Cisco Systems Promotes Channel Star Andrew Sage To Lead Global Distribution Sales


Cisco Systems has made a key promotion inside its channel operation, making company veteran and partner favorite Andrew Sage the leader of global distribution sales.

The move comes as San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco continues its effort to realign its leadership teams to focus on the market's shift toward software and services sold by subscription as the company’s emphasis on traditional hardware sales decreases.

Sage will report to Cisco's new Global Channel Chief Oliver Tuszik, who was named to that position in late September. Sage has run Cisco's Americas distribution sales for the last five years, driving consistent quarter-over-quarter growth for the last three fiscal years, the company said.

Tuszik is the former leader of Cisco's fast-growing Germany business, and led that tech-savvy market to five years of growth, including two years of double-digit growth, the company said. Tuszik took over for Wendy Bahr, the former channel chief who announced her resignation in August.

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Ben Johnson, CEO of Liberty Technology, a Griffin, Ga., solution provider that works extensively with Cisco's Meraki business, said he's known Sage for about 10 years. "I can't think of anyone better," for the global distribution role, he said.

"He has channel know-how, and he truly understands the partner's point of view," Johnson said, noting that Sage has played a key part in Cisco's push into the SMB market. "He's been instrumental in establishing channels and assisting with various Cisco business units creating purpose-built offers into this space," he said. "I'm really excited to see what he brings to a global leadership position.”

Kent MacDonald, senior vice president of strategic alliances at Long View Systems, a Canadian solution provider that works with Cisco, said Sage has earned the trust of the channel in his career at Cisco. "He's a known and trusted friend of the channel," MacDonald said, noting that Sage "helped drive neutrality between distribution and direct partners and elevate the customer experience by mentoring distribution partners to evolve their services."

Sage takes the helm of Cisco's global distribution sales from Julie Hens, who became vice president of global virtual sales and engineering, a non-channel position, about a month ago. Hens held the global distribution sales leadership position for more than five years.

In a separate promotion, Cisco promoted Boon Lai to vice president of global partner marketing. Lai has been with Cisco for less than two years, most recently as vice president of global marketing for the company’s collaboration business. He takes over for Michelle Chiantera, who has taken a role leading Cisco's Americas marketing operation.