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F5 Networks CEO Locoh-Donou On Forging Customer-Focused Culture With Partners

After promoting two channel executives who represent the culture he’s looking to instill in the company, F5 CEO Francois Locoh-Donou tells CRN he is seeking the same attributes in partners: ‘We're looking for the same customer obsession, and a desire to really understand the needs of our customers and act on those needs with a sense of urgency.’

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Culture Club
F5 Networks CEO Francois Locoh-Donou is focused squarely on the application delivery firm's culture. In the top role at Seattle-based F5 for less than two years, Locoh-Donou has allowed his vision for a company culture based on engagement and customer focus to guide his efforts to reshape F5 as a cloud-agnostic, API-focused network essential.

To that end, Locoh-Donou recently promoted two channel executives he considers indicative of the culture he's building. David Helfer was appointed senior vice president of sales for Europe, Middle East and Africa and Lisa Citron was made vice president of North America channels.

The attributes Locoh-Donou says Citron and Helfer bring to the game are the same that he is looking for in F5 partners, he said. "We're looking for the same customer obsession, and a desire to really understand the needs of our customers and act on those needs with a sense of urgency," he said. "Those partners that are doing that are very successful. They're transforming themselves."

Partners that make the most of that transformation are in a position to capitalize on F5's deepening relationships with public cloud power players like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, Locoh-Donour said. However, there are many that have to improve their software-selling game, he said, and F5 can guide them through that process.

What follows is an edited excerpt of CRN's conversation with Locoh-Donou.

 
 
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