Cisco Confirms Major New Promotions, Departures In Channel Exec Ranks


Cisco's ongoing restructuring will mean a number of additional changes in its channel-facing executive ranks, including several major executive departures and a number of promotions organized around Cisco's partner-led strategy and expanded partner marketing efforts.

Among the big moves are the promotions of Andrew Sage, who will lead Cisco's recently debuted "partner-led" initiative, and Amanda Jobbins, who takes over an expanded partner marketing chief position formerly held by Luanne Tierney when she left Cisco for rival Juniper in January.

The moves, confirmed to CRN earlier this week by Cisco sources, are expected to be formally announced Thursday. They follow this week's confirmation by Cisco that it will lay off 6,500 full time employees heading into its fiscal 2012, including 2,100 Cisco employees that qualified for and accepted Cisco's early retirement plan.

Sage's new title is vice president, worldwide partner-led, and that role is newly created. He was most recently vice president, small and midmarket sales at Cisco and will now report to Keith Goodwin, senior vice president of Cisco's Worldwide Partner Organization.

Cisco's partner-led initiative, which some Cisco VARs say still needs clarity, will theoretically mean a greater emphasis by Cisco on sales through channel partners in all but Cisco's most strategic accounts. Most of that potential opportunity would come under what Cisco describes as commercial markets, or about 1,000 employees or less. Sage's focus on that area made him a natural for the promotion, Cisco sources told CRN.

Most other top channel executive positions within Cisco's WWPO won't change, but two Cisco executives well-known to channel partners will retire, sources confirmed. They are Dave O'Callaghan, vice president, worldwide commercial sales, and Karl Meulema, senior vice president, global strategy and operations.

O'Callaghan's role will be essentially eliminated, with the channel aspect of Cisco's commercial sales now coming under Sage's new position, and the territory-specific sales roles -- for example, Alison Gleason as vice president, U.S. sales, commercial -- will remain the same.

Stepping into Meulema's position will be Bob Singleton, most recently senior vice president, Cisco Services, Asia Pacific, Greater China, Japan and Emerging Markets.

The other big move will be that of Jobbins, who is relocating from London to San Jose, Calif. Jobbins, most recently vice president of European marketing at Cisco and a 20-year marketing veteran, will be vice president, worldwide partner marketing, and has an expanded role from the one Tierney had in the WWPO. Cisco plans to align more of its corporate marketing resources to its channel marketing spend, and as such, Jobbins will report to Blair Christie, chief marketing and communications officer at Cisco, with a dotted line into Goodwin.

Sources said it will take some time for Jobbins to transition and align the broader channel marketing teams, but they expect Cisco's top channel marketing programs, including its Partner Velocity conference, to continue.

All changes are effective as of Aug. 1, the start of Cisco's new fiscal year.

Elsewhere, the role of Jim Sherriff, who became Cisco's senior vice president, U.S. and Canada partner organization, nearly a year ago, has expanded. Under each of Cisco's three sales theater leaders is a channel sales leader, and Sherriff's responsibility under Americas sales chief Chuck Robbins is now for all of the Americas, not just U.S. and Canada.

The same structure will be in place in Cisco's other two sales theaters, as well. Sherriff's counterpart in the Europe, the Middle East and Africa theater will be Milo Schacher, most recently vice president, emerging markets, reporting into Chris Dedicoat, president, European Markets, who heads the theater. In the Asia Pacific, Japan and Greater China (APJC) geography, Stanimira Koleva has the role, reporting into APJC leaders Edzard Overbeek and Owen Chan.