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Both executive moves closely follow a changing of the guard atop Cisco's channel flowchart, with Bruce Klein set to succeed Keith Goodwin as senior vice president, Worldwide Partner Organization. Goodwin is retiring but is expected to stay on through the end of the summer to assist with Klein's transition.
Notified of the changes by CRN, Gary Berzack, CTO and COO of eTribeca, a New York-based solution provider and Cisco partner, said the transitions should be smooth, and he welcomed Bahr's return to the Americas channel sales job.
"She was exemplary in the role before, and I'm glad to see her back," Berzack said. "I think it will bring a smooth transition, especially with Jim Sherriff moving out, and it will provide balance and continuity also for the transition from Keith to Bruce. This is one of the more seasoned channel teams out there."
Partners appreciated Bahr's visibility in the field, Berzack said, as well as her emphasis on channel sales to small and midsize customers in addition to Cisco's traditional strength in enterprise.
"When she had the job before, she had a vibrant initiative in the SMB market and that's become much more of a significant area for Cisco," Berzack said. "Enterprise has always been the top-heavy initiative in terms of sales, programs, marketing and enablement within Cisco, and over the last 15 years, it's struggled to do that well in other areas."
Cisco often makes executive changes close to the end of its fiscal year, although the past 18 months have seen more executive moves than usual, due to Cisco's ongoing corporate restructuring and a slew of major departures and reassignments.
In addition to these moves, Cisco last week said it would lay off 1,300 employees -- about 2 percent of its workforce -- on top of the more than 13,000 it's parted with in the past year and a half through layoffs, early retirement packages and asset sales. Most of the recent layoffs are believed to have come in Cisco's Wide Area Application Services (WAAS), Linksys, consulting and collaboration business groups.