Sources: McAfee Global Channel Chief Steranka Out As Part Of Broader Set Of Layoffs


McAfee global channel chief Richard Steranka is no longer with the company as part of a broader set of layoffs affecting the organization, sources told CRN.

Steranka was one of between 12 and 15 McAfee executives let go, sources said. News about the departures was disseminated July 10, with the layoffs impacting several people in McAfee's channel organization as well as a few people from other divisions, according to one source.

McAfee said it couldn't comment on internal resourcing matters. Steranka did not respond to requests for comment.

Steranka joined the Santa Clara, Calif.-based vendor from Avaya in August 2015 as head of global channel sales and operations and helped spearhead an increase in incentives for Platinum-level partners as well as the buildout of a managed security service partner program. Steranka's biography and the partner management team homepage were removed from the McAfee website over the weekend.

[Related: McAfee Re-Enters Mobile Security Space, Unveils Other New Offerings]

"Whenever we did work with [Steranka], he was extremely helpful. We liked him," the source told CRN. "Our dealings with him were always straightforward."

Longtime McAfee leader and Americas channel chief Ken McCray remains with the company, according to sources.

Steranka's departure comes 15 months after TPG Capital spun out McAfee from Intel in a $4.2 billion deal, and 11 months after a round of layoffs that impacted McAfee's channel unit as well as other areas of the company.

The source told CRN that Steranka was instrumental in getting executive-level backing and recognizing that the company's engineering expertise allows it to be more than just a reseller. Steranka's no-nonsense demeanor also made him easy to work with.  

"Richard removed some roadblocks for us," the source said.

Steranka's advocacy ensured that the source had a seat at the table with higher-level McAfee executives during conferences such as RSA rather than only meeting with regional leaders, resulting in a better overall relationship.

The source said the company has doubled its McAfee sales over the past few years with Steranka at the helm, and had been expecting its McAfee-related business to increase by an additional 25 percent in 2018.    

However, the source is disappointed that nobody from McAfee has communicated why Steranka and the others were let go or how the loss of several members of McAfee's channel organization will impact the company's direction and partner community.

And with smaller security companies like Cylance, CrowdStrike and SentinelOne matching and sometimes besting McAfee in evaluations such as the Gartner Magic Quadrant, Forrester Wave or NSS Labs tests, the source said the company has found itself with questions about what's going on at McAfee.

"McAfee seems to be the company that's always changing but never changes," the source said. "It just looks like they're a little lost right now."