Ashley Wearne has vacated his position as general manager of Sophos across Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ), exiting the business after almost seven years.
Sources close to ARN can confirm that the leader has transitioned out of the role, informing internal staff and channel partners in the process.
At this stage, ARN understands that the security vendor has no direct replacement lined up, and is actively searching for a suitable candidate both internally and externally.
Wearne joined Sophos in August 2012, leveraging more than 25 years experience in the security and software markets both locally and across Asia and Europe.
Prior to Sophos, Wearne held management positions at Adobe in A/NZ and Asia Pacific, having previously spent six years at McAfee.
Wearne also ran operations, sales and channels at Novell on both sides of the Tasman for seven years, having started out running major accounts in Unisys during the early 1980s.
The local departure of Wearne comes amid global expansion for the security specialists, following the recent acquisition of start-up Avid Secure.
Founded in 2017, the San Francisco-based business specialises in next-generation cloud infrastructure, with artificial intelligence expertise across analytics, compliance and DevSecOps.
Specifically, the start-up offers ‘end-to-end protection’ in public cloud services across Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.
Closer to home, the vendor recently outlined plans to drive further subscription growth across the channel as partners build out managed security services.
The deepened focus comes as technology providers continue to convert reseller contracts into monthly billing models, with increased security demand accelerating market change.
While such a shift is nothing new for the supply chain, the rise of managed security service providers (MSSP) is redefining the core attributes of a partner, as the channel combines as-a-service capabilities with security expertise.
“Partners are becoming MSSPs, it’s that simple,” said Kris Hagerman, CEO of Sophos, when addressing the channel during Sophos Discover in Sydney. “Across every single geography in the world we’re witnessing this huge upswing as partners continue to build out security services.
“Partners understand that they need to keep moving up the value chain because customers are now demanding this. Businesses today want partners to manage security for them and as-a-service is the preferred model.”