New Citrix Channel Chief Has Deep Ties To The Virtualization Vendor's Partners

Citrix's new channel chief, a longtime veteran of the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-headquartered enterprise tech vendor, has a track record of making it easier and more profitable for partners to bring to market the company's virtualization technology, one partner and former colleague told CRN.

Craig Stilwell, promoted last week to vice president of worldwide partner strategy and sales, replaced Kimberly Martin, who came to Citrix in the summer of 2015, during a corporate makeover led by an activist investor.

Martin led Citrix's channel activities for roughly one-and-a-half years. Citrix has not commented on the reason for the change in leadership.

[Related: Citrix Retiring 'High Touch' Account Restrictions That Were Panned By Partners]

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Carl Gersh, director of sales and marketing for Forthright Technology Partners, a Citrix implementer based in Miramar, Fla., worked closely with Stilwell for a few years within the company, and later as a partner.

"Craig understands Citrix really well and he understands Citrix channel partners very well," Gersh told CRN. "Kim leaving was kind of a mystery, but certainly Craig's appointment was not."

Stilwell has been with Citrix for 17 years, having filled in that time many leadership roles in the company's sales and channel divisions. He came to Citrix through its acquisition of Innovex, an Internet consulting company, in early 2000. His last position before the promotion was vice president of U.S. commercial sales.

Stilwell has always been focused on finding ways to improve operational efficiencies, and streamline how Citrix works with its partners to make it easier for them to do business together, Gersh said.

"He's got a pragmatic, results-oriented take on how to get things done and he's always been a strong proponent for the channel," Gersh told CRN.

While Martin's short tenure at the company "wasn't a bad time for Citrix partners," Gersh said, Stilwell taking over should be greeted as a "very positive move" by the company's channel.