NetApp Hires CA Exec To Run North American Channels

Industry and channel sources said Todd Palmer, vice president of Americas channels at CA, has left that company to join storage vendor NetApp as its vice president of North American channels.

The move will help fill out the channel ranks at NetApp. Julie Parrish is planning to leave Symantec by the end of the month and is heading to NetApp. Parrish, who until October now was Symantec's vice president of global channels, is filling the channel chief hole created at NetApp with the departure of Leonard Iventosch, former vice president of global channels.

With Parrish and Palmer on-board, NetApp would split the duties of its channel chief. Iventosch had been handling worldwide channels while also deeply involved with North American channels.

A CA spokesperson confirmed that Palmer has left CA for an opportunity at NetApp. A NetApp spokesperson said the company is not providing comment on changes in NetApp's channel team.

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The news that NetApp is hiring a former CA channel executive met with mixed reaction from solution providers, who are glad to see NetApp fill out its channel team but are also wary of CA.

"I hate CA," said one solution provider, who requested anonymity. "So if they got a guy from CA, it's hard to say how good that is."

Another solution provider, who also requested anonymity, hopes that NetApp knows what it is doing.

"Ugh, CA," the solution provider said. "I hope they found the rare gem. I guess the fact he is moving from CA is a good thing."

John Zammett, president of HorizonTek, a Huntington, N.Y.-based NetApp solution provider, said the new North American channel sales head would do well to continue NetApp's current channel strategies.

"As far as we're concerned, the channel program developed by the previous administration at NetApp was the best," Zammett said. "I hope the new guy continues the program."

One solution provider said the hiring of Parrish and Palmer could signal a new phase for NetApp, which recently managed to pull in some new funding.

NetApp said in June that it is selling $1.1 billion in 1.75 percent convertible senior notes due in 2013. About a quarter of the net proceeds was set aside to repurchase shares of its common stock, with the rest slated for general corporate purposes, including capital expenditures, possible future stock repurchases, working capital, and potential acquisitions and strategic transactions.

"So there are things happening on the horizon that I as a partner am not privy to," the solution provider said. "And it's also interesting that NetApp got the funding before the current economic situation."