Top Gun 51 Profile: Pat Hurley’s Acronis Cyber Protection Journey

Patrick Hurley didn’t start out in tech, but followed his interests after beginning his career in finance.

Todd R. Weiss

August 19, 2020

5 Min Read
Top Gun 51 Profile: Pat Hurley’s Acronis Cyber Protection Journey

At the start of his career, Acronis’ Patrick Hurley didn’t plan to be working in cyber protection.

Instead, after graduating from college, he joined the world of finance with Putnam Investments. Soon he moved into the mortgage industry with Nation One Mortgage and then to the former IndyMac Bank. But in 2008, life intervened and Hurley went to work for Acronis, following an interest he had in technology. Today, Hurley serves as Acronis VP and general manager for the Americas.

In his work at the Switzerland-based backup and disaster recovery provider, Hurley has gained a reputation as someone who effectively works with partners and customers daily.


Acronis’ Patrick Hurley

That’s the kind of leadership that earned Hurley’s selection as a Channel Partners Top Gun 51 award winner for 2020. The award recognizes channel executives who are driving partner success for their companies. Judges considered three criteria for this year’s winners. They are channel advocacy; commitment to partner business success; and dedication to earning the channel’s trust. To come up with the list, we solicited input from those who know channel executives best — distributors, master agents and industry analysts.

Hurley recently talked with Channel Futures about how he got started in the channel and found his career niche.

Channel Futures: Before joining Acronis 12 years ago, you had a very different career path. Initially, you worked in the banking and mortgage industries after earning your degree in political science at Boston College. So, after that, what brought you to working in the channel?

Acronis’ Patrick Hurley is part of Channel Partners/Channel Futures’ 2020 Top Gun 51. This program recognizes today’s channel executives who build and execute channel programs that drive partner, customer and supplier success. See the full list.

Patrick Hurley: In college, I had no idea what I wanted to do or what I wanted to be. When I was in school, I had a big interest in philosophy and history. I started out right after college in the financial services industry. Quickly I found out it wasn’t for me. I wanted to be in sales. So I got into the mortgage industry, but that tanked in the Great Recession of 2007. I always had a passion for technology, but I didn’t know a ton about it. I wanted to get my foot in the door and into the space.

CF: So that’s how you eventually landed at Acronis working with cyber protection products?

PH: I came in at fairly entry-level sales position to start. Then I started to rise through the ranks, from sales to account manager. I was then a territory manager, a sales manager, a director and then managed the public sector business. I got to know the channel well, then transitioned to an SMB role, which exposed me to a broader role. Ultimately, I became the VP of a region and was promoted to VP and GM of the Americas in 2015.

CP: What are your impressions about the channel today in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic?

PH: It’s a new world right now, and we’re still adapting to a new normal. It’s even harder getting the attention of our partners and customers. There are so many virtual events competing with each other. It makes it harder to …

… hone your message. Obviously, I’ve got existing partner relationships, so if I make a call, they pick it up. But it’s harder to reach new partners right now.

CP: What has COVID-19 meant to the industry and Acronis’ cyber protection work in the channel?

PH: The channel has proven to me that it’s an important group of people to be working with right now. It has really supported our reach and business. If we were direct sales today and didn’t work with the channel, I think we we’d be struggling right now. I think the fact that we are working with the channel gives us a much broader reach.

CP: In your work, what are your thoughts on leadership? How do you strive to provide leadership to your Acronis cyber protection team?

PH: I simplify it in three words when I talk to my team or to people in the channel: Attitude. Passion. Commitment. I learned this from a previous boss in my career. I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to work with some great leaders here. I think these three words relate to all parts of life. Come to work with the right attitude. Employees will see that and partners will see that. On passion, passion sells. At the end of the day, if you don’t have passion, you should be doing something else. And when I talk to my team or anyone about commitment, it’s about a commitment to yourself. If you are committed to yourself and doing the right things, then naturally it’s going to reflect on your business. I try to carry myself on those three principles and I think it’s worked out pretty well.

CP: What do you do for enjoyment away from work?

PH: I mostly spend time with my family. We have a 9-year-old, a 5-year-old and a 7-month-old. When I’m not 100% focused on Acronis, then I’m 100% focused on them and my lovely wife.

CP: What were your thoughts about being named as one of the 2020 Channel Partners Top Gun 51 award winners?

PH: I had no idea that someone nominated me. I found out through an email. A partner nominated me. I took a step back. It’s nice to get that recognition. This was special.

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About the Author(s)

Todd R. Weiss

Todd R. Weiss is an award-winning technology journalist who covers open source and Linux, cloud service providers, cloud computing, virtualization, containers and microservices, mobile devices, security, enterprise applications, enterprise IT, software development and QA, IoT and more. He has worked previously as a staff writer for Computerworld and, covering a wide variety of IT beats. He spends his spare time working on a book about an unheralded member of the 1957 Milwaukee Braves, watching classic Humphrey Bogart movies and collecting toy taxis from around the world.

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