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SonicWall Names New Chief Revenue Officer, Expands Channel Team

Kate McIntyre
Kate McIntyre
HoJin Kim
Bob VanKirk

SonicWall Senior VP of Strategic Sales Robert VanKirk is stepping up into the chief revenue officer (CRO) position, succeeding Steve Pataky. The transition comes as SonicWall plans to expand its global sales team and increase its marketing investments, the partner-centric cybersecurity company said in a prepared statement today.

Among the key moves to note:

  • VanKirk previously focused on key verticals, the US Federal Government and strategic partners. Pataky will be stepping away to take some time for his family and to pursue new opportunities, the company says.
  • HoJin Kim, formerly VP of North America channel sales, moves to VP of global channel sales.
  • And Kate McIntyre has joined from Security Compass as VP of inside sales.

SonicWall: Post-Dell Momentum

Steve Pataky

SonicWall spun off from Dell Technologies in 2016 and has gained considerable momentum across the IT channel -- particularly with MSPs and emerging MSSPs. In the past calendar year, the company generated $700 million in deal registration and expanded the SecureFirst partner program to more than 17,600 partners, Pataky indicated. Also, the company completed more than 140,000 hours of training and 275,000 successful exams as part of the SonicWallUniversity over the last two years, he added.

VanKirk is well-known in SonicWall partner circles, so the transition to his role as CRO should be a smooth one. Still, there's no denying that Pataky is a highly respected forced in the channel -- so partners will be watching closely to ensure the transition truly is seamless.

In an email to partners, Pataky said that he'll remain with the company though April, and that VanKirk will maintain the company's 100 percent partner focus.

SonicWall CEO Bill Conner: The Bigger Picture

SonicWall CEO Bill Conner

Pataky's decision to exit SonicWall likely prompted CEO Bill Conner to look at his entire sales roster heading into 2019. Conner has been known to fine-tune SonicWall's roster every few months, bringing in more talent to round out a channel-centric leadership team. The ongoing talent expansion has also boosted R&D, where the company has aggressively pushed beyond SonicWall's classic firewall heritage, most recently adding SD-WAN known-how to the portfolio.

Conner's overarching strategy involves SonicWall's Capture Cloud Platform -- which integrates security, management, analytics and real-time threat intelligence across SonicWall’s network, email, mobile and cloud security products.

SonicWall is privately held, so the company doesn't disclose revenue and profit figures. Anecdotal evidence suggests the business has been in strong growth mode -- prompting rivals such as Fortinet to come down into the SMB market with aggressive channel moves.

Both companies -- any many other security firms -- have introduced more formal MSSP partner initiatives in recent months.

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.