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Palo Alto Networks Hires Barracuda Networks CEO BJ Jenkins as President

Palo Alto Networks has hired Barracuda Networks CEO BJ Jenkins as president. At Barracuda, Jenkins was a strong MSP and MSSP partner advocate.

Related: Barracuda Networks names Hatem Naguib as CEO to succeed BJ Jenkins.

Amid Jenkins' arrival, Palo Alto Networks will shift former President Amit Singh to the new role of chief business officer. Nikesh Arora remains CEO and chairman of the security company.

As CEO of Barracuda Networks, Jenkins successfully shifted the company's channel partner strategy towards MSPs and MSSPs. The journey included private equity firm Thoma Bravo acquiring Barracuda Networks in 2017. Barracuda, in turn, has acquired multiple MSP-focused software companies that offer cloud-based IT automation, management, security and data protection solutions designed for small business customers.

Palo Alto Networks Hires BJ Jenkins: Initial Details

Now, Jenkins arrives at Palo Alto Networks. No doubt, Palo Alto Networks has MSP and MSSP partnerships and the NextWave 3.0 partner program. But the company's direct sales force has been known to trigger channel conflict with partners.

Among the areas of potential concern for some partners: Palo Alto Networks has been moving into direct incident response consulting services and continues to expand its Unit 42 consulting group.

The big question: Will Jenkins' reputation as an MSP go-to-market advocate help Palo Alto Networks to become more channel friendly? Immediate answers to that question are hard to come by.

Still, there are some initial details about where Singh and Jenkins will focus their respective efforts.  According to the Palo Alto Networks executive announcement:

  • As chief business officer, Singh will focus on bolstering the strategic customer relationships in partnership with Jenkins on the company's large deals. Additionally, Singh will partner with chief product officer, Lee Klarich, on driving the "cross-functional speedboats that have helped deliver Palo Alto Networks' industry-leading products."
  • Palo Alto Networks' customer-facing leaders will continue in their current roles, reporting directly to Jenkins.

Palo Alto Networks Executive Team: Prepared Comments

Former Barracuda Networks CEO BJ Jenkins joins Palo Alto Networks
Former Barracuda Networks CEO BJ Jenkins joins Palo Alto Networks

In a prepared statement about the Jenkins hire, Palo Alto Networks CEO Nikesh Arora said:

"We are excited to expand our management team and have BJ join us as we kick off activities for the new financial year. BJ has the security experience, customer understanding, and business acumen needed to lead our world-class go-to-market organization. With Amit focusing on our strategic customers in partnership with BJ, we look forward to building on our position of strength amid increased demand and awareness of cybersecurity."

Added Jenkins:

"I have watched Palo Alto Networks' evolution from a disruptor in network security to the multi-platform cybersecurity category leader. I am delighted to join Palo Alto Networks' world-class management team and help drive the company's continued growth."

Concluded Singh:

"As complex organizations see the benefit in a platform approach to cybersecurity, we are seeing a significant increase in large deals. Building strategic relationships with these customers is a passion of mine, as is helping our business units that drive our performance. I'm excited to concentrate on this to bring us further success."

Stay tuned for more updates to this story.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.