Fall Channel Follies: Notable Executive Moves -- September4:00 PM EST Fri. Oct. 01, 2010
C-suite shifts, channel chief changes, and a boatload of restructuring casualties: Here's a look at major executive moves of direct relevance to the IT channel for the month of September. There seemed to be even more than usual, so buckle up for a visual tour.
With hours left to go in the month of September, HP named Leo Apotheker, the former SAP CEO, as Mark Hurd's replacement in HP's top job. Apotheker was ousted as CEO of SAP in February, following 20 years at the software maker. Some observers see his appointment to HP as underscoring HP's commitment to being a global services company, and also looking to more closely tie its software and hardware as a more complete solution.
In another eye-popping personnel move announced Sept. 30, HP named Ray Lane its non-executive board chairman. Lane, whose name had been mentioned on the list of potential Hurd successors, has been a managing partner at Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers since 2001. In another bit of irony, Lane is a former president of Oracle, a role now held by Hurd.
No one expected former HP CEO Mark Hurd to fade from view forever, but it's rare that a recently-ousted CEO of a top technology company returns to the spotlight so quickly. Plucked from early HP retirement by his good friend, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, Hurd is now a co-president at Oracle, and gives the software lion that much more competitive roar -- and a lot more channel prowess -- at a time when Oracle is in growth mode and looking to compete on all sides.
No sooner was Hurd confirmed for Oracle's C-suite than the man he's replacing, Charles Phillips, waved goodbye on his way out of Oracletown. According to Oracle's Larry Ellison, Phillips wanted out of Oracle as far back as last December, and it was Ellison who asked him to remain through the Sun-Microsystems integration. "We will miss his talent and leadership, but I respect his decision," said Ellison in a statement confirming Phillips' exit.
Distributor Westcon Group has a thriving security practice, and in mid-September bulked it up that much further by adding one of the hottest network security vendors out there, Palo Alto Networks, and also appointing a new security chief. Andrew Warren, vice president, Westcon Security, reports to Westcon U.S. and Canada chief Lynn Smurthwaite-Murphy, and comes to Westcon from a similar post at distribution rival Avnet. No insecurity for Westcon, it seems.
Cisco is a major business line for Tech Data, which found a vacancy in its Cisco solutions practice following the move of Chuck Bartlett to a new role heading up its Advanced Infrastructure Solutions group. They found their Cisco maven in Angela Beltz-Norrie, now vice president, Cisco Solutions Group, and responsible for leading Tech Data's efforts across all the Cisco products they carry, including the B- and C-series servers that are part of its Unified Computing System (UCS). A 10-year Tech Data veteran, Beltz-Norrie previously directed Tech Data's Major Accounts Sales Division.
Former services and cloud computing chief Justin Crotty left Ingram Micro in August to become an executive vice president at NetEnrich, but early in September, Ingram named his replacement: Renee Bergeron, who comes to the role of vice president of managed services and cloud computing from a top services post at Fujitsu America. "Renee has been a consultant, she's been a CIO, and now she's running a $300 million-a-year services business," said Keith Bradley, president of Ingram Micro North America, to CRN at the time.
No sooner did former Microsofter Birger Steen jump to Parallels than he had familiar company. Earlier in September, John Zanni, the general manager for Microsoft's Worldwide Software plus Services team, was confirmed as Parallels new vice president of alliances. "In his new role, John will be responsible for setting the strategic direction of its technology and go-to-market alliances with key partners," said Parallels in a statement at the time of Zanni's appointment.
Another month, another cloud platform vendor bolstering its executive ranks. In early September, Eucalyptus Systems confirmed the hiring of Red Hat's Said Ziouani as its new senior vice president of worldwide sales, bringing Ziouani from an open-source heayweight to an open-source upstart with a lot of buzz around it. At Red Hat, Ziouani was vice president of sales for vertical markets, and at Eucalyptus, he'll be a key piece of CEO Marten Mickos' team.
