Citrix Global Channel Chief Ross Brown Resigns

Brown, vice president of Worldwide Channels and Operations, joined Citrix in 2002 after holding management positions at several consulting companies and at Network Associates, IBM and Tech Data.

Brown said he is moving up the ranks and across the country — from Ft Lauderdale, Fld., to Aliso Viejo, Calif. — early next month to assume his new position.

"It&'s a good opportunity to expand from a good role in a large company on the channel side to a broader role in a company at an earlier stage in the market. It's additive to what I've learned at Citrix [about security]," Brown said. "It's a good career progression and an opportunity that's attractive."

It is not clear yet who will succeed Brown, but sources speculate that Bill Burley, Citrix's U.S. channel chief who currently carries the title of area vice president of North American sales, is a natural successor.

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Burley served in Citrix's channel program for seven years before departing in February of 2004. He rejoined Citrix once again last September to focus more attention on channel relationships in the field while Brown focused on global strategy.

John Burris, senior vice president of sales, services, and field marketing for Citrix, said Citrix is closing in on a number of candidates to replace Brown but a final decision has not yet been made.

"In terms of replacing Ross, we have a couple of really strong internal candidates, but we will also look external as appropriate," Burris told CRN.

Brown is credited with revamping Citrix's channel program during his three-year tenure, and as part of that, he launched an expanded rebate and incentives program for channel partners and developed an agent model that recognizes partners that influence sales.

Still, his tenure was not without controversy. His decision to pare down the number of Citrix resellers to a core number of the most committed partners and develop closer ties to IBM Global Services and HP Services, for example, angered some in the channel. Burris said Brown is credited with building a strong channel team at Citrix and strong channel programs. "The programs he has championed are fully up and running and will continue to be improved and refined," Burris told CRN in a statement issued by the company on Friday.

During his term, Citrix sales increased beyond $750 million, up from $500 million when he joined the company.

One partner who asked to remain anonymous said he was surprised Brown did not resign earlier given Burley's reappointment to Citrix.

Several partners expressed disappointment over the news of Brown's departure. "This is Citrix's loss," said Lesley Taufer, president of Boulder Corp., a Citrix partner in Boulder, Colo. "He is the one and probably the only one there who understood the channel."