HP Channel Exodus Continues As Rauch, Kelly Head For Exits

Frank Rauch, vice president of U.S. channels in HP's Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking division, is leaving for a position at VMware, sources told CRN Friday. Rauch's title there could not be ascertained, but one source familiar with the matter said he will be replacing Brandon Sweeney, VMware's vice president of Americas channel sales, who is moving up the ranks.

Meaghan Kelly, vice president of channel strategy at HP, is leaving June 15 for SAP, where she will be vice president of global channel marketing, according to an email she sent to partners last week, which was viewed by CRN.

[Related: HP Loses Another Top Channel Executive To Oracle ]

HP and VMware did not respond to requests for comment. Rauch and Kelly could not be reached for comment.

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An SAP spokesperson confirmed that Kelly has been hired and said she will begin on June 18.

The defections of Rauch and Kelly are the latest signs of turmoil at HP, which last week announced it will cut 27,000 jobs by the end of 2014 as part of an ongoing restructuring. Gary Koopman, former vice president of U.S. distribution at HP, earlier this week jumped to Oracle, where he will be group vice president of North America hardware sales.

Rauch, who came to HP in 2002 in its Compaq acquisition, is a popular figure in the HP channel, and one partner told CRN that he will be tough to replace.

"Frank is the glue of the HP partner community, and has been for quite some time," Dean Cappellazzo, CEO of Bedrock Technology Partners, a San Mateo, Calif.-based solution provider, told CRN.

In an executive reshuffling last month, Rauch was named ESSN's vice president of U.S. channels, a move that amounted to a minor demotion, according to partners, since he had previously been responsible for the overall Americas business.

Kelly joined HP in 2008 and until last July was head of the SMB Advisory Council, a division of HP’s Solution Partners Organization that serves the needs of partners in this segment. She previously held marketing roles at Motorola, Pillar Data Systems and Veritas.

"Meaghan will be missed by the resellers who knew and worked with her, especially council members," Rick Chernick, CEO of Camera Corner/Connecting Point, a Green Bay, Wisc.-based HP partner, told CRN.

In an email to partners, Kelly sounded sad to leave but also eager to begin her new role at SAP.

"My time at HP has been phenomenal and it’s bittersweet for me to leave such a great and iconic company," Kelly said in the email. "Having said that, I have a tremendous opportunity in front of me and I’m excited to move over into a new job and into the next phase of my career."

Channel consolidation at the company has been expected since March, when HP merged its PC and printer businesses.

HP said it will cut 9,000 positions in fiscal 2012, with the overall restructuring expected to save the company between $3.0 billion and $3.5 billion by the end of fiscal 2014.

This story was updated on Friday 6/1 at 11:55 a.m. Pacific time to clarify Rauch's role at VMware

This story was updated on Friday 6/1 at 12:50 p.m. Pacific time to add SAP's confirmation of Kelly's hiring