What is it with these open-source nomads, eh? Magento, the open-source e-commerce platform provider, added to its stable with the hiring of Michael Goossens (a former EMEA vice president for Red Hat) and Jary Carter (former Americas channel director at Alfresco). In a statement from the time of the announcement, Magento touted its base of employees as on track to nearly double (from 100 to 180) by the end of 2010, and sales are expected to increase as much as 300 percent. "Magento on the rise" doesn't seem like an inaccurate descriptor.
Startup Pareto Networks sees a brave new world in enterprise cloud services, which in its case provide secure networking functions -- such as management of VoIP use, video, IP address management, authentication, Web security, SSL, VPN tunneling and other infrastructure needs -- and let network administrators manage those functions remotely using Pareto's cloud. It needed a veteran hand at the tiller, and it got one, introducing former McAfee network security chief Daniel Ryan its new president and CEO in early September.
"I joke that I'm back in the minor leagues now, but I love working with small teams and building with those small teams," Pareto told CRN on the day of his announcement. "I knew it was going to be a startup so I looked at who was going to be in the next-generation startup companies, and this was the most exciting opportunity."
IBM early in the month named Andy Monshaw its general manager of global midmarket business operations, replacing Marc Dupaquier, who since moved on to vice president of marketing and communications for IBM's Systems and Technology Group. Monshaw reports to IBM global channel chief Rich Hume, and will be responsible for driving IBM's sales to midsize customers through the channel. Prior to his new gig, Monshaw was chief operating officer of IBM Japan.
Matt Fogelgren just this week stepped in as Sophos' vice president of global channels, replacing Chris Doggett, who is exiting the security vendor to take a job with a class action settlement recovery firm. Fogelgren, most recently director of channel sales at Sophos was also a former regional sales manager at Cognos. He'll hopefully continue the channel momentum spurred by Doggett, who became global channel vice president in January and was integral in the launch of a new global channel program and a channel MSP program, both before and after Sophos' acquisition by private equity firm Apax Partners.
Avaya's made a number of moves this month that seem to say loud and clear, "Hey, video world, we get you, and we want you to know our name." No sooner did Avaya confirm the Flare Experience interface and a major video portfolio enhancement than it picked an industry veteran to run its video practice, nabbing Joe Sigrist, previously senior vice president and general manager for video solutions at Polycom, to the role of vice president and general manager, video, at Avaya. With video more than ever a centerpiece function of UC infrastructure, Avaya needs top video products and top video talent to up its UC supremacy.
No sooner did Joe Sigrist exit Polycom than the longtime video and IP communications vendor pluck a boatland of industry veterans from Cisco, Motorola, Oracle, Xerox and other tech titans. Chief among the hires is longtime Cisco stalwart Joe Burton, who is Polycom's new chief strategy and technology officer following a 15-year career -- including a highly visible UC role -- at Cisco. Then there's Motorola vet Sudkahar Ramakrishna, who will join Polycom on Oct. 11 in the role of chief development officer, a role that puts him in charge of Polycom's newly merged voice and R&D teams. Burton and Ramakrishna, along with Polycom's other big ticket hires, prove new CEO Andy Miller doesn't plan to mess around.
Cisco in early July began a series of changes to its top channel executive ranks, including the move of former distribution chief Dave O'Callghan to a new role driving Cisco's commercial market strategy. His replacement is Scott Brown, a well-traveled Cisco executive, and now Cisco's vice president, worldwide distribution, in charge of Cisco's $11 billion worldwide distribution business. Cisco's major distributors told CRN that Brown is an impressive appointment and would bring a lot to the role, and that they hope for deeper, tighter relationships between Cisco and its key distributor partners.
