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Palo Alto Networks Ignite: New Role for Karl Soderlund, NextWave Program Updates

Karl Soderlund will now focus on North America's channel ecosystems.

Edward Gately

December 13, 2022

7 Slides

PALO ALTO NETWORKS IGNITE — New NextWave partner program enhancements and a new role for channel leader Karl Soderlund were all unveiled during the Partner Summit on the eve of Palo Alto Networks Ignite 2022.

This is the 10th anniversary of Palo Alto Networks Ignite. The company expects some 2,500 cybersecurity professionals in person with thousands more joining virtually. The theme of this year’s Ignite is “securing the way forward.”

Soderlund (pictured above) has stepped down from his role as Palo Alto Networks’ senior vice president of worldwide channel sales to take on the new role of senior vice president of North America ecosystems.

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Palo Alto Networks’ Karl Soderlund

Tom Evans, vice president of worldwide channel sales strategy, is taking over Soderlund’s responsibilities on the global channel side.

Don Jones, Palo Alto Networks’ senior vice president of global ecosystems, is the company’s global channel leader.

Driving North America’s Ecosystem

“I’ve been on board for five years driving the channel structure, the programs, the growth and the strategy,” Soderlund said. “At the global role, you’re in a position of influence to all of the theaters to make sure they are consistent. Now with the dramatic growth of the business, I’m going into the North America role to drive the overall ecosystem. So that’s all routes to market. That includes GSIs, service providers, solution providers, cloud service providers (CSPs) and distribution, driving growth in that business, which is a multibillion-dollar business and growing at close to 30% year over year.”

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Palo Alto Networks’ Don Jones

His new North America role includes building strategy. He’ll also manage the North America team, and align with partners and customers to drive growth.

“Tom’s been in my organization on the global side for a long time,” Soderlund said. “It just made natural sense for him to be enabled and empowered now to continue what we built there and continue to grow it.”

‘Significant’ Investments in Ecosystems

Palo Alto Networks‘ ecosystems of partners have never been more critical to the company’s success, Jones said. And the company is making “significant” investments to support them. That includes creating ecosystems lead roles in each theater (EMEA, Americas and Japan Asia-Pacific).

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Palo Alto Networks’ Tom Evans

“Patricia Murphy recently joined us to lead the ecosystems business in EMEA,” he said. “And Karl will lead the ecosystems business in  the Americas. As senior vice president of North America ecosystems, Karl will have responsibility for the sales execution across all partner types (distribution, VAR, MSP, service provider, SI etc.). With Karl taking on this role, Tom Evans will continue his role as vice president of worldwide channel strategy. [He’ll] assume responsibility globally for the long-term strategy regarding our NextWave program, as well as global distribution.”

Scroll through our slideshow above for more from Palo Alto Networks Ignite Partner Summit.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Edward Gately or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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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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