30 Notable IT Executive Moves: June 20124:00 PM EST Mon. Jul. 02, 2012
Following a crush of major IT executive changes in May -- some surprising, some not -- there was more action to come in June, which saw some big shifts in C- and VP-level positions at major IT companies as well as continued changes for well-known channel chiefs.
Here is CRN's monthly roundup of all the action, which in June included especially frequent moves at Cisco and HP.
The close of Cisco's fiscal year, which ends on July 31, always brings significant executive changes at the networking king. But this year there are some particularly eye-opening moves, starting with the continued ascent of Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior.
Warrior, who joined Cisco from Motorola in late 2007, will wield even more power as Cisco's new chief technology and strategy officer. In that role, she will work with Cisco's engineering, field, operations and services teams and lead Cisco's work on strategic investments, M&A and partnering. It's a much bigger job for Warrior and, as a result, her recent co-lead for engineering, Senior Vice President Pankaj Patel, will take over Cisco's engineering organization outright.
Padmasree Warrior is getting Cisco's top strategy and M&A jobs in part because their most recent chief is leaving the company. Along with the Warrior and Pankaj Patel moves, Cisco at the same time confirmed that Ned Hooper, a 13-year Cisco veteran and Cisco's senior vice president and chief strategy officer, is leaving the company. According to Cisco, Hooper -- who was considered a short-lister to potentially succeed Cisco CEO John Chambers -- is starting an independent investment firm in which he will be the principal investor.
Oracle is no stranger to executive comings and goings, but the departure of Keith Block, executive vice president in charge of Oracle's North American sales operations, seems particularly ugly. Block left Oracle following what some reports held were messages Block wrote criticizing Oracle's management team and its $7.3 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems. Block was allegedly particularly critical toward Oracle Co-President Mark Hurd.
Oracle stayed relatively mum on the exact circumstances but did confirm Block's departure in a regulatory filing later in the month.
The first major executive change in post-IPO Facebook was Bret Taylor, the company's high-profile CTO, who confirmed in mid-June he would leave the social network to pursue work with other startups. Taylor's next moves are largely unconfirmed, but two other Facebook executives, Mike Vernal and Cory Ondrejka, will be stepping in to run Facebook's platform and mobile initiatives. Taylor was CTO for two years and was one of the company's most visible executives not named Mark Zuckerberg.
Keith Goodwin's seven-year run as CIsco's top global channel chief will end in August, as Goodwin has opted to retire after 38 years in the industry. It's the end of an era at Cisco, most partners agreed, and a particularly significant move considering how long Goodwin's tenure is in channel chief years.
Goodwin is leaving the Cisco channel on a high note, though his time as channel chief had plenty of challenges, too.
With Keith Goodwin stepping down, now comes the delicate task of transitioning to a new channel chief, and that's Bruce Klein, who takes over the Worldwide Partner Organization following a well-regarded stint heading up Cisco's U.S. public sector theater. Many Cisco partners know Klein already and urged him to maintain the consistent, listen-first tone that Goodwin struck in his years at the partner helm.
It was a less-reported move in June, but it's certainly worth noting that Liu Chaunzhi, who founded Lenovo, is stepping down as the president of Lenovo parent company Legend Holdings. Liu, who will be succeeded by Zhu Linan, former executive vice president of Legend Holdings, will remain at Legend as chairman. Liu had stepped down as Lenovo chairman in November 2011 to focus on work with Legend.
Among other changes in the top ranks of Cisco is the appointment of Edzard Overbeek as the new global head of Cisco's services business. Overbeek, who is currently senior vice president and leader of Cisco's Asia-Pacific, Japan and Greater China (APJC) theater, is taking over the role from Gary Moore, who became Cisco's chief operations officer last year and will focus full time on Cisco ops starting in Cisco's fiscal 2013. Rob Lloyd, Cisco's executive vice president, worldwide operations, told CRN recently that Cisco expects to name a new APJC theater president in July.
