Sun Restructures Sales; Cook Out As U.S. Sales Chief

The new president of the U.S. territory, one of what Sun is now calling Geographically Established Markets (GEMs), is Rich Napolitano, according to the memo from Bob MacRitchie, Executive Vice President of Sun's GSO.

A Sun spokesperson confirmed the changes late Friday.

Napolitano was founder and CEO of Pirus Networks, a developer of storage virtualization technology acquired by Sun in September 2002. He most recently led the Storage Systems Group of Sun Network Storage. Sun executives in charge of U.S. partner sales, sales operations and client solutions will all now report to Napolitano.

Cook, a 17-year sales veteran at Sun, is currently exploring other options at the Santa Clara, Calif.-based vendor, according to the memo. He spent two-and-a-half years as leader of U.S. sales for Sun, and was at the helm of last year's new sales engagement model that put more feet on the street to work with regional VARs as part of a channel push.

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Reporting to Napolitano in the new U.S. GEM, which will be headquartered near Boston, will be Tim Lieto, now vice president of U.S. customer sales. Lieto will be responsible for customer acquisition, retenion and growth of end-user customers in different sales regions, as well as in government and education sales within the U.S.

In the memo, MacRitchie wrote that the sales reorg is "a neccessary change to help Sun realize our mission and priorities to make money, grow, re-enlist champions, leverage our partners and simplify our business," several key goals the company recently identified.

Most importantly, MacRitchie wrote, the changes are designed to help Sun accelerate its claim of "a leadership position over our competitors."

Sun solution providers were surprised to see that Cook is no longer heading U.S. sales.

"I'm sorry to see Bill go," said one solution provider.

Another Sun partner, reading between the lines, said, "If it says he is looking for another position, it probably means he is out."