Channel chiefs, Channel partner programs, Content, Networking

McAfee SVP Kathleen Curry: The ChannelE2E Interview

Kathleen Curry, SVP, McAfee
Kathleen Curry, senior VP, McAfee

Take a fresh look at McAfee, and you'll notice new c-level executives, and new managed security services that partners can deliver to end-customers.

This year's high-profile changes -- at least so far -- include naming BMC veteran Peter Leav as CEO, and hiring Apple veteran Kathleen Curry  as senior VP to oversee global enterprise channels, OEM and strategic alliances. Leav arrived in February 2020, and Curry joined in April 2020.

Fast forward to present day. How is Curry settling into the position, and what initiatives might she have in store for partners? In an email interview with ChannelE2E, Curry provides these perspectives.

ChannelE2E: How did you learn about the opportunity at McAfee?

Curry: I’ve worked with McAfee’s CEO, Peter Leav, at a previous company. He reached out and after he explained the role, I knew it would be a great fit for me at a company with an important mission.

ChannelE2E: What attracted you to the company? Was there anything in particular about the interview process or your research about the company that triggered your interest in the position?

Curry: The growth opportunity in an exciting industry peaked my interest. And knowing the opportunity was with a well-known brand and learning of the strong product portfolio made it even more compelling.

ChannelE2E: What are your key priorities for the first 90 days on the job?

 Curry: Top of my list is listening and learning. I am spending these early days at McAfee meeting new internal colleagues, as well as reaching out to our partner community. Also high on my to-do list is making it easier to partner with McAfee and finding new opportunities for partner growth. 

I am still learning, but I do believe we have a strong foundation in the MPACT Partner Program. There is always opportunity to improve, drive better focus, and evaluate investments. I am fortunate to have a tenured channel team and partner community to lean on as I learn more about our partner program and field engagement.

I do think we have an opportunity in the area of partner enablement and services. Enablement is fundamental to overall partner success and growth. My team has been working hard to bring new enablement programs and content to partners around the world. In regards to services, we have an opportunity to more clearly articulate the opportunity partners have to attach services to McAfee sales, as well as refine our programs to support that effort. Both will continue to be important areas of focus.

Also important is that we are clear, consistent, and fair in our channel approach. As I learn more and we identify opportunities to improve our program, our partners can count on frequent communication from us.

ChannelE2E: What are your longer-term priorities, particularly as they pertain to partners?

Curry: Growth and profitability are the priorities long-term. Not only do we need programs and structure to support that, we also need a field go-to-market approach that emulates it.

ChannelE2E: Are there particular types of partners (size, focus, business model, vertical, etc.) that you’re seeking to engage?

Curry: We want to continue providing the best support possible to those partners that have greatly invested in McAfee. As we look to grow, I believe there are great opportunities with security-focused service providers and MSP’s that we need to explore.

ChannelE2E: What support is needed in the channel during this pandemic and how is McAfee stepping up to help?

Curry: The channel needs flexibility and innovation from vendors. We will get through this time, especially by working closely together.

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.