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Riverbed CEO Rich McBee: 'We've Returned To Our Roots'

‘The company is stable and performing today. During the period of the restructuring, the company wasn't any of those things,’ says Riverbed CEO Rich McBee, who shared how the firm is now laser-focused on its core specialties.

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No More ‘Bouncing Around’ 

Network and application performance vendor Riverbed has, by its own admission, bounced in and out of various networking businesses over the last few years, leaving customers and partners confused about the firm’s long-term strategy. But Riverbed CEO Rich McBee, who took over at the helm as the company's leader in October, has been working hard to trim the business down to its core WAN optimization, SD-WAN and application acceleration focus.

The San Francisco-based company earns nearly 90 percent of its revenue through the channel, so partners are “wildly important” to Riverbed, McBee said. With that in mind, the company unveiled its new sales strategy to the channel in-person in January during its annual sales kickoff, an event partners hadn’t been invited to for nearly five years.

And Riverbed’s reconfirmed commitment to the channel and streamlined, simple strategy is starting to pay off. McBee sat down with CRN to talk about the firm’s 2019 restructuring, how it’s going after the competition, and what partners can expect. What follows are excerpts from the conversation.

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