Extreme Networks has a new channel chief, CRN has learned, and it's Theresa Caragol, who most recently headed channels at telecom infrastructure specialist Ciena.
Caragol, whose title is vice president, worldwide channels, will be formally announced in the Extreme role early next week. She's been in various IT channel and sales distribution roles for more than 17 years, and before her seven years at Ciena, Caragol worked at IBM, Nortel and Bay Networks.
At Extreme, she'll oversee a worldwide partner base of more than 700 partners in 50 countries. Extreme has been without a channel chief since the February departure of Rich Long, now vice president of marketing at ScanSource.
"I felt like Ciena went as far as it could go with me," Caragol told CRN. "A piece of Ciena was focused on channels, but Extreme is all channel. I wanted to get to a place where channels are in the DNA of the entire company."
Caragol and Extreme CEO Oscar Rodriguez are both Nortel alumni, and Caragol said the two have known each other for more than a decade.
"I've always had incredible respect for him, and he's really serious about getting the channel story right," she said. "As I got to talking to people, I just got very excited and very sold on what Extreme is and what its leadership team is about."
"Theresa is an exceptional manager with a significant track record in channel development. Her combination of experience is ideal as Extreme Networks looks to further penetrate markets such as cloud, mobile campus and data centers," Rodriguez said in a statement e-mailed to CRN.
NEXT: Extreme’s History Informs Caragol’s Next StepsExtreme has seen significant revamp -- and several rounds of corporate restructuring -- in the past several years. Rodriguez became CEO in August 2010 and told CRN in early 2011 that the company would focus on markets where Extreme is best suited for growth: education, cloud services and service provider opportunities. Extreme shed 16 percent of its global workforce last summer in an effort to remove some $20 million in operating expenses during its fiscal year.
Extreme's channel story has for years been one of fiercely loyal solution providers who love Extreme's high-end switching and data center technology but crave more channel resources and go-to-market assistance. The company has continued to win accolades for its IT portfolio, particularly its BlackDiamond data center products.
Several Extreme solution providers told CRN a year ago that Extreme's sales and channel execution had significantly improved since a major corporate shakeup in 2009, but that they still sought stronger marketing air cover to help overcome Extreme's relative lack of brand recognition in the market.
Caragol, who is based in the Washington DC area, will spend her first month talking to as many channel partners and Extreme customers as possible.
"My whole philosophy is around mutual investment and driving net-new opportunities," she said. "My focus, and the reward for partners, will be around how we create these business opportunities in these areas like data center and mobility."