Chief Sales Officer Sue Barsamian Leaving Micro Focus

Sue Barsamian, a seasoned channel executive with years of experience from Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Micro Focus, is leaving the executive world behind for a new focus on working with multiple companies as a board member.

Barsamian, currently executive vice president and chief sales and marketing officer at Newbury, U.K.-based enterprise software developer Micro Focus, on Tuesday confirmed her plans to leave the company on August 1 as part of a planned transition.

Micro Focus and HPE in September completed the merger of their software businesses in an $8.8-billion deal. Prior to that merger, Barsamian spent 11 years at HPE and its former parent company Hewlett-Packard, and left HPE as chief sales and marketing officer for that company's software business.

[Related: Micro Focus And HPE Software Complete $8.8 Billion Spin-Off/Merger Deal]

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Barsamian told CRN exclusively that her objective was to smoothly transition the software business through the integration of HPE Software and Micro Focus.

"I planned to stay through the transition, and then move to the next phase of my career from a focus on operating executive roles to corporate board roles," she said.

Barsamian has already started that move. Cloud content management and storage provider Box unveiled the appointment of Barsamian to its board of directors effective this past May.

Aaron Levie, co-founder and CEO of Redwood City, Calif.-based Box, said in a statement at the time that Barsamian's global sales and go-to-market experience in the enterprise software industry made her a great addition to the Box board of directors.

"We believe her strong experience ranging from Hewlett Packard Enterprise to Mercury Interactive will be extremely valuable as Box continues to scale and power the digital workplace for the largest and most regulated enterprises in the world," Levie said.

Barsamian said her plan is to join more corporate boards.

Barsamian said Micro Focus' channel business is now in the hands of Mike O'Neill, the company's vice president of worldwide alliances. "He came with me from HPE," she said. "He left before me to join a startup, and then came to Micro Focus. With O'Neill, Micro Focus will be a real good partnering company, just like HPE is."

Both Barsamian and O'Neill are highly-regarded executives, said Mike Strohl, CEO of Entisys360, a Concord, Calif.-based solution provider and channel partner to both HPE and Micro Focus.

"Maybe she'll join my board," Strohl told CRN.

Barsamian is one of the greatest channel advocates that Strohl said he has had the pleasure of working with.

"She's someone who connected with the channel even when she was at the largest of companies," he said. "I enjoyed working with her, and hope to stay connected with her."

Strohl said that he first met Barsamian at a conference when someone introduced the two. "I thought I was a little guy," he said. "But she met with us and really helped us get going. A lot of executives live in their glass towers. Sue really stepped up to work closely with us."

On Wednesday, Micro Focus reported that for the first six months of its fiscal 2018 (ended April 30), pro forma revenue at constant currency declined 8 percent to $1.97 billion compared to revenue of $2.15 billion in the same period in fiscal 2017.

"Due to initial challenges in the integration of the HPE Software assets, we believe that we are running approximately one year behind our original plan and as communicated in March, we expect that on exiting the current financial year revenues will be substantially lower than anticipated at the time of the transaction," said Kevin Loosemore, Micro Focus executive chairman, in a statement accompanying the financial results.

Last week the company announced a deal to sell SUSE for $2.54 billion.