NetApp Channel Vets Howard, Danza Departing In Latest Round Of Layoffs


Two NetApp channel veterans will be leaving the company in its planned layoff of 600 employees, CRN has learned.

Peter Howard, vice president of global channel sales at NetApp and an eight-year company veteran, and Al Danza, an east coast regional channel sales director and 12-year NetApp veteran, are both leaving, sources familiar with the matter told CRN.

 [Related: NetApp's Cloud Strategy: The Tech Is There, Now To Put It All Together]

NetApp didn't respond to a request for comment on Howard's or Danza's status.

Jed Ayres, chief marketing officer at MCPc, Cleveland, Ohio-based solution provider and NetApp channel partner, called Howard one of the true unsung heroes of the channel.

"When I first met him, he had created FastPath, a program at NetApp that worked with 30 large solution providers who had no NetApp revenue," Ayres said. "NetApp used FastPath to invest in those partners even though they had zero NetApp revenue. They invested ahead of revenue, turning it into an incubator program."

Ayres told CRN he experienced FastPath twice at two different solution providers.

"FastPath, with a handshake and two pieces of paper, led to a 12-month cycle where NetApp invested about $500,000 in the partner, and offered marketing and technology resources plus dedicated channel people to ensure their success. In both cases, we went north of $10 million in NetApp business within one year."

Howard was also instrumental in the success of the FlexPod converged infrastructure solution with Cisco, Ayres said.

"He was the guy who brought FlexPod into the channel with Cisco," he said. "He was out there with his "S.W.A.T." team talking about FlexPod even before anyone knew what it was. He did a tremendous job as you can see with the success of FlexPod."

One solution provider, who asked to remain anonymous, told CRN the NetApp layoffs aren’t likely to have a big impact on the channel. "NetApp has a lot of people in the channel organization," the solution provider said. "Does it need all of them? There's a lot of fat in the middle."

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