MSP, Networking, Small business

AVG Technologies, SMB Leader Part Ways

Mike Foreman
Mike Foreman

AVG Technologies and Senior VP Mike Foreman have parted ways, according to sources close to AVG. Foreman's apparent departure comes amid an SMB business unit shakeup and 35 AVG employee layoffs, as first reported by ChannelE2E last week.

Foreman had been general manager of AVG's SMB business, which includes such solutions as CloudCareManaged Workplace and Privax. Asked to comment on Foreman's status and AVG's SMB leadership, a spokesman said AVG would likely be available to discuss its strategy this week.

What AVG Has Said

Gary Kovacs

During an earnings call last week, CEO Gary Kovacs conceded that the SMB unit wasn't growing as quickly as expected. Without disclosing specific employee names, Kovacs announced a shakeup on that call. "This restructuring and leadership changes, we believe, will put us in the right position to capitalize on a large and growing opportunity," Kovacs said.

AVG has remained in growth mode -- though the company isn't growing as quickly as Wall Street had hoped. Revenue jumped 17 percent to $108.2 million in Q3 2015 vs. Q3 2014. Moreover, total paid users grew 43 percent to over 20 million. More than 6 million of those users are in the mobile world.

Speed to Consumption: Simply Different

Still, AVG essentially has two different business models under one roof. One involves freemium IT security solution -- which customers can consume rapidly.  The other involves MSP-centric software like Managed Workplace, which AVG acquired in 2013 from Level Platforms. Managed Workplace typically involves longer sales cycles, more training and more ongoing service and support than freemium security software.

Can AVG balance those two different speed-to-consumption models? Plus, who currently leads the company's SMB efforts? Sources close to AVG say a new SMB leader is in place. We're hoping to interview him or her once AVG is ready to issue an official comment on the SMB leadership strategy.

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.