Cloud Storage Vendor Rubrik Hires Former Google Cloud Exec As New Channel Chief


Cloud data management and data protection vendor Rubrik Thursday introduced former Google Cloud channel executive Bertrand Yansouni as its new channel chief.

Yansouni joins Palo Alto, Calif.-based Rubrik as the company's new vice president of worldwide channels, where he reports to Mark Smith, Rubrik's executive vice president of global sales and business development.

Yansouni for the last year served as vice president of global partner sales and strategic alliances at Google Cloud. Prior to Google Cloud, he spent about four years at Cloudera, a Palo Alto.-based startup developer of Apache Hadoop-based data management technology where he eventually rose to the position of vice president of global partner sales.

Related: [CRN Exclusive: Storage Startup Rubrik Gets First Channel Chief, Promises Big Changes For Partners]

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While Google Cloud was a wonderful opportunity, Yansouni told CRN, the lure of returning to the startup race was too attractive.

"I love startups," he said. "I love the execution, the speed. So I'm very happy to be with Rubrik and this exciting environment. Rubrik offers a high-growth environment, and I have ambitious plans. I'm very excited to help execute on the big plans we've got."

Yansouni said he could not discuss those big plans in detail. However, he said, the company has a couple of primary initiatives for its fiscal year 2019, which starts on Feb. 1.

The first is a focus on technology enablement with new programs to bring the company's internal technical capabilities to its channel partners. "We want partners to handle more of the sales call by becoming experts in demonstrations, proofs of concept and sales leads," he said. "We have amazing tech, but it has to be learned."

The second is a new focus by regional sales managers and sales reps in each sub-region on partners who bring the best skills and capabilities to Rubrik. "We will be expanding our pre-sales, sales and marketing teams," he said.

Yansouni said one of his personal initiatives is to get his feet wet with the Rubrik channel program as quickly as possible by looking at programs and ways to evolve them.

"I want to look at how we can make our company more rewarding to partners, and how to best use our tools such as our portal and deal registration," he said. "We don't want these to be just tools that partners use, but tools that partners love to use."

Yansouni said he appreciates how the entire company from CEO Bipul Sinha down is focused on the channel.

"We want to center and drive our culture here so that everyone at the company is a channel chief," he said. "When CRN does the Channel Chief list next year, I'd like everyone here to be on the list."

Rubrik hired its first channel chief, Bill Cordero, in late 2015. Cordero left the company in February 2017 to handle channels, first at Mountain View, Calif.-based security company UpGuard, and then as of this month to Grand Rapids, Mich.-based enterprise systems management vendor Blue Medora.

Sinha and the rest of Rubrik have done an amazing job of investing in the channel, and this should continue under Yansouni, said Mike Carter, founder and principal at eGroup, a Mt. Pleasant, S.C.-based solution provider and Rubrik channel partner.

"The world is moving towards the cloud," Carter told CRN. "Bertrand's experience at Google Cloud will be an important part of helping Rubrik help us move customers to the cloud."

Rubrik already has a strong and channel-focused executive team, one that will be enhanced with the addition of Yansouni, Carter said.

"I expect Bertrand will extend that channel focus globally," he said. "It was shrewd of Rubrik to pick a channel guy from a cloud company. It kills two birds with one stone. As we transform to the cloud format over the years, that's important. I don't want to work with anyone who is focused on bringing me only on-premises solutions."