CRN was first to report details of yet another major move among Cisco executives: Barry O'Sullivan is stepping down as senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Collaboration Technology Group. The popular O'Sullivan isn't leaving Cisco; rather, he will be an adviser to Marthin De Beer, senior vice president, video and collaboration, and O.J. Winge, who is succeeding O'Sullivan.
What's a month without major executive changes at HP? June's big news was the departure of Frank Rauch, HP's vice president, U.S. Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking (ESSN) channels and a popular figure with HP partners. Rauch's departure was effective June 29 but word of his exit began to trickle out to partners much earlier in the month. Sources indicated Rauch is headed to VMware.
HP is looking for a replacement and Randy Seidl, senior vice president and general manager, U.S. Enterprise Group, has Rauch's responsibilities in the interim.
Along with Frank Rauch's exit came word that Meaghan Kelly, vice president of channel strategy at HP, was also out the door. Kelly left HP as of June 15 to take a position at SAP, where she is now vice president of global channel marketing.
Along with the departures of Frank Rauch and Meaghan Kelly, HP has continued to shake up the rest of its channel ranks. Among a slew of changes and appointments, the most significant -- and confusing -- happened within the Printing and Personal Systems (PPS) group, in which Scott Dunsire and Mike Parrottino essentially switched the roles they were assigned not two months earlier. Dunsire is now vice president and general manager, PPS U.S. channel sales. Parrottino is taking over as vice president, U.S. SMB channel sales.
In what marks the most significant change in F5 Networks' leadership in years, Mark Anderson, who'd been F5's executive vice president, worldwide sales since 2007, resigned at the end of May. It was only a few days later that Anderson was named to a newly created role at Palo Alto Networks, where he's senior vice president, worldwide field operations. The move will put Anderson in competition with his old company, which has been aggressively targeting the security space.
Into Mark Anderson's shoes at F5 Networks steps Dave Feringa, who was named senior vice president, worldwide sales, at the same time Anderson was confirmed to be leaving the company. Feringa was most recently senior vice president, Americas sales for F5, and is well respected among F5's leaders and partners, according to the company.
Yahoo has had a brutal year from a public relations standpoint but is still demonstrating an ability to draw powerful executives to its stable. A recent poach was Michael Barrett, who joined Yahoo as chief of revenue -- overseeing the search site's advertising revenue and global operations -- in June. Barrett had been at Google since Google acquired advertising startup AdMeld a little more than a year earlier, and his resume includes stints at a range of media companies.
A changing of the guard comes to high-performance wireless networking specialist Xirrus, which named Shane Buckley its new CEO in early June. Buckley joins Xirrus following a stint as senior vice president and general manager, commercial business, at Netgear, and is a longtime networking veteran, having also been CEO of Rohati Systems, head of EMEA business operations for 3Com, and international president of Peribit Networks, among other roles. Dirk Gates, Xirrus' co-founder and outgoing CEO, is now executive chairman and will focus on Xirrus' product strategy.
The Bill McCracken era at CA Technologies now has a planned end, following the company's announcement in early June that it has begun a succession plan and that McCracken expects to exit the company next year when his contract expires in March 2013. In a statement sent by CA to multiple news outlets, a spokesperson said: "As you would expect from any public company, CA Technologies' Board of Directors and Bill McCracken are engaged in a succession-planning process in which internal and external candidates will be reviewed."
Dr. Suresh Gopalakrishnan is now the new head of server solutions -- officially, corporate vice president and general manager, server business -- at Advanced Micro Devices. A well-regarded figure in networking, Gopalakrishnan was vice president of engineering at Extreme Networks until early 2011. At AMD, he will focus on broadening the chip maker's server-specific Opteron series processors and the server fabric technology it bought through an acquisition of SeaMicro earlier this year.
While Logitech undergoes a painful transformation -- it recently confirmed it will cut 450 jobs as part of a corporate restructuring that began last year -- it has continued to make key hires. One of them was Joseph Sorrentino, a 25-year veteran of the UC and video space, who joined Logitech in mid-June as director of sales and regional marketing in the Americas for Logitech for Business, the peripherals maker's enterprise-focused business unit. Sorrentino's resume includes channel and other sales- and marketing-related stints at Polycom, Clear One, IBM and Sony-owned Spire Global. He most recently was senior vice president, worldwide sales, business development and client services at cloud specialist ShareVault.
