New Sherriff In Town: Cisco Names U.S., Canada Channel Chief

Jim Sherriff

The appointment of a new U.S, and Canada channel chief had been anticipated since early July when Cisco announced several executive changes in its channel ranks. Among those changes are that Bahr, who has been Cisco's U.S. and Canada channel chief since January 2008, will now be responsible for aligning Cisco's go-to-market strategy across its most strategic worldwide accounts. Cisco's Strategic Partner Organization and Technology Alliances teams also now come under her.

As chairman and CEO of Cisco China, Sherriff was in charge of Cisco's overall business strategy in that country. A nine-year Cisco veteran, he was previously senior vice president of the company's Enterprise Segment. Before joining Cisco Sherriff was a 20-year veteran of Hewlett Packard, where among other executive positions he was vice president and general manager of HP Consulting and general manager of HP's Asia Pacific Professional Services.

After HP and before coming to Cisco in 2001, Sherriff was CEO of Stonebridge Technologies, a Dallas-based systems integrator and Cisco partner.

"Jim's recent global experience and his deep understanding of Cisco's field, customers and partner needs make him the ideal leader for this key sales role," wrote Goodwin in a Cisco Channels blog post early Thursday.

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During his previous enterprise role at Cisco, Goodwin wrote, "Jim was a vocal advocate for the partner community -- identifying 'deep partnering' as one of the four pillars of the U.S. enterprise sales strategy."

In his new role, Sheriff will take over channels in Cisco's largest sales theater -- one that's seeing vast new opportunities for growth but still reeling from the effects of a supply chain crisis that affected several important Cisco product families.

He'll have to answer to many solution providers who felt the supply chain issues were exacerbated by a lack of communication by Cisco to the channel about the extent of product shortages and adjusted lead times.

According to Goodwin, Sherriff will be based in Austin, Tex., where he is in the process of relocating with his family.

Other executive changes previously confirmed by Cisco are that Edison Peres will transition from senior vice president, worldwide channels go-to-market to senior vice president, worldwide channels, essentially taking over the day-to-day, channel-facing executive role from Keith Goodwin, who remains Cisco's senior vice president, worldwide partner organization.

In addition, Dave O'Callaghan, most recently Cisco's worldwide distribution chief, is moving into a new role as vice president, worldwide commercial sales, and heading a new team in charge of growing Cisco's SMB and commercial business.

Cisco has not yet named O'Callaghan's successor in the distribution role.