ForeScout Worldwide Channel Chief Todd DeBell Leaves Company After 17 Months

ForeScout global channel chief Todd DeBell has left the company just months after launching a partner program focused on helping solution providers capture IoT security opportunities. 

DeBell came over from FireMon and served as ForeScout's vice president of global channel sales for 17 months. During that time, DeBell established a partner program that transitioned more of ForeScout's professional services capabilities to the channel and embraced more of a regional focus to drive partner investment overseas.

DeBell had regularly posted about ForeScout on Twitter and LinkedIn but stopped doing so just over a month ago. 

[Related: ForeScout Technologies Files For IPO, Reveals Channel Partners Make Up More Than 80 Percent Of Revenue

"I am very proud of the work the ForeScout global channel team accomplished," DeBell said, in an email to CRN. "I am looking forward to speaking with you soon about my next opportunity."

He didn't respond to questions about the timing or reason for his departure.

ForeScout confirmed DeBell's departure and said that worldwide channel sales would continue to be overseen by SVP of Worldwide Commercial Sales Brian Gumbel, who was DeBell's supervisor. The company didn’t respond to questions regarding the timing or reasons for DeBell's exit.

"ForeScout remains committed to its channel strategy and program, enabling channel partners around the world to maximize their opportunity for growth and profitability," the company said in an email.

One partner, who wished to remain anonymous, said DeBell was seen as an “advocate to ForeScout’s channel strategy” after unveiling the new partner program.

"We were disappointed to hear about Todd’s departure, as he tried to energize their channel strategy … We will be looking at ForeScout’s future channel messaging going forward," said the partner. "It’s a good opportunity to continue to build their relationship with the channel.

"We don't want them to build up their direct sales teams," the partner said. "If they do, we're in competition with them, and it's harder to motivate sales teams to drive deals."

DeBell told CRN in March that ForeScout was in the process of moving its professional services business from going 70 percent direct to going 60 percent through channel partners to drive more margin and more dollars to the solution provider's bottom line.

"Essentially, what we've said is, 'Look, the v in value-add, we want you to step up and actually provide the v,'" DeBell said.

The company's professional services team is now being measured on pushing the majority of its professional services and successful customer deployments through the channel, ForeScout Chief Strategy Officer Pedro Abreu told CRN in February.

ForeScout filed for an initial public offering at the start of October and reported a loss of $74.8 million on 2016 sales of $166.8 million, with 86 percent of that revenue coming from the channel. The company's stock officially began trading on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange on Oct. 27.

The company's partner community has doubled in size since ForeScout expanded its channel program globally in 2016, going from over 300 to about 620 solution providers as of February 2017, according to DeBell's 2017 CRN Channel Chiefs profile. ForeScout was also on track to triple its number of certifications in 2017 through targeting partner training at the executive level, DeBell said.

ForeScout sees a lot of its channel business go to the public sector as well as midsized and large businesses on the commercial side, DeBell told CRN in March. DeBell told CRN at the time of his hire that he decided to join ForeScout because of the "huge opportunity" he sees for partners in securing the Internet of Things.

"I think we're primed for a big growth spurt if we can get more partners engaged and trained to tell the story," DeBell said in July 2016.   

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