Overland Storage late last week decided to cut 14 percent of its workforce, including the company's channel chief.
Christie Huff, vice president of worldwide marketing at Overland, was one of 54 employees at the company who will be leaving as a result of layoffs at the San Diego-based storage vendor. Her last day is slated for Friday.
Other changes include having Michael Kerman, vice president and chief strategy officer, assume the responsibility for worldwide marketing and product management. Robert Farkaly, senior director of product management, who was responsible for the company's disk-based appliances, has been promoted to vice president of worldwide sales.
Greg Knieriemen, vice president of marketing at Chi, a Cleveland-based storage solution provider and Overland partner, called the imminent departure of Huff a shock.
"Christie was a real catalyst for us and for the channel," Knieriemen said. "She is one of the most original and creative channel marketing people I ever worked with. She's absolutely the best. I couldn't name a close second."
Overland is going through a period of transition due to a couple of significant OEM losses, the decision to restart in-house manufacturing of its storage arrays after a disastrous experiment at outsourcing the function, and the departure in November of company president and CEO Christopher Calisi.
"One of the most positive things Chris Calisi did was promote Huff to the executive level," Knieriemen said. "She won't be easy to replace. While Overland is going through a period of transition, it will be a challenge without her. She took channel opinions to heart. She even solicited channel opinions."
Huff told CRN she agrees with the decision to include her in the layoffs.
"Being part of the senior staff, I was involved in the meetings to make those decisions," she said. "I feel it's important to make decisions that are best for the company. When you have people like myself and Michael Kerman, and you need to make cuts, how can you not come to the conclusion that our roles should be combined?"
Huff said she just today started talking to potential employers, some of whom were recommended to her by Overland solution providers. "But being heavily loyal to Overland, I haven't really started looking," she said.