Coverage! If there is one thing the new president of McAfee Canada wants to accomplish during his first year in charge is filling in all the coverage gaps in the Canadian market through the channel.
Villeneuve replaces Ross Allen, who was appointed president of McAfee UK & Ireland.
Villeneuve is a channel veteran who has held executive positions with Sun Microsystems Canada and GE Capital. While at NCR Canada, Villeneuve made growing the NCR’s indirect channel a priority and grew that business to from very little to more than 15 per cent of NCR’s overall revenue.
After implementing a 90 day plan for McAfee Canada, Villeneuve told CDN that his first priority is to develop incentive for channel partners to invest more in McAfee to meet all the customer demands across the country. Villeneuve took time out to talk to CDN about this among other priorities.
The following interview is from an edited transcript.
CDN Now: How did it come about that you got the position of McAfee Canada president?
Luc Villeneuve: My stay at NCR Europe was a time-table situation and I decided to come back to Canada. I found out that Ross Allen was being promoted to run McAfee Ireland and we knew each other when he was a channel partner with Sun Microsystems Canada (Villeneuve work at Sun Canada between the years 2004 to 2008 as its VP of sales). We got to talking and he helped me get into the formal interview process for this job.
CDN Now: Your experience is with Sun and NCR, hardware mainly hardware vendors. Why do you want to run a security vendor?
L.V.: If you look at my background, I worked for GE, Sun, NCR, Digital Equipment and Bell (BCE) I’ve changed sectors every time I changed companies. By doing that I’ve gotten the change to learn many industries and I wanted to add security to what I’ve done. I look at security as a new area of growth. Security was always on the top of my list of new sectors and McAfee offers a full end-to-end offering from desktop to cloud and mobility, the network and app security.
CDN Now: Who do you report to at McAfee?
L.V.: Ross Allen is still helping me with the transition and I will report to the North American VP, Mike Carpenter. In my first few months on the job; actually it’s been six weeks I’ve put in a 90 day plan. The first thing to do was to learn the business, our offerings, and go-to-market strategy. I spent time with customers and channel partners. The channel is vital for McAfee Canada as we need to work together. We do 100 per cent business with the channel and our end user sales force manages a few accounts, but always involves partners in the sales cycle either on the front or back end.
CDN Now: What happened at NCR Europe? People in the channel told me it was family that pulled you back home?
L.V.: I went there and I brought my family over. I knew there as going to be a lot of travel and I got to visit places like Russia, Italy, Turkey and Greece. But I realized that I was spending more than 90 per cent of my time in the air and so after eight months of that I knew that’s what life would be like. And, for personal reasons it wasn’t the lifestyle that I wanted for my family and we decided to come back to Canada.
CDN Now: How are you going to be put the Luc Villeneuve stamp on McAfee Canada?
L.V.: Ross Allen did a fantastic job to grow the business and establish a footprint for McAfee in Canada. I have to take that and keep growing it. I believe we have a few sections of Canada that are not covered. I think it’s more of a coverage discussion. I need to take all the good of McAfee and take it to new areas of the country. I need to spend time with the channel here and ask them to invest more to grow in the enterprise for example. I think we have a good brand there but there is more to do there. Then there is the commercial area and we have done a reasonable job there too but again there is much more to do in that space. We need to give more of effort there and look at these accounts and add more incentives to the channel partners. In the SMB space we make more than 100 calls a week to capture the business. The consumer business is what we are renowned for. We need to keep that going with retailers in the field. For me it’s a lot about continuing what we have been doing in the past two years to three years. My stamp on McAfee is my knowledge of different industries and my background. I have a new appreciation for the channel program. I think it plays really well with our growth plans with the channel. The channel program is rich and I know partners can make money with it and do more services around our brand. That is my message to partner community.