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Digital Guardian Global Channel Chief Marcus Brown Leaves Company

Brown spent nearly seven years at Digital Guardian and helped the cybersecurity vendor increase channel revenue to 75 percent of its global new business in 2017.

Digital Guardian global channel chief Marcus Brown has left the company, marking another high-profile departure from the data protection vendor in recent months.

Brown spent nearly seven years at Digital Guardian, launching the industry's first data loss prevention managed security service and helping the Waltham, Mass.-based cybersecurity vendor increase channel revenue to 75 percent of global new business in 2017. He served as the company's vice president of corporate business development for five years before transitioning into the global channel chief role in early 2017.

"After 7 amazing years at Digital Guardian, I am moving on to a new challenge," Brown wrote in a LinkedIn post Friday. "It has been fantastic to see DG grow from a small startup to a leader in the Data Protection market."

[Related: Digital Guardian On The Importance Of Recognizing Unstructured Data]

Brown promised his followers "more to come" on his next steps, and didn't immediately respond to a request for additional comment from CRN.

Brown's last day at Digital Guardian was Aug. 31, according to the company, which was less than two months before President and CEO Ken Levine stepped down for personal reasons. Levine was replaced on an interim basis by board member Paul Ciriello, while Brown has been replaced in the global channel chief role by former BlackBerry U.S. Director of Sales Greg Cobb, according to Digital Guardian.

"We anticipate no impact on our Channel Partners and our Synergy Partner Program overall," Connie Stack, Digital Guardian's chief marketing officer, said in an email. "An orderly transition occurred and all Marcus's duties were moved to Greg Cobb."

Brown launched the Synergy program in fall 2017, which combined the best pieces of Digital Guardian's regional programs around the world into a single, global program. The revamped program also included a new partner portal, marketing development funds, training, deal registration and business planning.

Brown grew Digital Guardian's global channel team to 12 employees, and created channel messaging, enablement and marketing programs for the company's new cloud-first offering, according to his LinkedIn profile. More than 50 percent of Digital Guardian's deals in 2017 were initiated by the channel, Brown said on LinkedIn.

One Digital Guardian partner who didn't wish to be identified told CRN the company would like to see Cobb improve deal registration and partner profitability while focusing more on strategic solution providers rather than mere fulfillment partners. The partner has seen 25 percent growth in its Digital Guardian business on a year-over-year basis, although it represents a small percentage of its overall revenue.

Cobb comes to Digital Guardian after two years at BlackBerry, where his responsibilities included the company's cybersecurity consulting, unified endpoint management, IoT, and collaboration businesses. Prior to that, Cobb spend three years as a regional sales director at IBM, which he came over to following its 2013 acquisition of Fiberlink Communications.

The company raised more than $78 million of outside equity during Brown's time there, and changed its name from Verdasys to Digital Guardian in August 2014.

Levine came over to Digital Guardian in March 2014 following a two-year stint as general manager of McAfee's security management business unit, and spent four and a half years leading the company prior to his sudden departure. Since Levine left Digital Guardian in October, the company has seen its headcount drop from 436 employees then to 422 workers today, according to LinkedIn data.

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