Avaya Chief Technologist, Services Boss Among New Round Of Exits


Several high-ranking Avaya executives have left the company, CRN has learned, including Avaya's top technology chief and its head of global services.

Both exits come during an ongoing period of executive turnover at the communications giant, which is preparing for an IPO and fresh off announcing a plannned acquisition of video vendor Radvision.

Dr. Alan Baratz, who earlier this year became senior vice president for corporate development and strategy, is one of the departures.

[Related: 10 Key Events in the Avaya Channel This Year]

Baratz, who came to Avaya from Cisco in 2008, headed Avaya's M&A, strategic alliances, market intelligence, pricing models and analyst relations, though he was better known as Avaya's chief technology evangelist. His previous title was senior vice president and president, Avaya Global Communications Solutions.

Mohamad Ali, who was named senior vice president and president, Avaya Client Services, a year ago, is another. Ali previously had the corporate and development SVP role but in April 2011 replaced Joachim "Joe" Heel as head of services.

An Avaya spokesperson confirmed the departures of both Baratz and Ali to CRN. Ali's departure was also mentioned in a filing Avaya made with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last week.

Additional exits include David Downing, former vice president and general manager, unified communications and later VP of worldwide technical operations. Sources with knowledge of the moves also mentioned that Daniel Berg, Avaya's vice president for research and development, is on the way out, but Avaya's representative could not confirm Berg's exit at press time.

Executive turnover has been relentless at Avaya over the past two years. Major exits from the last 12 months included Jeremy Butt, former vice president, worldwide channels and now heading Westcon EMEA, Carol Giles Neslund, former vice president, U.S. channels, and now at Enphase Energy, Andrew Shepperd, managing director of Avaya's U.K. and Ireland businesses, Isabelle Guis, former Avaya general manager, Enterprise Communications Business and now at Big Switch Networks, and Martin Ingram, vice president of global critical accounts and services engineering, and now senior vice president and CIO at Arise Virtual Solutions.

A number of former Avaya sales, channel and marketing executives, including Nancy Maluso, former vice president of unified communications product marketing at Avaya, and Peter Polizzi, former senior director of worldwide channel technical sales, have also joined former Avaya global sales boss Todd Abbott at Sonus Networks.

Avaya partners have told CRN that the frequent pace of executive turnover at Avaya is creating instability for the Avaya channel, especially as Avaya looks to integrate its recent acquisitions and continue the work it's done on streamlining its global channel program.

"They just can't seem to calm this down," said a top executive at a national Avaya partner, who asked to remain anonymous. "At every major Avaya meeting for the past, I don't know, three years, they've told us that the executive team is in place and that there won't be any more big changes. How are we supposed to believe that when this keeps happening?"