Partner Marketing Head Tierney Out At Juniper Networks

Luanne Tierney, head of partner marketing at Juniper Networks, is leaving the company amid a broader string of cutbacks to Juniper's marketing organization, CRN has learned.

According to sources, Juniper plans to formally announce Tierney's departure next week. It's not clear where Tierney is headed next and she did not immediately respond to CRN's request for comment.

Calls into Juniper's PR agency Edelman were met with no comment.

Tierney joined Juniper in January 2011 as vice president of global partner marketing, a role in which she drove a number of initiatives to help raise the marketing proficiency of Juniper solution providers. In 2013, for instance, Tierney launched a program to help partners redesign and optimize their websites for viewing on smartphones and tablets, given the BYOD trend.

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Tierney's departure comes just a week after Juniper said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it plans to cut back on marketing resources and funds, as part of a broader cost-cutting effort by new Juniper CEO Shaygan Kheradpir. Juniper, which also said in the filing it would cut roughly 550 jobs from its global workforce, said the marketing cutbacks would largely take place in the second quarter.

Solution providers said Tierney's exit is a loss for the Juniper channel.

"It's too bad because I think she's a really valuable piece to the channel and to Juniper," said the sales executive of one Juniper Elite partner, who asked not to be named.

The partner said he's also concerned that Tierney's departure, coupled with Juniper's more widespread marketing cuts, could lead to leaner partner marketing funds down the road. "All the signs are there that they are going to do some cuts on the channel side and marketing funds," he said. "It's not good news as far as I'm concerned."

"It's too bad," said another Juniper Elite partner, who also asked not to be named, of Tierney's departure. "We have never worked that closely but we have known her for years, and she's always done a good job and has been really accessible."

Doug Erickson, vice president of worldwide partner programs and development at Juniper, told CRN in a recent interview that, despite Juniper tightening the belt on its marketing organization, partner MDFs will not be impacted.

"The simple answer is that we are not cutting MDF. The longer answer is that yes, our marketing organization is going through reductions, both in personnel and in opex spend, and that was what was alluded to in our filing," Erickson said. "But the opportunity here is that this makes our MDF bucket more valuable to our partners because what we are going to do is [have] the team that runs our marketing put together things that we can use to go out with partners to drive the Juniper message."

Tierney's departure is the latest in a series of channel executive exits from Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Juniper. In 2013, the company lost seven high-level channel executives, not the least of which was U.S. channel chief Frank Vitagliano, who left in March for a top channel gig at Dell. Vitagliano's successor, Chris Jones, left Juniper in November for Avaya.

Prior to joining Juniper in 2011, Tierney was at Cisco Systems, where she headed up worldwide partner marketing for more than two years.