The 25 Most Notable IT Executive Moves Of 2011 (So Far)4:00 PM EST Wed. Jul. 20, 2011
There's been a lot of IT executive moving and shaking in 2011, even by Silicon Valley standards.
Naturally, there were way more than 25 notable moves from January to the present day, so this list focuses on big changes of particular relevance to the channel: well-known channel chiefs in addition to the SVPs and C-suiters that have made eyebrow-raising moves. Take a look.
Nearly a year and a half after he stepped into perhaps the most high profile channel chief role there is, HP's Stephen DiFranco is moving on up again. DiFranco in mid-July was confirmed as the new senior vice president and general manager for the Americas region of HP's Personal Systems Group. At press time, no successor -- and DiFranco gets to pick him or her -- had yet been named. But it's perhaps the biggest and most channel-relevant executive move in a year of major changes at the $120-billion technology giant.
To date the most notable CEO departure of the year was Google's Eric Schmidt, who in January announced he would step down in January and pass the CEO torch to Larry Page, Google's co-founder. Schmidt, who joined Google as its board chairman in March 2001 and became CEO in August 2001, oversaw Google's rise into the technology industry's elite echelons during the past decade. He is staying on as executive chairman.
Four years after joining McAfee, David DeWalt said in mid-July he would resign as president and continue as a non-employee member of McAfee's Board of Directors. At press time, DeWalt was rumored to be headed to network security upstart Palo Alto Networks, and his named replacements at McAfee are Mike DeCesare, executive vice president for global operations, and Todd Gebhart, executive vice president and general manager of consumer, mobile, and small business.
Ann Livermore is the best known name in what might be called a collection of top-echelon executive moves specific to HP, all part of CEO Leo Apotheker's ongoing makeover of the technology giant's most senior staff.
Livermore, the executive vice president, enterprise business, was "kicked upstairs," so to speak: moved out of her post and placed on HP's board of directors. Elsewhere, Pete Bocian, executive vice president and chief administrative officer, and Randy Mott, executive vice president and CIO, were both ousted, and Dave Donatelli, Bill Veghte and Jan Zadak, respectively the EVPs of ESSN, software and global sales, now report directly to Apotheker. Thomas Hogan, former executive vice president of enterprise business sales and marketing, was among the top-ranked HP departures that happened earlier in the year.
Former CEO Gianfranco Lanci and Acer were a good match…until they weren't. In late March, Acer announced Lanci had resigned from the company, and put Chairman J.T. Wang into the acting CEO's role while the search began for a permanent replacement. The stated reason for Lanci's exit? Lanci and a "majority" of Acer's board could no longer "reach a consensus" on the direction of the company.
Of all the major executive departures from beleaguered Cisco in the past six months, it's Luanne Tierney's exit that's perhaps felt most keenly by Cisco partners and the channel in general. Tierney, a tireless promoter of channel marketing who made great strides in what Cisco provided for marketing air cover for partners, is said to have had the ear of Cisco's top executives, who probably reacted none too happily to her defection to rival Juniper in January.
Of course, for all the Cisco-to-Juniper defections, Cisco did manage to make a big steal from Juniper, too. David Yen, executive vice president and general manager of Juniper's Fabric and Switching Business Group and the brains behind Juniper's QFabric, left Juniper to become senior vice president of the Server Access and Virtualization Technology Group at Cisco.
Cisco's ongoing corporate restructuring and pending layoffs are expected to save the networking king $1 billion in expenses in its fiscal 2012. Part of that has meant new assignments for a number of key Cisco executives -- those sticking around anyway -- including channel veteran Chuck Robbins, now in charge of Cisco's entire Americas sales theater. No single move within Cisco, however, was as dramatic as the promotion of Gary Moore, Cisco's worldwide services chief, who was named Cisco's first-ever chief operating officer in February and is the architect of Cisco's restructuring.
What in the world is going on at Advanced Micro Devices? It's hard to get a clear picture these days, but one executive who won't be around for the denouement is Dirk Meyer, AMD's former CEO, who abruptly resigned in January after 14 years at AMD. Meyer had taken over the top job from Hector Ruiz in July 2008.
Enemy then, friend now: Leonard Iventosch, the former channel chief at NetApp, is now vice president of Americas channels sales EMC, his former archival. Granted, Iventosch had been gone from NetApp for some time. He came to EMC via EMC's acquisition of Isilon, which Iventosch joined in 2008.