Nine years was apparently enough for Mitel veteran Don Smith, who announced on Mitel's first quarter earnings call in September that he would retire from the company once his successor was found. Smith, who returned to Mitel as CEO and a board member in April 2001, presided over several major events in its history, including its contentious acquisition of Inter-Tel in 2007, and its IPO in April 2010. "It's been a privilege for me to serve with a great team over the past several years," Smith said in a statement at the time. "I will work with the board to ensure a successful leadership transition at Mitel. The company remains focused on executing against our long-term strategic plan."
CA in mid-September reorganized its channel leadership with a pair of aces: the appointment of Mike Crest to the role of general manager, recovery management and data modeling, and the appointment of David Roberts as vice president of channel strategy for recovery management and data modeling. It's Roberts, especially, that has channel tongues wagging: Roberts spent four years running Americas channel sales at Websense is a highly regarded channel veteran.
It wasn't a good month for incumbent mobile device manufacturer CEOs. LG confirmed in mid-September that CEO Yong Nam would be out as of Oct. 1 after three and a half years, due to apparent struggles with the company's handset business. His replacement is Koo Bon Joon, a younger brother of LG Group Chairman Koo Bon Moo. Nam was a 30-year telecom veteran with broad experience across LG, including as president and CEO of LG Telecom (1998-2006), but had come under pressure following LG continued loss of cell phone market share over the past year.
Any doubts about Dell's intention to be a stronger networking player were put to rest in September, when it named its first-ever vice president of networking, bringing the role out from under its previous blend-in with Dell's storage and business. Said vice president is Dario Zamarian, a six-year Cisco veteran who previously ran Cisco's systems and network management group and its security management business unit, and will now be in charge of not only Dell's OEM relationships with the likes of Juniper, Brocade and Aruba, but also its modest line of LAN equipment, sold as PowerConnect.
September's Channel Partners Conference & Expo event, which caters to the telecom and carrier services agent and reseller community, brought some channel executive news to the fore. Level 3 Communications confirmed the departure of channel chief Craig Schlagbaum, who's job changed as a result of restructuring. Elsewhere, according to Phone Plus magazine, Blake Wetzel, who heads up Qwest's Business Partner Program and has for the past year, will remain in place after the blockbuster CenturyLink-Qwest merger is completed next year.
ReiJane Huai resigned as FalconStor Software's president, CEO and chairman, following the launch of an investigation by law enforcement authorities. According to FalconStor, "Mr. Huai tendered his resignation following his disclosure that certain improper payments were allegedly made in connection with the company's contract with one customer."
Huai, well regarded in the channel, was a co-founder of FalconStor in 2000. James McNiel, the company's chief strategy officer, has been named interim CEO and interim president.
Blue Coat Systems has a new sheriff in town, and it's Michael J. Borman, who became president and CEO on Sept. 1 following a stint as CEO and director of Avocent and a decorated, 30-year career at IBM. "Blue Coat has an enviable customer base, a strong product portfolio, and an excellent reputation for technology innovation," said Borman in a statement at the time. He replaces Brian M. NeSmith, who had been president and CEO since 1999, but will now move to the role of chief product officer, focusing on direction and product development and reporting to Borman. Borman's former company, Avocent, was acquired by Emerson Electric in late 2009.
Stephen Elop was a big man on campus at Microsoft -- and a key client-facing executive of its cloud strategy -- but Nokia apparently needs him more. In mid-September, Nokia confirmed the appointment of Elop as its new president and CEO, part of a major executive shake-up that saw the exit of Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallsvuo, several of his lieutenants amid flagging fortunes for Nokia's once-proud mobile device supremacy. Elop had joined Microsoft in January 2008 and most recently ran its business division. In a statement at the time of his appointment, he described Nokia as having a "unique global position as well as a great brand upon which we can build."
Four days after Stephen Elop's appointment as CEO of Nokia and the ouster of former CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, the hits kept coming for the beleaguered mobile device maker, as Anssi Vanjoki, executive vice president of the mobile solutions business, announced plans to leave. As Elop gets his feet wet at Nokia, it appears he'll have a lot of new lieutenants, too.