Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

January 11, 2024

4 Min Read
Mike Cullen, channel vet, dies

The channel is mourning the recent death of channel vet Mike Cullen, known as the “Godfather” of the MSP industry.

Cullen served as a transformative leader in the channel for more than 20 years until his retirement last year. Before his death, he was serving as a strategic advisor to John Pagliuca, N-able’s president and CEO. Before that, he was general manager of N-able’s RMM business unit and group vice president of partner enablement.

Prior to joining N‑able, Cullen was vice president of sales (Ottawa branch) and interim president of the Québec region for IKON Office Solutions, where he helped grow the business from $3.5 million to $25 million in just five years. Before that, he co-founded Fulline Office Products and held the role of vice president of sales. He also previously held progressively senior sales management positions with Canon and Pitney Bowes.

“As we come to terms with the sudden passing of a remarkable leader and a dear friend, our organization feels an immense void,” Pagliuca said. “This is a time for us to pause, reflect and honor the profound impact Mike Cullen had on each of us. Mike has been an industry leader and a founding pillar of our N-able community for over 20 years, and he played a pioneering role in helping to shape the industry as we know it today. In due course, we will share more about his legacy and the indelible mark Mike left on our lives and work. For now, our hearts and thoughts go out to Mike’s family, close friends and all who cherished him across the globe.”

Channel Vet Fondly Remembered

Colin Knox, founder and CEO of Gradient MSP, said Cullen was an “incredible man who had nothing but love for MSPs and was an incredible champion for them inside the business of N-able.”

“He always had their best interest at heart, and genuinely poured his soul into finding new and unique ways to contribute to the success of MSPs,” he said. “His presence in the industry will surely be missed, and I will miss the conversations we had.”

Charles Weaver, CEO of MSPAlliance, said Cullen was always positive, the “consummate sales professional, and a passionate believer in the cause of managed services.”

“People throw around words with little thought or intention as to their meaning, but it would not be an understatement or flattery to say that Mike Cullen was a pioneer in the managed services profession,” he said. “He most certainly was. He was a pioneer because what he was accomplishing had never been done before. The MSP profession as it stands today is a large part of Mike’s professional legacy. Who he was to his family and close friends, I will let them speak about who Mike was in that capacity. As for the rest of us, we are indebted to Mike Cullen for what he did in the formative years of managed services and his role in making it what it is today.”

Advocate for MSPs

Ted Clouser, president and CEO of PCA Technology Solutions, said Cullen was “extremely instrumental" to the growth of his business.

“He was always challenging me to think bigger and was the reason we attended our first N-Able conference overseas because I needed to see how different it was,” he said. “He was an advocate for MSPs desiring to grow and an incredible man. The 'Godfather' will be dearly missed.”

Ted Warner, owner of Point Capital, said he “loved” Cullen.

“I had the pleasure of working very closely with Mike in the early days and ongoing evolution of the MSP practice," he said. "Mike was always incredibly supportive and encouraging toward business owners like myself. From my perspective, Mike was the best salesperson I ever had met. He treated clients and potential clients with respect, and had an uncanny way of making people feel very important and respected. He also was so fun to be around. He didn’t get his nickname ‘the director of food & beverage’ by accident. Mike was always wanting to entertain his prospects and existing clients, and he wanted to make them feel special. On top of everything else, Mike was a very informed and keen businessperson. I would talk with Mike frequently about business issues I was having. I totally respected his input and his perspective on our industry. I will certainly miss my friend Mike Cullen.”

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MSPs

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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