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Channel Changes For Verizon As Carrier Crowns New Channel Chief: Exclusive

For the first time in three years, the carrier has a channel chief at the helm of the recently formed Verizon Business Group: 20-year Verizon veteran and employee advocate Wendy Taccetta.

Carrier giant Verizon on Tuesday unveiled its new channel structure for Verizon Business and has named telecom veteran Wendy Taccetta as its channel chief.

Taccetta, who has a 20-year tenure with Verizon and most recently served as the carrier‘s senior vice president of global commercial operations for Verizon Business, is now Channel Chief for the entire recently formed Verizon Business Group, the carrier told CRN exclusively.

Taccetta will oversee channel strategy, operations and sales enablement for all partner programs across Verizon‘s entire business, according to the telecom giant. As part of the launch of the restructured Verizon Business Channel organization, Verizon is centralizing its enablement and operations teams into one organization, which Taccetta said will create scalable support for the Verizon Business and Partner sales teams.

“Our mission is clear: to enable improved partner experiences, expand our sales distribution and revenue opportunities through new partnerships and drive incremental solutions to our direct sales customers,” she said in an email to CRN.

[Related: Verizon, Microsoft Launch Joint Platform For IoT Application Development]

Prior to her most recent position leading global commercial operations, Taccetta worked in a variety of president- and director-level marketing and sales roles for the carrier. Taccetta was Verizon’s North Central market president, responsible for financial and operational results for a 14-state Verizon Wireless market. She has also held leadership roles in Verizon’s Consumer, Enterprise and Government channels. Taccetta began her Verizon career as a temp before moving into sales operations, according to Verizon.

Taccetta is an employee advocate and a member and supporter of Verizon’s employee resource groups, including Women’s Association of Verizon Employees (WAVE) and the Black Resource Association of Verizon Employees (BRAVE).

“Our Channel enablement business is an integral growth lever for Verizon Business,” said Tami Erwin, executive vice president and Verizon Business CEO, in an email to CRN. “[Taccetta’s] consistent track record of results for over a decade makes her the ideal person to lead this team and I’m confident she will transform our channel organization and deliver a world-class partner experience.”

Basking Ridge, N.J.-based Verizon‘s indirect channels business has gone through a tumultuous three years as its channel leadership changed hands. Former Vice President of Global Channels Janet Schijns left the company in 2017. Later that month, Joe Chuisano was named director of channels for Verizon Business Markets, leading Verizon‘s wireline agent channel program, while Pete Leuzzi, group vice president and head of worldwide channels and partner ecosystems, led enterprise channel sales. In September 2017, Verizon confirmed to CRN in 2017 that it was restructuring its channel team.

Verizon in 2018 kicked off a company-wide restructure, which broke the carrier into three customer-facing groups, including Consumer, Business, and Verizon Media Group/Oath. The Verizon Business Group, which housed the company‘s channel business, had segment leaders, but no single channel chief, a spokesperson for Verizon told CRN.

One longtime Verizon partner that spoke under the condition of anonymity said Verizon has made some compensation changes that are a “good sign,” but that overall, the carrier will have to prove itself to partners once again.

“[Verizon] has been in and out of the channel so much, it‘s hard to trust,” an executive for the Verizon partner said. ”Do I think they have a chance to make a run at it? Sure, but you have to prove that you’re in the channel for more than a year at a time.”

Taccetta‘s formal title has expanded to senior vice president of commercial operations and Verizon Business Group channel chief. Reporting to Taccetta will be Tom Zimmerman, vice president, business and channel enablement for Verizon, who has spent the last 11 years serving in a variety of business, government, and channel-focused sales roles for Verizon. Zimmerman started working in 1995 for wireless provider Alltel, which was acquired by Verizon in 2009 in a blockbuster $28.1 billion deal.

“[Zimmerman’s] day-to-day leadership of the team will be crucial as we invest in channel technology and next-gen tools to simplify collaboration with our partners, drive transformation and maximize joint revenue growth for our businesses,” Taccetta said.

 

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