Pure Storage Reorgs Channel Team, Moves Sotnick To Alliances Focus

Paul Mountford, Pure Storage's new chief operating officer, has separated channels and alliances, previously both under Michael Sotnick, into two teams, both of which now report directly to him.


All-flash storage pioneer Pure Storage has shaken up its channel team in the wake of hiring a new chief operating officer, with the company's long-time channel chief Michael Sotnick moving to focus on global alliances.

Taking over as channel chief is Andy Martin (photo, right), who was just quietly promoted to vice president of global channel sales for the Mountain View, Calif.-based vendor. Martin is a five-year veteran of Pure Storage, and for the last couple years served as vice president of Americas channels.

Martin now reports to Kevin Delane (photo, left), who is Pure Storage's vice president of worldwide sales.

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Delane, who previously reported to David "Hat" Hatfield before Hatfield started transitioning to become Pure Storage's vice chairman and president emeritus, now reports to Paul Mountford, who early last month moved from chief sales officer to chief operating officer.

Sotnick also now reports to Mountford.

Delane told CRN that Sotnick had managed both Pure Storage's channels and alliances, but that his role has been split to allow him to focus exclusively on the global alliances side. "That's a big part of our growth going forward," he said.

Martin told CRN that Sotnick's move to focus on global alliances provides him the opportunity to build a consortium of U.S. and global vendor partners.

"For us, it's a natural evolution of what we tried to build here," he said. "As we look to build multi-cloud environments with Amazon Web Services and others, and build out our platform, this is big for us. Having the entire global channel roll up under Kevin makes sense. And global alliances is a different selling motion."

With the shift in the channel team, channel partners should not see much change at all, Delane said.

"We're successful in the channel, our channel partners love us, and we are focused on channel partner quality," he said.

Growing Pure Storage's global alliances is an important focus for the company's growth, Sotnick told CRN via email.

"Pure's blend of market strength and customer-first mindset places us in the position to actively enhance our solution offerings. Expanding our focus and energy on our alliances ecosystem is critical in this pursuit. In my new role, I will be taking strategic relationships like Cisco, AWS, Microsoft, Splunk, Vertica and several others to the next level," Sotnick wrote.

Pure Storage over the last few years has proved to be a disruptive force in the storage market, and has had a strong partner program to bring that force to market, said Ryan Sheehan, vice president of advanced solutions at SHI, a Somerset, N.J.-based solution provider that has worked with the vendor since 2014.

"Pure's partner program has been good for SHI," Sheehan told CRN. "Pure has always been concerned about partner profitability, and Sot always tested any channel changes with partners first."

Sheehan said he knows Martin well from when Martin ran Pure Storage's sales in the Northeast.

"Andy is a character," he said. "He is a customer- and a partner-loyalist. He will go to bat for his partners. This stems from Pure's culture, Sot's leadership and Andy's leadership. Any time the rules of engagement are not clear, they are quick to step up and make everything black and white."

Sotnick's move to a global alliances role is also welcome news for SHI, Sheehan said. "Michael's experience in the global business is important to us because many of the alliance partners he will work with are also important vendors to SHI," he said.