Blue Coat Americas Channel Chief Departs


The top Americas channel executive for Blue Coat Systems has left the company, CRN has learned.

Laurie Usewicz, vice president of Americas channel sales, recently resigned from Blue Coat following two years in the role. Reached by CRN, Usewicz confirmed her exit but declined further comment.

Blue Coat declined to comment on Usewicz's departure or a potential replacement, citing a company policy about not confirming executive moves that haven't been formally announced.

[Related: Blue Coat Going Back to Basics In Channel Focus]

Much has changed in the past year for Blue Coat, which was recently taken private for $1.3 billion by an investor group led by Thoma Bravo only a few months after changing CEOs amid an earnings shortfall.

Throughout that period, its channel investment -- Blue Coat sells 100 percent through solution providers -- has remained steady, even with changes to its executive structure. Last year, Blue Coat de-centralized its global channel management in favor of regional leadership, ousting Jim Harold, its former vice president, worldwide channel sales (and now vice president, global channel sales at SafeNet). Blue Coat does still have a global marketing group for channels headed by Michele Hayes, senior director, global channel marketing.

Usewicz joined Blue Coat as Americas channel sales chief in June 2010, following 14 years at distributor Westcon Group. After the announcement of Blue Coat's acquisition in December, Usewicz and other Blue Coat executives assured partners that there would be no deviation in the company's channel focus.

Blue Coat solution providers that had been advised of Usewicz's transition saluted the work she did at the company.

"Laurie is great. She understands channels and drove the program to help partners and Blue Coat's interests in an optimal way," said Luis Palacio, senior director of vendor relations for FishNet Security, an Overland Park, Kan.-based solution provider. "It's been a win/win."

"She's going to be missed," said Pat Grillo, president and CEO of Atrion Communication Resources, a Branchburg, N.J.-based solution provider. "She was good because she was honest. If she or Blue Coat couldn't get something done for you, they'd tell you. It wasn't just the usual lip service of 'oh we're looking into that, we'll talk about that.'"

NEXT: Blue Coat Execs Plans To Replace Usewicz