Marius Haas presided over some of the biggest gains for Hewlett-Packard's networking division it is history, but it wasn't enough to keep him at HP. Haas in late May jumped ship to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., the private equity powerhouse, to indulge what Haas later told CRN was his first passion: M&A. Haas, before taking over HP's former ProCurve division in 2008, was HP's chief strategy officer and global head of corporate M&A.
One of the happier executive stories in the industry this year has been the triumphant return of Intel's Sean Maloney, who took a medical leave of absence in March 2010 after suffering a stroke. At the time, Maloney had reported directly to Intel CEO Paul Otellini and was widely considered a potential Otellini successor. His new assignment, however, is on the other side of the world: Maloney in May was tapped to be chairman of Intel China, a newly created position for the chipmaker.
Microsoft shook up its Server & Tools Business near the beginning of the year, and that meant the ouster of Server & Tools President Bob Muglia, a 23-year Microsoft veteran. In his last role, Muglia was one of four presidents who reported directly to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
Dan Scheinman, former Cisco senior vice president and general manager, Media Solutions Group, is perhaps the most notable exit in an ongoing series of departures affecting Cisco's "Mount Rushmore."
That's a list that in the past few months has included Debra Chrapaty, former head of the collaborating group, Sue Bostrom, former chief marketing officer and George O'Meara, outgoing senior vice president of the U.S. and Canada.
John Wookey's departure from Oracle for rival SAP was big news three years ago, and so, too, was Wookey's exit from SAP, this past April. His most recent job there was vice president, Large Enteprise On Demand.
The halls of Juniper, just filled to the brim with Microsoft alumni. One of the most recent is Emilio Umeoka, who left his position as president of Asia Pacific at Microsoft to become the new senior vice president, worldwide partners -- the global channel chief role -- at Juniper.
The affable Dan Foster, one of the most respected channel chiefs in the telecom space, left MegaPath in January, only to return -- with a meatier title -- in mid-April. A 10-year MegaPath veteran, Foster returned to MegaPath as president, business markets, replacing Bruce Chatterley. He'll be managing MegaPath at a key time in its history, fresh off last year's three-way M&A blockbuster of MegaPath, Covad and Speakeasy.
Former state CIO Vivek Kundra was the country's first federal CIO, and a driving force behind big changes in how the government procures its technology. That's why many public sector-facing solution providers were disappointed to hear that Kundra will leave his position in August, for a job at Harvard University. Kundra was appointed federal CIO in March 2009.
He was known as Intel's wirelesss guru, but in mid-March, word came that Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Ultra Mobility Group, would leave Intel to "pursue other interests." Chandrasekher, well-known in Silicon Valley and especially the mobility and wireless communities, was a 24-year Intel veteran.
Simon Crosby and Ian Pratt, the co-founders of Xen open-source, left Citrix behind in June to found a startup called Bromium, which looks at virtualization technology to address cloud security problems. Both Crosby, Citrix's former CTO, Data Center and Cloud, and Pratt, chairman of Xen.org and a former Citrix vice president, came to Citrix during its 2007 acquisition of Xen Source.
Steve Hale has a deep history with the channel, and in May, confirmed his next move: global channel chief at Sophos. His resume includes stints at Novell and F5 Networks, as well as many years as general manager, U.S. enterprise partner group at Microsoft.
A longtime channel presence -- especially at the intersection of where carrier services and the telecom agent community meet VARs and integrators -- Craig Schlagbaum turned up in mid-January as the new vice president of sales, indirect channels, at Comcast Business Services. It's there where Schlagbaum is architecting a channel-friendly go-to-market strategy that leverages VARs as often as it does more traditional carrier agents.
As a 28-year veteran of Avnet, Rick Hamada's paid his dues, and now he has the big chair at the distributor. Hamada was in February named Avnet's incoming CEO, a position he officially took over from longtime CEO Roy Vallee in early July. Hamada also joined Avnet's board of directors, part of a long climb to the top that began in 1983 when he joined Avnet as a technical support specialist.
Lots of movement among top EMC executives this year, and perhaps the most notable move was that of Frank Hauck, EMC executive vice president, who became president of VCE, the joint venture of Cisco and EMC focused on data center solutions. It's at VCE where Hauck joined several former EMC execs, including Pete Koliopoulos, who was vice president of global channel marketing for the storage giant for many years.
After becoming well-known in the security and infrastructure markets as executive vice president, global sales at Trend Micro, Lane Bess took on a new challenge, becoming CEO at network security upstart Palo Alto Networks in June 2008. Little more than two years later, Bess parted ways with Palo Alto, which was, is and remains on a rapid growth tear. Bess turned up several months later -- May 2011 to be exact -- as COO of Zscaler, a fast-rising SaaS vendor focused on cloud security.