30 Notable IT Executive Moves: April 20124:00 PM EST Tue. May. 01, 2012
Following a particularly eventful March in the IT channel, April had a few more surprises in store for solution providers paying attention to major companies like HP, VMware, Cisco and Ingram Micro. Here's a look at some big changes that happened in the last four or so weeks, or that we're just getting caught up on.
Best Buy in March laid out a plan to take out $800 million costs within the next three years, and it's going to do that with a new CEO, following word, in early April, that CEO Brian Dunn had resigned. Initially, Best Buy described the parting of ways as a "mutual decision" and didn't provide too many details, but reports soon surfaced that Dunn was under scrutiny over alleged personal misconduct.
It's no secret in the tech world that Avaya's seen wave after wave of executive turnover in recent years, but the UC giant's most recent string of exits is nothing to take lightly. They now include -- among other well-known executives like Steve Fitz, former U.S. sales vice president, Anthony Bartolo, former vice president and general manager of Avaya's UC business unit, and Joe Sigrist, former vice president and general manager for endpoints and video solutions -- Alan Baratz, senior vice president of corporate strategy and development and Avaya's top technology guru, as well as…
…Mohamad Ali, senior vice president and president, Avaya client services. Ali had taken over Avaya's top services post in April 2011 following the exit of Joachim "Joe" Heel.
Huawei had a rough quarter, and as a result, some leadership changes appear imminent at the Chinese telecom giant. In a rather intensely-worded statement that appeared on Huawei's corporate website in April, CEO Ren Zhengfei said that Huawei would institute a system of rotating CEOs, with each leader leading the company for six months. Ren makes clear that it's an experiment.
"Huawei hasn't found a way to adapt well to a rapidly changing society," Ren wrote. "Time will tell if the rotating CEO system is the right move or not."
Cisco's lost a number of key executives over the past two years, and while most observers agree mighty Cisco has turned the corner on its internal troubles, that hasn't seemed to stanch the flow of major talents elsewhere. The latest big exit is Soni Jiandani, senior vice president of Cisco's SAVTG, confirmed with CRN earlier this spring by a Cisco spokesman. Jiandani may not have gone far, though; she's rumored to be at Insiemi, the software-defined networking startup in which Cisco has invested $100 million and is a potential "spin-in" play for the networking titan. It's not far-fetched; Jiandani was involved in a previous Cisco spin-in, Andiamo Systems.
In the endlessly exciting game of executive musical chairs going on at HP, it appears former WebOS chief Stephen DeWitt has a new role. CRN in mid-April confirmed details of DeWitt taking a role as business marketing lead in HP's Enterprise Group. DeWitt's previous title was senior vice president and general manager, WebOS global business unit, and now reports to HP CMO Marty Homlish. The Enterprise Group should prove an interesting challenge -- it's a new HP unit formed from the consolidation of HP's Global Account Sales organization, its ESSN division, and its HP Technology Services division.
Where's Stephen DiFranco? That seems to be the question many solution providers have following HP's late-April announcement of channel leads for its new Printers and Personal Systems (PPS) division -- and no distinct role or job title within that division has been carved out for DiFranco, senior vice president and general manager of the former Personal Systems Group, which was combined with HP's Imaging and Printing Group (IPG) to make PPS. HP told CRN DiFranco will be named to a new position "in the near future."
Oh yes, those HP Printers and Personal Systems Division channel leads? They're Mike Parrottino, who had been leading U.S. channel sales for PSG for the last eight months and is now head of the PPS Americas channel organization, along with…
…Scott Dunsire, previously vice president of IPG business and sales management in HP's Americas Solution Partners Organization who is now leading U.S. SMB channel sales.
There have been some sizable changes at the top of Ingram Micro, which named Alain Monie its new CEO earlier this year. Rounding out those changes came another announcement from Ingram, in late April, naming CFO Bill Humes to the dual role of chief operating officer and chief financial officer. Humes is to continue running Ingram's finances, but he will also handle information systems, global logistics operations and global business processes. Ingram's CIO and executive vice president, global logistics, also now report to him instead of to Monie.
Some key changes at VMware: Carl Eschenbach, customer of operations, was confirmed in mid-April as the virtualization giant's new COO, and Raghu Raghuram, former senior vice president of cloud infrastructure and management, was named executive vice president of cloud infrastructure and management, while meanwhile…
…Mark Peek, chief financial officer, confirmed his departure from the company. Peek, who'd been with VMware since 2007 and helped the company prepare for its IPO, will stay on till June 1, but he is headed for a position at SaaS specialist Workday.
Akamai's Q1 earnings were down, but the real news was the pending departure of longtime CEO Paul Sagan, who confirmed in late April he will leave Akamai by the end of 2013. Sagan will leave Akamai with an impressive legacy: he became president in 1999, CEO in 2005, and the company's sales more than quadrupled during his run.
Well-known channel executive Steve Hale's been on the move quite a bit over the past decade, and in early April came word that he will exit his current gig as worldwide channel chief of Sophos. Hale joined Sophos in May 2011 after channel chief gigs with Novell, F5 Networks and Microsoft, among other jobs.
CRN was first to report details of Theresa Caragol's move to Extreme Networks, where she'll be vice president, worldwide channels starting this week. Caragol, who spent seven years at telecom infrastructure vendor Ciena and has been in IT for nearly two decades, will oversee Extreme's global partner base of 700 solution providers in 50 countries. Extreme has been without a channel chief since the February exit of Rich Long, now vice president of marketing at ScanSource.
