Longtime Channel VP Grabs Top Sales Role At Avaya VAR

Paul Cantwell, currently vice president of LifeSize Communications' federal government business, will be senior vice president of worldwide sales at Optivor Technologies, an Annapolis Junction, Md.-based VAR and Avaya Platinum partner. He'll report to Stuart Chandler, Optivor's president and CEO, who confirmed the hire to CRN and described Cantwell as one of the best sales managers he knows.

"I've been dreaming of having Paul come on board for a long time," Chandler said. "We have very high expectations for this and we're very excited."

Cantwell has been with LifeSize since July 2010, but is perhaps best known to partners for three years spent as a channel chief at Tandberg -- where he worked from January 2007 through Tandberg's acquisition by Cisco, completed in 2010 -- and three years at Avaya, where he headed small business sales from 2001 to 2004.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Cantwell was also a vice president at Northrop Grumman from 2005 to 2007, and a director of service provider channels at Cisco from 1997 to 2001. Chandler said he and Cantwell have known each other since Cantwell's days at Digital Equipment Corp., where Cantwell worked for 16 years earlier in his career.

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Cantwell will lead Optivor's push behind data networking, video and unified communications sales -- all areas where Optivor is seeing growth, said Chandler.

"We're putting these things together," Chandler said. "We've already made commitments to training and certifications on the video side, we've got a video lab and we've made some significant investments. And I think when people find out that Paul's associated himself with Optivor, the manufacturers that I know and that Paul knows are going to make a bigger investment behind where we're going. It's giving us renewed vigor."

A LifeSize spokesperson confirmed Cantwell's departure to CRN, saying Cantwell had found an opportunity he felt he couldn't walk away from.

"We thank him for his service at LifeSize and wish him the best in his endeavors," the spokesperson said. "We have more than doubled our fed team in the last two years and expanded our business significantly under Paul's leadership. We plan to fill his position with a strong leader to continue the growth of our federal business."