Jeffrey Pearl was named the new senior vice president of sales at MegaPath, giving him oversight of the managed data, voice and security service provider's overall sales management and direct, indirect and field sales operations.
Pearl, who joined MegaPath in January following its acquisition of IP5280, replaces Chris Gellos, whom a MegaPath spokesperson confirmed left the company to "pursue other opportunities."
No sooner did Michael Seaton exit the top global sales job at Extreme Networks that he took over as the new president of Blue Door Networks, a Herndon, Va.-based solution provider and well-known Extreme Platinum partner. Seaton, a 24-veteran of the industry, spent eight years at Extreme, where he moved from vice president-level strategic alliance and services positions to head of global sales.
Metaswitch revealed in mid-June that John Lazar would be returning as its CEO. Outgoing CEO Kevin DeNuccio will remain on Metaswitch's board of directors, where Lazar currently serves. Lazar was on the launch team for Metaswitch's carrier division in 2000 and was CEO of the company until February 2010.
At the end of May, well-known security and infrastructure solution provider Accuvant named its first-ever CEO: Dan Burns, Accuvant's co-founder and most recently senior vice president of worldwide sales. Behind him, Tim Hoffman was named senior vice president, worldwide sales, and Scott Walker was named COO.
Bob Laclede, well known in the distribution channel for his time at Ingram Micro, recently joined Avnet as director of public sector sales and marketing. In the role, Laclede directs all sales and marketing activities for Avnet Technology Infrastructure Solutions in public sector, including federal, SLED and health care. Laclede was most recently principal of a consultancy, RPL Solutions, and vice president of health-care programs at ChannelLine, but is known for the 11 years he spent at Ingram, where he was vice president, business development until September 2010.
The path from HP to Oracle is getting some wear, and in late May Gary Koopman became the latest to walk it. Koopman, most recently vice president of U.S. distribution at HP, is now group vice president of North America hardware, alliances and channel sales at Oracle. He'd been with HP since 2007 and has been in the industry nearly 28 years. Koopman's exit from HP to Oracle followed those of Tom LaRocca, now vice president of worldwide product strategy and alliances, and Mark Hurd, who landed at Oracle as co-president.
Digium, the open-source, Asterisk-based PBX specialist, recruited a new global community director, David Duffett, to manage relationships in Digium's developer and partner ecosystems. A well-known figure in the Asterisk community, Duffett replaces Bryan Johns, who is moving into Digium's product management team, and comes to the company from his own telecom consulting practice, TeleSpeak Ltd., which is an authorized Digium training provider.
Into Freescale Semiconductor's top job comes Gregg Lowe, a veteran of Texas Instruments. Lowe, who was named Freescale's president CEO in mid-June, was senior vice president and manager of TI's Analog business, and he replaces Rich Beyer, who will remain on Freescale's board of directors to aid the transition.
Philipp Humm, CEO of T-Mobile USA, abruptly resigned from his position in the last week of June, with T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom saying Humm wanted to be closer to his Europe-based family. About 24 hours later, Humm was confirmed to be headed for Vodafone, where later this year he'll take over one of the European telco's two European regions. Vodafone, which confirmed the split of its European unit, is giving Humm responsibility for Northern Europe and Paolo Bertuluzzo, currently CEO of Vodafone Italy, the Southern Europe business.
Avaya, which has seen substantial change to its executive ranks in the past year, lost another key executive in late June, with news that Stephen Gold, Avaya CIO, would take the CIO post at pharmacy giant CVS Caremark. At press time, Avaya had not yet indicated a replacement for Gold's position.
Alas, a few moves from earlier months always seem to slip by. One was Tom Hamilton, who exited ShoreTel as senior director of worldwide channel marketing and is now senior director of Americas Field Marketing at Riverbed, inclusive of regional marketing, VAR, national and distribution partner marketing.