Top Avaya Sales Exec Out, Former Nortel Boss Ascends

Todd Abbott

Avaya offered no further details on the move, except to state that it was Abbott's choice to step down, he will "pursue other interests" and he will stay with Avaya for an "appropriate transitional period."

"In the past six months, Avaya has undergone some significant and exciting changes, including the rollout of several innovative products and solutions," said Kevin Kennedy, Avaya president and CEO, in a statement. "Today's leadership changes will allow us to build on that momentum and stay on track to deliver even more solutions that create customer value and respond to the evolution in realtime business communication and customer service."

Abbott, who joined Avaya in May 2008 from Seagate, was a key architect of the past year's two major Avaya transformations: the Nortel acquisition and integration and the dramatic revamp of Avaya's channel program.

In a March interview with CRN at VoiceCon Orlando, Kennedy and Abbott said that Avaya was progressing well on both ends and that "the race is on" for Avaya and Nortel VARs to keep up with the changing demands of unified communications and collaboration and how they're used in enterprises and SMBs alike.

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Hackney joined Avaya shortly after Avaya finalized its acquisition of Nortel's enterprise solutions division. He has been in charge of Avaya's Data and Government Solutions business units, which according to Avaya will now come under Steve Bandrowczak, newly appointed to vice president and general manager, Avaya Data Solutions, following his role as vice president, sales and marketing, Avaya Data Solutions.

Bandrowczak, like Hackney, is also a Nortel holdover. He will join the Avaya Executive Committee, as well, and report directly to Kennedy, Avaya said.

The company further announced that Jim Chirico has been appointed executive vice president, business operations, and will be in charge of Avaya's growth, transition, integration and restructuring activities.

The changes will go into effect June 14, according to Avaya. A spokesperson offered no further details, except to say that Avaya's channel program, Avaya Connect, will not see any changes, and is still headed up by Jeremy Butt, vice president of worldwide channels.