Riverbed Taps Former Cisco Channel Chief Mountford As New Head Of Sales

Riverbed Technology has tapped former Cisco global channel chief Paul Mountford as its new head of sales.

Mountford, whose official title at Riverbed is senior vice president and chief sales officer, will be responsible for driving Riverbed's direct and indirect sales strategy, the San Francisco-based WAN optimization vendor said Monday.

Mountford joins Riverbed from web intelligence startup Sentillian, where he was CEO. But he is best known in the channel for his 16 years at networking giant Cisco.

From 2002 to 2005, Mountford headed up Cisco's global channels, a role in which he was widely credited for restoring partner profitability and improving partner satisfaction inside the Cisco channel.

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Related: Riverbed Rebrands Product Portfolio, Looks To Broaden Reach Beyond WAN Op

Mountford's most recent role at Cisco, before he left in 2012 for Sentillian, was senior vice president of Cisco's global enterprise business.

At Riverbed, Mountford will report into Dave Peranich, president of Riverbed's worldwide field operations.

"Paul [Mountford] is a dynamic business leader who takes a hands-on approach and has a track record of executing and driving measurable results," Peranich said in a statement. "Paul is also a proven leader of highly successful sales teams, and brings bench strength in selling a platform, scaling a channel and capitalizing on both established and emerging markets."

Mountford joins Riverbed as the company faces continued shareholder pressure to pursue a sale. Riverbed in February rejected a $3.36 billion takeover bid from activist shareholder Elliott Management, saying the price was too low.

In July, after Riverbed reported preliminary second-quarter results that were lower than expected, Elliott pushed again.

’This is a clear sign that dramatic change is needed at Riverbed: The board should immediately retain an advisor and announce a review of strategic alternatives, including a sale," Elliot said in a statement, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Riverbed in July reported a second-quarter revenue of $264 million. The company originally projected as much as $280 million.

Mountford also joins Riverbed as it rounds out a major rebranding initiative aimed at broadening its reach beyond the WAN optimization market and re-positioning itself as an end-to-end platform company.

"When the world sees you as one thing in a market that's about a billion [dollars], and you are getting close to reaching a billion, they don’t understand the runway you have as a company," Riverbed Chief Marketing Officer Kate Hutchison told CRN in May. "So this is a really important message to get out to both the financial analysts, as well as our customers, our prospects and the world at large."

Hutchison said the aim is to go market with more integrated solutions that encompass Riverbed's five product portfolios: converged infrastructure, cloud storage, application delivery, performance management and developer tools.