Moses departs Watchguard

Moses departs Watchguard

US security appliance vendor, Watchguard, has replaced its Australian managing director Moheb Moses after a "difference of opinion" about future growth and an "appalling" sales month.

Moses has been replaced by Sven Radavics, Watchguard's former technical services director.

Moses said he'd had a great time at Watchguard but that the same company wasn't the one he joined 10 months ago.

Watchguard started moving in a different direction and the new Asia-Pacific vice president, Jeff Hurmuses, "had his ideas and I had my ideas." January sales were also "appalling...very weak".

"I would like to think my departure wasn't for one poor month," Moses said.

He said there was no acrimony in his departure, he had received a pay-off and been well looked.

In his short time, Moses said he cleaned up the (Watchguard) channel to improve profitability, cutting distributor numbers in Australia from four to three (removing ACA Pacific). But more resellers were recruited.

Moses said he also increased advertising and appointed a new PR company.

There was little press coverage of the company when he first started.

Fresh in the managing director role, Radvavics said he had set himself the aggressive target of improving sales by 50 per cent a quarter. He said the goal was achievable because the sales would come from such a low base, and would be helped by the channel improvements he planned, along with new Watchdog products expected this year.

Sydney-based Radavics also planned to strengthen the channel by improving training, employing an extra staffer to visit 15 resellers a week, and boosting advertising.

Radavics, who was in Bangkok for a company quarterly meeting, said analyst reports showed that Watchguard led in many overseas markets but remained a challenger in Australia and New Zealand.

The newly-launched Firebox X had been the company's most successful launch in his 5-6 years with the company, but Watchguard had traditionally underperformed, Radavics said.

"It was a mutual decision. The company wanted to grow in one way. I guess Moheb had different ideas," Radavics said of his predecessor. Watchguard has appointed former IT consultant, Sydney-based Andrew Phillips as A/NZ sales engineer, plus a few more sales and channel staff in the rest of the Asia-Pacific.

Its only other Australian staffer is Asia-Pacific manager, Geanne Lin, but more are promised if certain targets are met.

"We are looking at taking market share from a number of vendors," Radavics said. "We haven’t been close to our channel partners in this market. I have set [Phillips] the target of meeting 15 resellers every week for 48 weeks a year. This sort of channel interaction has never been specified before."

Meanwhile, Moses, a former Asia-Pacific sales director for Citix, is looking for a new job. He hopes to stay within the IT channel.

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