Sources: Longtime Key Channel Exec Leaves Juniper

David Bankemper

David Bankemper, a key channel leader who helped drive a channel renaissance at Juniper Networks over the past seven years, is leaving the company, sources said.

Bankemper, senior director of worldwide channel programs at Juniper, was credited with helping build a simple, consistent and improved channel programs for the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based networking vendor.

"It's definitely a loss for the company," said a top executive solution provider and Elite Juniper partner who declined to be identified. "Everyone liked him a lot. … Dave was a very common-sense type of guy; I think sometimes these channel guys like to make programs as complex and convoluted as they can. I think Dave did a really great job simplifying Juniper's [channel programs]."

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Before taking the channel program director job, Bankemper was director of channel sales as well as vice president, Americas partner sales, at Juniper.

Juniper did not respond for comment by press time.

"Dave was very good at what he did," said Mark Robinson, president of CentraComm, a Findlay, Ohio-based solution provider and Juniper partner. "He was with Juniper for a long time and had quite a bit of responsibility recently. … They did some pretty substantial revisions this year to their program that [were] good; it was channel-friendly."

The vendor's revamped partner program, unveiled earlier this year, included increased discounts, incentives and market development funds for partners. Bankemper also helped consolidate Juniper's Champions, Services and Distribution programs into a single offering to simplify the program for partners while including better incentives for sales teams in the field.

Bankemper began his sales career in 1989, spending 16 years as a channel sales executive at IBM as the worldwide director of sales, according to his LinkedIn profile. He was promoted in 2005 to U.S. channel sales executive to lead the sales efforts for IBM's new Lenovo line. He was responsible for more than $2 billion in annual revenue and $80 million in marketing at Lenovo, according to his profile, until joining Juniper in March 2008.

At Juniper, he worked alongside channel veteran Frank Vitagliano, who jumped ship to Dell in 2013 to become the company's vice president of global partner strategy and programs. During that same year, multiple high-level channel executives left Juniper, including the U.S. channel chief, Chris Jones.

Partners said it's possible that Bankemper could land at either Dell or Avaya -- where some former Juniper channel talent ended up after the departure of Vitagliano.

"He was a part of the Frank Vitagliano team and most of Frank's guys have left," said another executive and longtime Juniper partner who declined to be identified. "I think he lost a lot of his power when Frank left and when they restructured a couple years ago, he lost some power as a result of that whole thing."

Last year, Juniper unveiled an "integration operating plan," which included laying off 6 percent of its global workforce, in response to ongoing pressure from hedge fund and Juniper investor Elliott Management.

Partners said they expect Alvio Barrios, senior vice president of Americas Sales, and Jon Belcher, vice president of the Americas commercial and partner sales, to drive Juniper channel program offerings in the wake of Bankemper's departure.

Earlier this month, Juniper also lost one of its top security executives, Christofer Hoff, vice president and security chief technology officer for Juniper's security, switching and solutions business unit.