30 Notable IT Executive Moves: May 20124:00 PM EST Fri. Jun. 01, 2012
Following a slew of major moves in April, May had some definite surprises in store, including major departures at Yahoo and RIM, and key changes at HP, Avaya, Blue Coat and Google. Here's a look at 30 major moves from the past four weeks, including some from the tail end of April that we're still getting caught up on.
The tale of Scott Thompson, who became Yahoo's CEO with much fanfare in January and who resigned less than five months later, is a cautionary one. As in, be careful just how much you embellish your resume, lest an activist investor with an axe to grind against your mismanaged company uncover the truth.
Is Bill Veghte, a former 19-year Microsoft, now the apparent heir at HP? In the biggest of a seemingly unending number of executive changes at beleaguered HP, Veghte was at the end of May named chief operating officer under Meg Whitman. He joined the company in 2010 and was until his appointment leading HP's software business unit…
…which is now under the management of George Kadifa, a venture capitalist and former Corio CEO. Kadifa, who joined HP from Silver Lake Partners, is tasked with growing sales of HP's IT Performance Suite -- software tools that help CIOs understand the value of the IT investments they've made.
Meanwhile, HP is facing new criticism that it stifled the management team of recent acquiree Autonomy, as evidenced by most of that company's top executives departing. They include Mike Lynch, former Autonomy CEO, President Sushovan Hussain, CTO Peter Menell, CMO Nicole Eagan and COO Andy Kanter. HP's $10 billion-plus acquisition of the British software company has been questioned following "very disappointing" license revenue results in HP's fiscal second quarter.
The big May news in Google-land -- at least as far as its mobility strategy is concerned -- is the closing of its acquisition of Motorola Mobility. As expected, former Google Americas President Dennis Woodside, who oversaw the acquisition and integration, was named CEO of Motorola Mobility…
…while Sanjay Jha, credited with reviving Motorola's Mobile Device business as co-CEO of Motorola and then CEO of Motorola Mobility post-split, has stepped down. Jha will continue to work with Google to ensure a smooth transition, according to Google.
Avaya continues to lose top executives -- major names like Alan Baratz, Mohamad Ali, Steve Fitz, Anthony Bartolo, Joe Sigrist and Jeremy Butt have left its ranks in recent months. But, it's also continued to add to its executive team, and in May, brought up Michael Runda, now senior vice president and president, Avaya Client Services, as well as Pierre-Paul Allard, a 19-year Cisco veteran who joined Avaya as senior vice president, corporate strategy and development. Other new faces include Sandra Devine, vice president, Avaya Professional Services, and Todd Johnstone, vice president, global sales operations.
Kicking Research In Motion (RIM) when it's been down for so long now seems a little unjust, but its major executives continue to vacate. In mid-May came another crushing departure: Patrick Spence, the U.K.-based executive vice president of global sales. Spence has taken a job at rising home music systems vendor Sonos.
The LightSquared wireless communications venture, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in mid-May, just can't seem to catch a break. Philip Falcone, the hedge-fund manager who's staked much of his personal wealth to LightSquared's success, said at the end of April he would "eventually" step down from managing LightSquared.
Change has been a constant at Blue Coat, which threw out its former CEO last summer, replaced him with a new CEO and agreed to be taken private late last year by an investor group led by Thoma Bravo. All the while, its channel story has remained intact, though several of the key executives responsible for Blue Coat channel have moved on. The most recent exit was Laurie Usewicz, vice president of Americas channel sales, who was widely respected by partners and for whom Blue Coat has not yet named a replacement.
Meanwhile, Blue Coat is also welcoming more new faces. The latest of those is Venkat Raghavan, a 20-year IT veteran and IBM alumnus, who was named Blue Coat's senior vice president, research and development. Others include David Murphy, a former HP LaserJet chief and IBM Tivoli president, who joined Blue Coat as COO and president in March.
Ruckus Wireless is beloved by channel partners and one of the most exciting upstart players in the wireless networking space, and in recent weeks, it's made a number of moves to expand its channel management. Among those was the hiring of David Zimmer, known to partners for his years running channels at places like QLogic, Dot Hill and Pillar Data, who is now Ruckus' senior director, worldwide channels. Other new faces include Anita Pandey, Ruckus's new director of channel marketing.
Well-known channel executive Stephen DiFranco, who has had different channel jobs in each of the years he's been at HP, is moving yet again. In limbo following the merger of HP's printer and PC units, DiFranco was finally confirmed, in mid-May, to be heading Americas channels for HP's Enterprise Group. DiFranco's full title is vice president, Americas Enterprise channels, OEMs and alliances, and he reports to Rich Geraffo, head of Americas sales for HP Enterprise Group.
Ricoh Americas has a new chief: Martin Brodigan, a 20-year Ricoh veteran who became the company's chairman and CEO as of May 1. Brodigan succeeds Kevin Togashi, who has taken a new role within Ricoh Group in Japan, according to the company.
