waters to improve the company’s execution in the Americas by leveraging his professional network, his ability to recruit key talent, and his stellar reputation with partners in the MSSPs and cloud spaces, Rauch said. Waters will report into Check Point Chief Customer Officer Dan Yerushalmi, and replaces Chris Scanlan, who left the firm in January to become CEO of DeFY Security.

“The Americas is a tough battleground for us,” Rauch said. “There’s a home-field advantage for a couple of our key competitors.” Longtime network security rivals Cisco, Fortinet, and Palo Alto Networks have many of their top executives in the Bay Area, while most of Check Point’s executive management team is based in Israel.

Holt joined Check Point from Symantec in February 2020 to oversee national channel partners, and has made a big difference in driving relationships with the likes of WWT, Sirius, CDW and ePlus, Rauch said. Prior to Holt’s arrival, Rauch said there was often a void after he finished talking with CEOs, but she has excelled at sustaining dialogue with these partners and driving new business rather than just renewals.

As the new head of Americas channel sales, Rauch said he’s looking for Holt to continue driving growth with national partners as well as focus on underpenetrated markets from regional and born-in-the-cloud solution providers to Canadian and Latin American partners. Holt replaces Abigail Maines, who left in February to become Cybereason’s vice president of commercial and channel sales in North America.

Vigh, meanwhile, will step into a newly created role leading Check Point’s worldwide channel strategy and growth initiatives, where Rauch said she’ll be responsible for MSSP and cloud partner relationships as well as helping create and optimize global programs for partners. Rauch will retain the relationships with large global partners himself and keep serving as the interface with Yerushalmi and other execs.

Rauch would like to see Vigh work closely with Check Point’s geographic channel heads, get tighter with partners he doesn’t know as well, and evolve the company’s channel strategy to get ahead of the competition. Vigh has been praised across the industry for her intellect, leadership skills and emotional intelligence, and most recently served as Pulse Secure’s managing director for global channel sales.

“If I designed a role and was able to pick somebody that complemented what I did, I don’t think I could find anybody better than Coletta,” Rauch said.

Finally, Rauch said Check Point moved quickly to hire iboss and Symantec veteran Foy as the company’s head of North America distribution sales after three large distributors called and asked Rauch if he was planning to interview Foy. Foy has a great understanding of how the distribution landscape has evolved with marketplaces, consumption-based models and the recruiting of different types of partners, he said.

Foy had “immediate credibility” with Rauch thanks to his stellar references, his many years overseeing distribution relationships as Symantec’s director of North America channel sales, as well as his time doing software sales, product sales, and account development at distributor Avnet. Foy replaces Kin Mitra, who left Check Point in March to become president of security reseller Mission Critical Systems.

“We feel like we have a winning hand,” Rauch said. “And quite honestly, bringing this kind of talent into Check Point is only going to accelerate that winning hand.”

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