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Sources: Top PTC Channel Exec Kerry Grimes Leaves For IIoT Company

Sources tell CRN that Kerry Grimes, PTC’s top channel executive, is leaving the company for another industrial IoT vendor after doubling PTC’s partner-related revenue over his five-year tenure and creating a partner-first attitude.

Kerry Grimes, PTC's former channel chief who doubled the company's channel business over his five-year tenure, is leaving the company to lead the global partner program for another vendor in the industrial Internet of Things space, according to two sources.

"I have accepted an offer to create and lead another global partner ecosystem in the process manufacturing space," Grimes told PTC's channel team in an email that was obtained by CRN. "Although I loved my role at PTC, and I have very much enjoyed working with all of you, I realized that the opportunity ahead of me was too exciting to decline."

[Related: PTC Blames Government Shutdown, Restructuring For Slipped Deals]

Grimes declined to comment. PTC did not respond to a request for comment.

Grimes, who joined PTC in 2013, was the channel chief of the Boston-based industrial software company until last October when he was promoted to lead its international expansion efforts. The promotion gave Grimes the expanded role of divisional vice president of PTC's partner network and emerging geographies while John Gray, a former Oracle executive, was hired to become PTC's new channel chief.

Gray, whose role has been senior vice president of global solution provider sales, will take over Grimes' oversight of PTC's partner programs and operations in addition to his current role, said the two sources, who were not authorized to speak about the move publicly. Gray will also lead PTC's Latin America sales while other executives take on other geographies that fell under Grimes' purview.

In his email, Grimes said that it was a difficult decision to leave the company and touted how the channel organization, under his leadership, doubled PTC's partner-related revenue over five years while it expanded into China and other new regions.

"I want you all to know I'm not leaving PTC for a better company," he said in the email. "PTC is a wonderful company, with amazing people, products, and partners. I'm simply leaving because the opportunity is better for me and my family."

Grimes has been credited internally and by partners with uplifting the company's channel organization as PTC expanded beyond computer-aided design and product lifecycle management into industrial IoT and augmented reality software.

One of CRN's sources said Grimes played a big role in "getting the channel into the consciousness of senior leadership" and pointed to how he helped grow annual revenue from partners to approximately 33 percent from roughly 22 percent.

"He really drove a culture of collaboration and really did take a partner-first attitude," the source said. "He did believe in the mantra of 'partner success is our success.'"

Ray Miciek, executive vice president of sales at PTC partner Aquitas, said he was not aware of Grimes' departure and credited the executive with making PTC a partner-friendly organization.

"Our first sales kickoff meeting we attended, they really made a conscious effort to bring partners in and make them feel like they were part of the sales organization," Miciek said, adding that channel conflict has not been an issue. "I think that was reflective of Kerry's track record."

With Grimes passing the baton to Gray, Miciek said he expects business as usual with PTC, noting that Gray's experience with subscription-based businesses will suit the company well as it continues to transition partners and customers to a recurring revenue business model for software.

"They had done some things to set up success for the channel when we came in," such as improve resources for support, development and marketing, Miciek said. "I don't expect that will change."

Beyond his general partner support, Grimes also helped consolidate PTC's channel programs, which had different engagement models and geographies, into one defined network, according to one of the sources.

Grimes' departure means that PTC has big shoes to fill to continue the company's international expansion plans. He had been promoted to expand PTC's presence in emerging geographies because of the success he had in building the company's business in China two years ago, the source told CRN.

"He really did a good job putting the channel front and center," the source said.

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