Cisco Shuffles Channel Management, Will Seek New U.S., Canada Chief


Cisco's Edison Peres Named Channel Chief

Cisco

's Edison Peres

Cisco Systems on Thursday confirmed several executive changes to its channel organization, including that it will seek a new U.S. and Canada channel chief.

Among the major changes, Edison Peres, senior vice president, worldwide channels go-to-market, will become senior vice president, worldwide channels. In his expanded role, Peres will be point man for all of Cisco's channel partnerships, including segment and architecture go-to-market, distribution, channel programs, marketing, business management and learning partners.

The role of Keith Goodwin, Cisco's senior vice president, worldwide partner organization, won't fundamentally change, according to a Cisco spokesperson. But the channel chief post -- that is, the executive in charge of day-to-day overall channel operations and first point of contact for channel management and channel strategy at Cisco -- is now Peres'.

"I can't emphasize enough how important it is for us to continue to invest in and innovate with our current partners, and there's no more qualified leader than Edison to take our channel relationships to the next level," wrote Goodwin in a Thursday post to the Cisco Channels blog, describing the changes.

Elsewhere, Wendy Bahr, Cisco's U.S. and Canada channel chief for the past two and a half years, has been appointed senior vice president, global and transformational partnerships, a new designation within Cisco.

In her new role, Bahr will be responsible for aligning Cisco's go-to-market strategy across different geographies and emerging and vertical markets, and both Cisco's Strategic Partner Organization and Technology Alliances teams, as well as its global partner relationships, now come under her.

Bahr took over as U.S. and Canada channel chief from Cisco's Chuck Robbins in January 2008 and was made senior vice president of U.S. and Canada channels in January 2009.

According to Goodwin's post, Cisco is "actively searching" for Bahr's replacement as U.S. and Canada channel chief.

Finally, Cisco has appointed Dave O'Callaghan vice president, worldwide commercial sales. O'Callaghan, most recently Cisco's worldwide distribution chief, will be charged with building a new team responsible for growing Cisco's SMB and commercial business, meaning sub-1,000-employee customers and small businesses. He now reports to Goodwin.

A Cisco spokesman confirmed that as part of Cisco's increasing emphasis on growth in its SMB segments Andrew Sage, vice president of worldwide small business sales at Cisco, will add SMB go-to-market duties to his responsibilities, as well.

According to the Cisco spokesman, all the leadership changes go into effect on Aug. 1, which is the start of Cisco's fiscal 2011.

Cisco will seek internal candidates to fill Bahr's and O'Callaghan's roles, then potentially external candidates, according to the spokesman.