CRN has learned that Chris Riley, a well-respected channel-friendly executive in Hewlett-Packard's storage team, has left HP for archrival EMC.
Riley, who until a few weeks ago served as vice president and general manager for HP's Americas storage business, has quietly moved to EMC, according to several channel sources.
Channel sources said Riley's role is being filled, at least on in interim basis, by Andrew Manners, who according to his LinkedIn profile is vice president for the HP Storage Division AMS.
An HP spokesperson confirmed via email that Riley had left the company but declined to further comment on the change. As of publication time, EMC had not responded to a request for further information.
Channel sources were unable to confirm what Riley's position at EMC is.
Riley was one of the lieutenants of Dave Donatelli, who until recently served as executive vice president and general manager of HP's Enterprise Group. Donatelli is reportedly leaving HP after being sidelined last year in a big executive shakeup.
Riley is credited with increasing HP's field engagement with its channel partners.
Several HP solution providers said they are sorry to see Riley leave HP.
Dave Butler, president of Enterprise Computing Solutions, a Mission Viejo, Calif.-based solution provider and longtime HP partner, called Riley a "great guy."
"We utilized him in several opportunities," Butler said. "He was a big help to us.
Butler said it was no surprise to see Riley leave HP given the executive changes that resulted in the sidelining of Donatelli.
"When the top person goes, the team under him changes," he said. "In such a case, for someone to drop out of sight for a time is not uncommon."
Rich Baldwin, CIO and chief strategy officer at Nth Generation Computing, a San Diego-based solution provider and longtime HP partner, said to some degree EMC probably has got a new feather in its cap with the return of Riley.
"Riley was very supportive of the channel," Baldwin said. "If a large opportunity came up, he would come in at a moment's notice to help close a deal. He has come to our sales kickoffs in the past. He didn't come this year. Now we know why."
NEXT: Channel Says EMC Right To Take Chris Riley Back