Avaya's U.S. Channel Chief To Depart

Avaya's U.S. channel chief is exiting the company -- part of a slew of recent, major executive changes confirmed to CRN by Avaya.

Carol Giles Neslund, whose title is vice president, U.S. channels, is leaving Avaya to pursue other opportunities. A spokesperson for Avaya confirmed her departure but did not provide additional details. A longtime presence in the channel, Neslund previously led the Americas channel organization at Seagate, and was also at McData, StorageTek, IBM and Hitachi Data Systems before she joined Avaya as North America channel chief in 2008.

Stepping into Neslund's role will be John Spiliotis, who joined Avaya six months ago and will manage U.S. channels on an interim basis while Avaya searches for Neslund's replacement. Spiliotis, who had been at Redback Networks since 2005 and before that held executive sales positions at Extreme Networks and Cisco, is taking Neslund's vice president, U.S. channels title. He reports, as Neslund did, to Steve Fitz, Avaya vice president, U.S. sales.

Avaya also confirmed an addition: Phil Graham, vice president, product development and engineering for Avaya endpoints, with responsibilities for Avaya endpoint products spanning its contact center, small and medium enterprise and unified communications businesses and big-ticket products such as the Avaya Desktop Video Device.

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Graham most recently was vice president, engineering for TelePresence endpoints, multipoint, recording and scheduling products for rival Cisco and CTO for TelePresence there.

Among other changes, Tom Mitchell, who joined Avaya in April 2010 as senior vice president, channel integration, and a member of its executive committee, is now in charge of Avaya's overall go-to-market strategy, including channel transformation, small- and medium-size enterprise and worldwide channels, and architecture and policy management for Avaya's systems integrator and service provider channels.

Mitchell, well-known to longtime networking solution providers as Cisco's global channel chief until 2001 had had more of an internal channel integration role at Avaya up until recently. Jeremy Butt, vice president, worldwide channels, now reports to Mitchell instead of Joel Hackney, senior vice president, global sales and marketing and president, field sales, according to Avaya.

Earlier this month came additional executive appointments at Avaya. Mohamad Ali is now senior vice president and president, Avaya Global Services, and Brett Shockley is senior vice president, corporate development and strategy. Both report to Avaya President and CEO Kevin Kennedy.

Ali previously was senior vice president, corporate and development strategy group, focused on Avaya acquisitions and divestitures as well as management of Avaya's research labs and emerging products business unit. He replaces Joachim "Joe" Heel, who departed Avaya after about seven months in the role.

Shockley will assume Ali's previous job and maintain leadership of the emerging products and technology group, according to Avaya.