Sophos appoints channel guru as Aussie boss

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Sophos appoints channel guru as Aussie boss
Ashley Wearne.

In good news for Sophos’ Australian channel, former Adobe channel boss Ashley Wearne has been appointed to the newly-created position of general manager across Australia and New Zealand. 

Wearne’s 25 years of experience includes channel and national sales stints at the likes at Novell, Unisys and McAfee. 

Wearne will be based in Sydney and will report to recently-appointed Singapore-based APAC boss Stuart Fisher. Fisher took on the job in April after former MD Rob Forsyth moved into a non-executive director role.

Wearne’s remit as local boss includes a strong channel focus. He will have a big involvement in growing Sophos’ A/NZ channel as part of the company’s new channel strategy, announced in April.

Sophos signed up its first New Zealand distributor, Connector Systems, in April following Fisher’s appointment. It later signed Distribution Central's security business division Firewall Systems as its first Australian distributor

Sophos went live with its Distribution Central partnership on July 1, and in the last month has been bedding down the distribution process. Fisher said Sophos will now focus on the recruitment and engagement of new partners. 

The company had previously relied on a “hybrid” channel structure across the region. Upon Fisher’s appointment the new APAC boss decided to unify 700 Australian partners and 40 from New Zealand under one structure supported by a distribution tier.

Sophos reported growing 20 percent in Australia last year, helped by a 90 percent customer renewal rate.

The company is now predominantly focused on new business. Fisher said accessing fresh partners through its newly appointed Australian distributor would help address this.

He told CRN Sophos APAC had recorded 27 percent growth in its 2012 financial year, compared to 17 percent globally, and said Wearne was the best person to manage that growth.

“It was important to find a candidate that is both the right fit for the organisation and very capable of effectively managing a large team to meet the goals we’ve set to ensure Sophos’s ongoing success in the region,” Fisher said in a statement.

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