Russia-based security vendor Kaspersky Lab has announced changes at the top of its North American organization, with longtime president Steve Orenberg stepping down and leaving the company, and former B2B sales chief Chris Doggett taking over at the top in the new position of managing director.
Doggett joined Kaspersky Lab two years ago as vice president of North American channel sales, and a year ago was promoted to senior vice president of corporate sales. Before that, he spent more than six years in channel leadership roles at Sophos, ending his time there as the company’s global channel chief.
One of Doggett’s first big jobs in in his new role will be to fill his former position, heading up corporate sales for North America. While he said there are some internal candidates, Doggett suggested the company would likely go outside the company for the role, and that there were several prospects among people he’s worked with in the past or who he knows rom the industry.
“We’ve been growing at a clip that’s several times above the industry in the business-to-business space, and we’re looking to continue that. We’re looking for an all-star,” Doggett said. “We just had Eugene [Kaspersky, CEO] and Garry [Kondakov, sales and marketing chief] in here for some internal meetings, and we have very strong support from senior leadership to expand the B2B business unit and pursue opportunities for growth.”
Kaspersky divides its business into two parts – consumer and corporate. Consumer has been the company’s traditional strongpoint, under senior vice president of North American commercial sales Justin Priestley. Doggett suggested Priestley will continue to run the business he’s run for the last six years, and while Doggett will work with him on that business, much of the new managing director’s time will be spent on the rapidly growing but still comparatively young corporate business.
“Justin’s got a couple of decades of leadership there, and consumer is the big core engine for us,” Doggett said. “But the B2B engine has been the primary source of growth and high performance from a business standpoint for us. After I refill my old position, my goal is going to be to work with that leader to continue what we’ve started in the B2B space. We’ve got opportunities to accelerate the growth rates.”
Those opportunities include its growing public sector and a midmarket segment (defined by Kaspersky as 250 to 2,5000 seats) which “has been very high growth for us.” Kaspersky has built the corporate business from the ground up, and started out parlaying its consumer strength into success in the SMB space. But with the launch of an expanded security repertoire through its Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business product last year, it began building the case with larger businesses. That’s meaning some explosive growth – “well into the upper half of double digits” year-over-year in the enterprise space in the first quarter.
With that expanding portfolio, the company needs its partners to think broader as well, and Doggett said Kaspersky still has work to be done in terms of “having all our partners become proficient in all of the additional functionality that existing in KESB.”
Still, the company is seeing the results of the parts of the channel that have become familiar with the new functionality in KESB getting the market. Doggett said the company has seen an increase in average selling price as partners have learned more about the new features, and how they fit with business needs, leading to more partners selling more of the company’s upper-end Advanced and Total KESB offerings.
Doggett said his new role will give him wider responsibilities, but he expects to keep close to the company’s partner base and maintain visbility in the channel.
“I have channel and partnerships in my DNA, having come from the reseller world and having spend more than a decade in the channel,” he said. “I’m not going anywhere.”