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VMware Appoints New Channel Chief To Replace Departing O'Callaghan

Ross Brown, an industry channel veteran who has previously worked at Microsoft, Citrix and IBM, joins VMware and will replace departing channel chief Dave O'Callaghan.

VMware said Tuesday that it has hired Ross Brown, a 24-year industry veteran who's previously held partner-focused roles at IBM, Citrix and Microsoft, as its new channel chief.

Brown, whose title is senior vice president of worldwide partners and alliances, will oversee VMware's channel and alliance teams and lead its Global Partner Organization. He'll report to VMware Chief Operating Officer Carl Eschenbach, a VMware spokesman said in an emailed statement.

Brown is replacing Dave O'Callaghan, senior vice president of global channels and alliances, who is leaving VMware after two and a half years. O'Callaghan is returning to his previous role as adjunct professor at the University of Denver, and will also be doing consulting work, the spokesman told CRN.

[Related: Report Says EMC May Decide To Buy Out VMware Instead Of Spinning It Off]

"We thank Dave for his contributions and achievements at VMware," the spokesman said. "Dave has strengthened relationships with VMware partners, and we wish him the best in his next endeavor."

O'Callaghan has been a popular figure in the VMware channel since joining in May 2013.

"We’re sorry to see Dave go and wish him luck," said George Barkley, founding partner of Sovereign Systems, a Norcross, Ga.-based VMware partner. "We’ve always had consistently strong support from the Vmware channel organization, and that is reflective of Dave’s leadership."

One longtime partner told CRN he's "shocked and disappointed" to see O'Callaghan depart.

"Dave O'Callaghan was a real and aggressive advocate for the channel," said the partner, who didn't want to be named. "He has always fought for partner profitability and for VMware to operate in a way that is predictable for the channel."

Todd Surdey, a five-year VMware veteran who was named co-channel chief and vice president of strategic alliances and emerging partners in October of last year, will stay on in that role and report to Brown, according to the spokesman.

Brown spent more than four years at Microsoft as vice president of partner strategy in its Worldwide Partner Group before leaving in September 2012. For the past two years, he's been senior principal at The Spur Group, a Redmond, Wash.-based consulting firm, according to his LinkedIn profile.

PUBLISHED AUG. 4, 2015

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