Symantec Canada veteran Fred Patterson replaced as channel chief

After a nine-year stint with the security vendor, Fred Patterson is no longer Symantec Canada’s man in the channel.

CDN has learned that Patterson is out as director of channels at Symantec Canada, and has been replaced by Jim Willis. Symantec promoted from within; Willis was previously director of enterprise sales with the vendor.

In an e-mail statement to CDN, Sean Forkan, vice-president and general manager of Symantec Canada, confirmed the departure of Patterson and the appointment of Willis to the channel role, effective last month. Other than confirming that Patterson was no longer with the company, Forkan did not disclose any details about the nature of Patterson’s departure.

His statement did hint, though, that the move may be related to the ongoing restructuring at Symantec.

According to Forkan, Willis will be responsible for all aspects of Symantec Canada’s channel management, operations and development.

“Willis has over a decade-long career at Symantec, where he held a variety of leadership roles,” said Forkan. “Most recently as director of enterprise sales, leading and significantly growing Symantec’s large enterprise business within the Canadian marketplace.”

Willis joined Symantec in 2002 as a regional manager for field sales, steadily rising through the ranks. Prior to Symantec, he was Canadian sales director for Pivotal, and also held roles with Blue Martini Software, PeopleSoft and Oracle.

When asked if the move would involve any change to Symanec’s go to market and channel approach in Canada, Forkan reaffirmed the vendor’s commitment to the indirect model, but hinted further change could be in the offing.

“We’re still working out the specifics, but Symantec will definitely continue to rely heavily on the channel,” said Forkan. “We can’t do this by ourselves.  Partnerships will play a very strategic and intricate part of our go-to-market strategy in multiple ways so that we can reach our goals for increasing organic growth and market share.”

Symantec’s new CEO Steve Bennett laid out a 24-month plan for restricting the company in January, and at the Symantec Vision conference in April he said the channel would be a key part of a new go-to-market strategy that will roll out July 1. Forkan said at the time that the “Symantec 4.0” model will mean a bigger role for channel partners.

After graduating from Wilfrid Laurier, Patterson’s resume included stints as channel sales manager for Central Point Software, country manager for Micrografix and vice-president of worldwide sales for Waterloo Maple before joining Symantec in 2004.

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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