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Extreme Networks’ Interim Channel Chief Departs As Firm Shakes Up Channel Structure: Exclusive

CRN has learned that Bob Gault, chief revenue and services officer for Extreme Networks and interim channel leader, has left the company following disappointing quarterly earnings results. The networking firm is now reshaping its channel structure around geographies.

Bob Gault, chief revenue and services officer for Extreme Networks and interim channel leader, has left the company, Extreme confirmed to CRN.

Gault had assumed responsibility of the company's partner organization after Gordon Mackintosh, Extreme's channel chief of nearly four years, departed the firm in November. Mackintosh resurfaced in January as vice president of global channels for Juniper Networks.

Effective Wednesday, Gault left Extreme Networks following the company's decision to restructure its global channel team to yield "better results," Extreme Networks Chief Operating Officer Norman Rice told CRN.

[Related: Extreme Networks Channel Chief On How The Aerohive Deal Will Drive More Subscription Services And Transform Partners Into MSPs]

Extreme Networks announced its fiscal second-quarter earnings on Wednesday. While revenues grew 6 percent year-over-year to $267.5 million, results came in about $5 million shy of analyst estimates.

"The channel is the most important avenue to market for Extreme," Rice said. "We felt it was time to consolidate the channel into the geos so we can execute better at a local level."

Gault served as CRO for Extreme for more than four years and prior to that, he was vice president of the company's worldwide channel and partner organization.

Extreme Networks has decided on a permanent basis against having a channel chief, Rice said. The company's channel execution team that is responsible for account management and delivery with the channel will now be reporting to Extreme's geo leaders, he said.

Via the new structure, Extreme's director of the Americas Channel team, Kyle Brown, will report to Pete Dolittle, senior vice president of Americas Sales for Extreme Networks. In international markets, Sean Collins, senior director of EMEA channels for Extreme will be reporting to John Morrison, senior vice president for Extreme Networks' EMEA markets, who has also assumed responsibility for Extreme's Asia-Pacific region. Collins formerly reported to Mackintosh, Extreme's former channel chief.

Simon Naylor, vice president of sales for APAC for Extreme since 2016, left the company in January.

"This is to promote smoother execution and aligns the field so the territories can have teamwork and expanded outcomes," Rice said. "We are looking to reduce friction so we can execute more efficiently."

Extreme Networks has already initiated the search for a new CRO, the company said.

San Jose, Calif.-based Extreme Networks does more than 70 percent of its business through the channel today.

Extreme in November introduced its revamped channel program that includes the strongest features of the Aerohive Networks partner program and Extreme's own partner program. The ExtremeForward MSP program for cloud-focused networking partners went live in January. Legacy Aerohive Partners are now being leveled into the Extreme Partner Program, the company said.

The newly-announced partner programs will not be changing and will roll through 2020 as planned, Rice said.

"We built a program that was built around incentivizing our partners as they go through the cloud transition, where we think the biggest opportunity is around managed services," he said. "Our objectives are to always reduce the sales friction, whether it's through incentives, training, or tools we are providing so our partners can be autonomous in their ability to transact business and deliver services."

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