Juniper WW Channel Chief To Depart As Channel, Commercial Units Merge Into One

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Another wave of change has crashed over Juniper Networks' channel organization, with the company announcing Thursday the departure of Emilio Umeoka, senior vice president of worldwide partners, along with plans to combine its channel and commercial sales divisions into one.

In an interview with CRN, Juniper said Umeoka will continue to be "on board for a number of months," but has personally decided to leave the company.

Umeoka, who could not immediately be reached for comment, has been Juniper's worldwide channel chief since December 2010.

[Related: Juniper Accelerates Launch Of Contrail SDN Controller]

David Helfer, previously Juniper's vice president of channels, distribution and alliances for Europe, Middle East and Africa, has been tapped as Umeoka's replacement. In addition, Helfer, a 13-year Juniper vet, will oversee Juniper's commercial business, as that segment becomes integrated with the Juniper channel organization.

Meanwhile, Juniper also appointed Douglas Erickson, former senior director of Enterprise Strategy and Planning, as its new Vice President, Worldwide Partner Programs and Development. Erickson, who came to Juniper in 2004 through the company's NetScreen acquisition, replaces Steve Pataky, who left Juniper in August for security vendor FireEye.

Juniper's executive team has seen a revolving door of leadership over the past several months. In addition to the exit of Pataky and Umeoka, Juniper in August announced the unexpected departure of CEO Kevin Johnson, who the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company said was retiring after five years in the role.

Johnson's departure came on the heels of several other high-level executive departures, including that of Juniper's Chief Marketing Officer Lauren Flaherty, who left to pursue a senior vice president and CMO role at CA Technologies.

In March, channel veteran and Juniper's Senior Vice President of Americas Partners Frank Vitagliano left the company to head up channel sales at Dell.

In addition to its channel team shake-up, Juniper told CRN it's combining its channel organization and commercial sales organization -- which assigns and targets enterprise accounts by territory -- into one, with Helfer overseeing the merged unit.

According to Helfer, Juniper decided to combine the two divisions because there was already significant overlap between the two, with a merger seeming like a natural next step and one that would make it easier for partners to do business with Juniper.

NEXT: Juniper's Channel, Commercial Merger

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