Revolving Door Continues At BEA As Another Channel Exec Departs


Mercedes Ellison, senior VP of marketing, calls it quits


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One of BEA Systems' channel executives will be the latest to leave in a slew of executive departures over the past two months.

Mercedes Ellison, BEA senior vice president of marketing, has resigned, a BEA spokeswoman confirmed Thursday. Ellison's last day at the company is Aug. 30. She reported to former BEA chief marketing officer Tod Nielsen, who also resigned recently; his last day at BEA is Thursday.

Ellison's resignation comes on the heels of the departure of another BEA channel executive, Scott Edgington, former BEA vice president of channel and worldwide alliances in charge of ISVs. Edgington has since joined startup Voltage Security. These departures leave Bobby Napiltonia, vice president of channel and worldwide alliances, as the sole channel executive remaining at BEA, San Jose, Calif.

Ellison joined BEA in August 2002 to help iron out the company's channel marketing after channel advocate and the creator of BEA's first channel program, Rauline Ochs, left the company in April of that year. Solution providers have criticized BEA for dropping the ball with its channel partners after Ochs left.

BEA's channel program has seen a revolving door of executives come and go since Ochs, who now is group vice president of North American channels at Oracle, departed. A month after Ellison joined BEA, the company hired former Microsoft executive Morris Beton as vice president of business development to lead channel initiatives. Beton lasted less than a year; he took a position as CEO of another company.

After Beton departed, BEA moved its channel efforts under its sales organization under the leadership of Charlie Ill, BEA's executive vice president of worldwide sales. Then the company hired Napiltonia in November 2003 after John Gray, vice president of global alliances, departed in October 2003. Gray now works under Ochs at Oracle.

However alarming these developments may be, changes in the channel team are the least of BEA's worries lately. The company is in the position of rebuilding nearly its entire management staff with the recent exit of Nielsen, as well as technology gurus Adam Bosworth, former chief architect, and Scott Dietzen, former CTO. Other executives to depart recently include Rick Jackson, vice president of products and solutions marketing, and Eric Frieberg, senior director of product marketing.

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