Red Hat Searching For New North America Channel Chief

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Enterprise software maker Red Hat is actively conducting a search for a new U.S. channel chief after Vice President Of North America Channel Sales Roger Egan accepted a job with high-flying open-source startup Docker Inc.

Egan, a seven-year Red Hat veteran who grew the company's North America channel sales tenfold, officially stepped down on Friday, just 10 days before the Red Hat partner conference Jan. 13-15 in Scottsdale, Ariz.

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"We have an active search on [for a replacement]," said Mark Enzweiler, vice president of global channels and alliances for Red Hat, in an interview with CRN. "There is lots of interest [in the position]. There are people whose names you often find in your publication on the list. You probably know some of the people I have reached out to, but because they are working for other companies, I can't say their names."

Until a replacement is named, Egan's duties will be taken on by Bob Wilson, Red Hat senior director of North America channel sales, and Jerry Lumpkin, also Red Hat senior director of North America channel sales.

Both Wilson and Lumpkin will report to Rick Akie, vice president of North America sales for Red Hat.

Akie, for his part, said he will work closely with Wilson and Lumpkin to assure Red Hat maintains its channel sales momentum. "Nothing is going to change," he promised. "We will continue the momentum that we have built upon all year."

Red Hat's channel sales have been steadily trending up over the last several years and are now approaching 70 percent of total sales, said Akie.

"We have an exciting product portfolio that we have built over the past few years beyond our Linux base with huge interest in the market," said Akie. "It's a huge opportunity for our partners. We see absolute continued growth with the partners benefiting."

Enzweiler, who hired Egan and described the two as close friends, said he was saddened by Egan's departure but heartened by the great opportunity ahead for Egan.

"It was really mixed emotions when he told me he was leaving," said Enzweiler. "It's a great opportunity for him to get into a small company. It's a great technology company. It is not hard to figure out when you look at all the hype going on around Docker. We are certainly saddened by him leaving. But I am happy for him because it is a great, great opportunity."

Egan was brought into Docker by Docker CEO Ben Golub, a serial entrepreneur of sorts who was the former CEO of Gluster, an open-source storage company acquired by Red Hat in 2011. Docker, in fact, is partnering with Red Hat.

The addition of Egan, who could not be reached for comment, comes with Docker building out a network of certified support, training and services providers for its open source engine that automates application deployment.

NEXT: Red Hat VP: Channel Chief Departure Will Not Impact Red Hat Strategy

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