Cisco Vet Becomes Rubrik's First Chief Commercial Officer

Since day one, Rubrik has employed a 100% channel go-to-market strategy.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

May 1, 2019

5 Min Read

Rubrik, the cloud data management company, has appointed Wendy Bahr, Cisco’s former channel chief, as its first chief commercial officer.

Bahr is responsible for Rubrik’s MSP, global SI and channel partners, hardware and software alliances, inside sales and professional services teams.


Rubrik’s Wendy Bahr

“Since day one, Rubrik has employed a 100% channel go-to-market strategy,” said Brett Shirk, Rubrik’s chief revenue officer. “Wendy’s extensive enterprise experience and her customer-first approach to sales and channel leadership is a tremendous addition to Rubrik’s executive team. She will serve as an accelerant for our already strong sales growth, and the growth of our partners.”

Here’s our list of channel people on the move in April.

Bahr joins Rubrik from an 18-year tenure at Cisco. She was appointed Cisco’s global channel chief in 2015 when Bruce Klein stepped down from the job during an executive shake-up. In her prior position, she led the America’s Partner Organization. Bahr worked with Cisco channel partners throughout her entire career with the company.

“Wendy is hands down one of the most trusted and respected channel executives I have worked with during my career,” said John Chambers, founder and CEO of JC2 Ventures, and Cisco’s chairman emeritus. “Rubrik has done a fantastic job of capitalizing on the shift to cloud and the resulting proliferation of data to become a ‘must have’ software platform for enterprise IT teams. The addition of Wendy to Rubrik’s leadership team will fuel even greater growth for the company.”

In a Q&A with Channel Partners, Bahr talks about why she wanted to join Rubrik and what she plans to accomplish in the months ahead.

Channel Partners: Why did you want to join Rubrik?

Wendy Bahr: After years at Cisco, I was intrigued at the prospect of consulting or working for a startup. After doing my research and consulting with partners, it was clear that disrupting the $48 billion data management market presents one of the biggest opportunities in the enterprise.

The more I learned about Rubrik, the more excited I became. Not many companies have innovated and executed better than Rubrik in the last five years, and I wanted to join the company to help continue driving success at a global scale so we become the next B2B technology powerhouse.

CP: What’s your take on Rubrik’s channel strategy? Are changes needed?

WB: Experience has taught me that successful organizations put their customers and partners first, and this mentality has clearly been a part of Rubrik’s DNA and approach over the past five years. The co-founders built Rubrik’s platform based on customer feedback — and the company has gone to market 100% through the channel since day one.

The company just launched its first Velocity Partner Program, and it’s exciting to introduce this tiered system to recognize authorized, select and elite partners. Coupled with Rubrik Academy, we have a lot of different initiatives in place as we continue building out our partner programs and rewards.

We plan to continue channel enablement through a rich services opportunity set and reward partners for their capabilities — and the entire global organization is designed to continuously collect, measure and evolve based on our customers’ and partners’ feedback.

CP: How will your previous experience come into play in this new role?

WB: At Cisco, I most recently served as the senior vice president of the global partner organization, global virtual sales and global customer success, and I’ll bring the experience, skills and best practices I’ve learned in the past to help drive partner and customer success here at Rubrik.

My top priority has always been …

… listening to partners, customers and employees to understand their view of the landscape and how we should continue to innovate and evolve. That priority will remain constant in this role. Partners will be a tremendous force multiplier for Rubrik and bring important value added capabilities and services resulting in 1+1 = 3, and that’s very powerful.  We also have the opportunity to lean into relationships through our Technology Alliance Program, and it’ll be exciting to work with the team to expand functionality through this program as well.

CP: What’s at the top of your to-do list?

WB: In my first 90 days with Rubrik, a lot of my time will be spent understanding our ecosystems experience with Rubrik: what partners and customers love, what can we improve, and how can we accelerate growth together.

I also plan to take time to focus on internal alignment among our go-to-market functions from sales to alliances, to channel and services to ensure that we are properly aligned to continue our explosive growth.

CP: What do you hope to have accomplished a year from now?

WB: Looking back a year from now, I’m hopeful to have contributed to Rubrik’s elevation as a world-class technology powerhouse. This is a great opportunity to take what I’ve learned over the years, apply it and help Rubrik become a multibillion-dollar company that can help partners around the world with driving exponential growth and value. Rubrik has had tremendous execution over the past five years, and I’m excited to work with Brett and the team to take Rubrik to the next level.

The most important thing for the channel is to continue to ensure Rubrik has connected alignment across sales, alliances, channel and professional services to delight customers, and provide profitability and growth for our partners. If a year from now, these functions provide the connective tissue for partner profitability and success, then it will have been a very good year.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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