Intermec may be winning raves from channel partners, but it's also on the hunt for a new captain. Patrick Byrne, who was Intermec's president and CEO as well as a board member, was confirmed to have left the company on May 1. Allen Lauer, Intermec's board chairman, is leading the company on an interim basis until Intermec finds its next chief executive.
Nick Tidd left the role of D-Link North America president late last year as part of an ongoing management shakeup there, and less than six months later, he has a new gig as senior vice president of global sales at Condusiv Technologies, formerly Diskeeper Corp. It wasn't a big surprise -- Tidd had been consulting for Condusiv since early in 2012 -- but he'll be part of a gradually expanding leadership team under Condusiv CEO Jerry Baldwin that also includes new Vice President of Product Management Robert Woolery.
A few more changes at IBM, which has seen a number of 'em lately. Wilfredo Sotolongo, most recently U.S. midmarket chief, has essentially switched jobs with Bill Donohue, recently with IBM's System x organization as vice president of sales. Sotolongo's title was vice president of business partner and midmarket sales -- a key role in IBM's North American partner program, which is about a $5.5 billion annual revenue contributor for Big Blue.
Extreme Networks' ongoing executive team makeover has meant two key moves in recent weeks, including the hiring of John Kurtzweil, most recently CFO of Cree, as its new CFO…
…and the exit of Michael Seaton, vice president of worldwide sales and customer support, whose resignation Extreme disclosed in a recent regulatory filing.
HP Networking is sharpening its knives to take on Cisco -- and has won raves from some corners of the channel for doing so. Some of its channel managers have moved on, however, and they include Armughan Ahmad, most recently vice president, Americas channel sales for HP Networking, who is now Dell vice president, global networking sales.
A changing of the channel guard at Brocade, which has substantially revamped its channel programs in recent years to focus on pay-for-performance compensation models for partners and broadened its channel emphasis beyond the SAN segment it dominates. Regan McGrath, most recently vice president, Americas sales, is now Brocade's vice president, global channel sales and marketing…
…while Barbara Spicek, most recently global channel chief, is moving into a new role running Brocade's EMEA OEM business unit.
ShoreTel is beefing up its channel executive ranks at a critical time in its history -- one in which it's looking to capitalize on the mobility and cloud networking wares it gained by acquiring Agito Networks in 2010 and M5 Networks this year. Among its recent hires is a homecoming: Joe Vitalone, who left ShoreTel in 2009 to take the top Americas sales job at LifeSize, in early May was confirmed to have returned to ShoreTel as vice president, channel management. Vitalone's previous stint at ShoreTel had him as vice president of North American sales, and he was there for the company's 2007 IPO.
Parsippany, N.J.-based Strategic Products & Services, one of the country's top Avaya solution providers and a frequent acquirer of fellow VARs, recently appointed a chief financial officer, John McGovern. McGovern, who reports directly to SPS President and CEO John Poole, is a 25-year-plus veteran of corporate finance and came to SPS from Glowpoint, where he was executive vice president and CFO. It is the first time SPS has had a chief financial officer.
With EMR provider Allscripts' finances in a tailspin, several of its top executives and directors are exiting. According to a late April SEC filing, three of Allscripts' directors, Catherine Burzik, Eugene Fife and Edward Kangas, resigned following the ouster of board chairman Philip Pead. At the same time, Allscripts CFO William Davis notified the board of his resignation, and he was scheduled to leave as of May 18. Allscripts has struggled following its 2010 merger with Eclipsys, and in late April confirmed a 54 percent decline in first-quarter earnings.
Former Speakeasy and MegaPath boss Bruce Chatterley was named president and CEO of Broadvox in mid-March, and it seems he's starting to put the old band back together. Broadvox in early May confirmed Craig Eidem, who was previously CTO at Speakeasy during Chatterley's run as CEO there, as its chief technology officer. A communications veteran of more than two decades, Eidem was recently head of IT at Meteorcom and earlier in his career logged time with companies like Honeywell and AT&T Wireless.
Bear Data Solutions, the $112 million San Francisco solution provider, has a new president, Mark Biestman, who came to Bear from web services company Rearden Commerce. It's part of several additions Bear is making -- it recently added a CFO, Mark McGourty, as well -- to position itself for the next phase of growth, according to CEO Don James.
Carousel Industries, the fast-growing communications and infrastructure solution provider powerhouse, has been acquiring fellow VARs like crazy, and also adding to its executive roster. New to Carousel's ranks as of May: Aileen Meraz, vice president of sales, Western Region, and Duane Westover, regional sales director, Pacific Northwest Region. Both of those positions were newly created, according to Carousel, and both Meraz and Westover come from Quagga, the West Coast-based Avaya powerhouse that was acquired by Paetec in 2010.
Mike Toplisek, well known to channel partners for his role as president of concentric cloud solutions for XO Communications and for his 12 years at Global Crossing, left XO in mid-May to become executive vice president, IT services at EarthLink.
There aren't too many reports of major Apple executives leaving the world's most valuable technology company, but Pascal Cagni, Apple's vice president and general manager for Europe, Middle East, India and Africa, reportedly said "au revoir" to Apple after 12 years there.