Juniper Names New U.S. Channel Chief Just Days Before Partner Conference

Just days before its Global Partner Conference kicks off in Las Vegas, Juniper Networks has appointed a new U.S. channel chief.

Jonathan Belcher, Juniper's vice president of partner sales for Asia-Pacific, greater China and Japan, according to his LinkedIn profile, is now Juniper's vice president of Americas partner sales, sources told CRN. Belcher replaces former U.S. channel chief Chris Jones, who left Juniper in November for Avaya.

A Juniper spokesperson confirmed Belcher's role change but could not immediately confirm his new title.

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According to his LinkedIn profile, Belcher has overseen Juniper's Asia-Pacific partner sales since January 2012. He joined Juniper in 2010 as vice president, worldwide Dell alliance sales.

Belcher moves into the U.S. channel chief seat just five days before Juniper is slated to kick off its third annual Global Partner Conference at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

"I am glad they are staying 'in house' for Chris [Jones'] replacement and the timing is good with the Juniper Global Partner Summit scheduled for next week," said Chris Becerra, vice president of sales at Terrapin Systems, a San Jose, Calif.-based solution provider and Juniper partner, in an email.

Belcher's appointment comes in the midst of what has been a mass exodus of channel talent from Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Juniper. In 2013, Juniper lost at least seven high-level channel executives, including former U.S. channel chief and Jones' predecessor Frank Vitagliano; Emilio Umeoka, senior vice president of worldwide partners; Donna Grothjan, vice president of worldwide distribution; Steve Pataky, vice president of worldwide partner development; and Hojin Kim, vice president of Americas partner development and operations.

Pat Grillo, president and CEO of Atrion Communication Resources, a Branchburg, N.J.-based Juniper partner, said he has noticed recent turnover within Juniper's regional channel management team as well. He said he hopes Juniper addresses the turnover -- and sends a message of stability -- at next week's event.

"At the minimum, I would like to hear that nothing else is going to change, because right now, we are doing well with Juniper." Grillo told CRN. "But we could be selling a lot more if we knew who we should be talking to."

Grillo said he isn't personally familiar with Belcher, but that his appointment could be a much-welcomed step toward consistency within Juniper's executive ranks.

"I would like to see that they are taking steps to put people in place that are staying here," Grillo said.

In addition to the recent changes in Juniper's executive channel team, Juniper in November named former CTO and CIO of Verizon Communications Shaygan Kheradpir as its new CEO. Kheradpir, who is scheduled to address partners at next week's event, replaced retiring Juniper CEO Kevin Johnson on Jan. 1.