NetApp Channel Exec Scott Strubel Retires, Thomas Stanley Takes Over In Interim

Scott Strubel, one of the top channel executives at storage vendor NetApp, has decided to leave the company. Strubel, in an email to CRN, wrote that he is leaving NetApp after a seven-year run to spend less time on the road and consider his future options in the tech industry.

"I’ve decided to resign and take a little time off before re-entering the tech sector. During those seven years at NetApp, I put in over 1,000 nights on the road and, after that average of 145 nights per year in hotel beds, I decided it was time for a break," Strubel wrote.

[Related: CRN Exclusive: NetApp's David Wright On SolidFire And Building A New Hyper-Converged Infrastructure]

Strubel's role at NetApp will temporarily handled by Thomas Stanley, senior vice president and general manager of Sunnyvale, Calif.-based NetApp's Americas business, according to a statement emailed to CRN by a NetApp spokesperson.

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"[Stanley] notified the NetApp Americas channel team that Scott Strubel, channel leader for the Americas, has left the company due to personal reasons. The team is reporting to Thomas and NetApp is conducting a search for the replacement. We wish Scott all the best and thank him for his many contributions," NetApp wrote in that statement.

Strubel did a lot for NetApp during his seven years at the company, said John Woodall, vice president of engineering at Integrated Archive Systems (IAS), a Palo Alto, Calif.-based solution provider and longtime NetApp channel partner.

"I remember when he joined NetApp," Woodall told CRN. "It was a breath of fresh air for the channel. Scott emphasized partner profitability. He emphasized developing partner services. He established a road show program to train partners so there was less need to go to NetApp for training."

Strubel knew how to follow up on channel action items, Woodall said. "He was always taking good notes in meetings, and did well with follow-ups," he said. "I enjoyed working with him. I'm sorry to see him go."

Woodall recently joined NetApp's Partner Advisory Council and said the most recent meeting was definitely "Scott's show."

Woodall also said partners should not expect Stanley to be a passive caretaker of the channel while NetApp looks to replace Strubel.

"Thomas is an outstanding executive," Woodall said. "There will be no grass growing under him. Actions will continue under him. He's one of the best execs out there."

Strubel left Hewlett-Packard in 2010 after a 27-year stint as Americas vice president of channels and alliances for HP Software to build NetApp's software business following its 2008 acquisition of SAN management software developer Onaro and its 2011 acquisition of cloud storage technology developer Akorri.

Strubel wrote in his email that in 2015 he left his global role to take a two-year commitment to work with channel partners to help the company return to growth, which NetApp appears to have done.

"I’m very proud of what the Americas Partner Organization teams I led accomplished with our partners, and for our sales force, in these past two years. We teamed up closely with Bill Lipsin [vice president, worldwide channels] and his global channel team in the turnaround and partner outcomes that we affected," he wrote.

Those accomplishments included getting channel partners to move NetApp to the No. 2 spot in the flash storage market; implementing a hard deck program to give channel partners exclusive access to all accounts outside the top 1,000 accounts; working closely with partners to grow their partner-branded services and support, integrating the NetApp and SolidFire channels; and working with partners to make 2016 the biggest-ever year for FlexPod converged infrastructure sales, he wrote.