Former U.S. channel and enterprise sales chief Pat Piwowarczyk left D-Link as part of an ongoing North America executive exodus, and in mid-April surfaced at Cisco, where he is now director, operations go-to-market business capabilities. Reporting to Bill LePage, Cisco senior vice president, go-to-market business operations, Piwowarczyk covers various operational and business needs that assist Cisco sales reps and channel partners in the field.
With both Qwest and Savvis swallowed up by CenturyLink, it was logical that there would be some executive changes along the way as the companies integrated. Among those developments was the resignation of Ed Mueller, former Qwest CEO, who will leave CenturyLink's board a year earlier than originally planned. Mueller, who'd run Qwest since 2007, oversaw the company up to and during its merger with CenturyLink, which closed in April 2011.
WAN optimization and data center performance dynamo Riverbed Technology has a new chief marketing officer: David Greene, who joined the company in late April. It's the first time Riverbed's had a CMO, according to a spokesperson, and Greene will drive go-to-market strategy for Riverbed's fast-expanding technology portfolio. Greene was most recently vice president of worldwide marketing for BMC Software.
More executives have joined HP CEO Meg Whitman's inner circle, and the latest is John Schultz, who became HP's executive vice president and general counsel in mid-April. Schultz joined HP in 2008 and was previously its vice president and deputy general counsel in charge of litigation. He succeeds David Healy, who'd had the job on an interim basis following the departure of Michael Holston in December.
The executive turnstile at HP has swung in both directions for much of the past year. In early April, Prith Banerjee, senior vice president and head of HP Labs, was a confirmed exit, with his departure effective April 15. Banerjee is heading for a job based outside the U.S. with another, yet-to-be-identified organization. Chandrakant Patel, HP Senior Fellow, is heading HP Labs while HP searches for Banerjee's replacement.
Infoblox, the fast-growing network automation player prepping for an IPO, picked off HP veteran David Gee as its new executive vice president of marketing, in charge of Infoblox's branding, positioning, communications, campaigns, demand generation and press relations. Gee was most recently vice president of worldwide marketing for HP Enterprise Services, and spent nine years at HP.
Network virtualization upstart Nicira made headlines for the big-name executives it lured to its ranks even before Nicira came out of stealth mode in February. Now that the company's "live," those executive poaches have only seemed to continue, and the latest was Denis Murphy, senior vice president, Americas, at Riverbed Technology. Murphy will be Nicria's vice president of sales, and will join a small galaxy of, among other folks, ex-Cisco, VMware and Juniper executives at his new company.
MSP ScienceLogic has its hands in a lot of hot markets, including managed video services, and in the midst of taking in another $15 million in funding in April, the company also named a new CEO. John Becker, a veteran of networking and security and the former CEO of several companies, including Approva, Cybertrust, TruSecure and AXENT, is now at ScienceLogic's helm, while former CEO and co-founder David Link remains as chairman.
Infor named a new president, and like Infor CEO Charles Phillips, he's a fellow Oracle alumnus. Stephan Scholl was in mid-April named president of Infor, and he will be based out of its new New York City headquarters. Scholl, of course, was CEO of Lawson, which was acquired by Infor a year ago. He will lead Infor's global sales, consulting, alliances and channels, as well as its telesales organizations.
In Jennifer Anaya's case, you can go home again. Anaya was in mid-April named Ingram Micro's vice president of marketing, North America, responsible for the distributor's U.S. and Canada marketing organizations and branding and marketing throughout Ingram's North America region. Anaya was most recently vice president of marketing for NetEnrich, alongside fellow Ingram alumnus Justin Crotty, and earlier in her career she spent close to a decade with Ingram in various marketing and communications roles.
Distributor ScanSource has a new go-to guy when it comes to channel-related financial items, and its Tim Ramsey, its new vice president, worldwide reseller financial services (RFS). Ramsey has been with ScanSource since 2005, and the promotion is an expanded role beyond his previous gig running U.S. operations for ScanSource's RFS team.
It seems cruel to kick Research In Motion when it's been down for so long now, but it's tough to ignore the ongoing exodus from the formerly mighty BlackBerry maker's executive ranks. In early April came two more: senior vice president Alan Brenner, and Alistair Mitchell, a vice president for RIM's BlackBerry Messenger service. New CEO Thorsten Heins, who took over beleaguered RIM in January, said more big changes are coming.
Redmond, Wash.-based Denali Advanced Integration, one of the country's top networking, data center and infrastructure solution providers, in late March brought on a new chief operation officer. Chad Gardner, a 15-year IT veteran, had most recently headed up the Pacific Northwest Enterprise organization for NetApp's enterprise West sales leadership team, and also spent a number of years in various sales and vertical market positions at Cisco.
More Yahoos have flown the coop, and one of them was Raghu Ramakrishnan, a chief scientist. Ramakrishnan was confirmed in late March to be headed to Microsoft as a technical fellow in the software giant's Server & Tools business.
WAN reliability vendor Talari Networks has a new worldwide vice president of sales: Walter Carrington, who joined Talari from Juniper at the end of April. Carrington reports directly to Emerick Woods, president and CEO, and he will oversee growth of Talari's customer base, as well as its strategic partnerships and national sales force.