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Nutanix Channel Chief Rodney Foreman Exits; ‘Rough Patch’ Continues

‘Our sales with [Nutanix] are solid, but they need something to rejuvenate trust in the marketplace,’ says one top executive from a solution provider who partners with Nutanix.

Nutanix’s global channel chief Rodney Foreman has left the hyper-converged infrastructure superstar just 15 months after taking the position, CRN has confirmed.

“Nutanix is going through a rough patch right now,” said one top executive from a solution provider who partners with Nutanix who did not want to be identified. “Our sales with them are solid, but they need something to rejuvenate trust in the marketplace. … With Rodney leaving, their strategy isn’t too clear right now for us. We’re hoping to learn more about their channel plans at [Nutanix .NEXT Conference] in a few weeks.”

Nutanix confirmed that Foreman, vice president, Global Channel Sales, is no longer with the company but declined to comment on the matter. Foreman’s departure comes less than just two months after Nutanix’s stock nosedived 32 percent following the company’s second fiscal quarter earnings report where it disclosed lower than expected third-quarter revenue guidance. One week after the stock fell, Nutanix’s Chief Revenue Officer Louis Attanasio left the company.

[Related: HPE-Nutanix Partnership Takes Aim At Dell EMC-VMware, Partners Say]

Foreman joined Nutanix in January 2018 after an 18-month stint at Informatica in a senior vice president role. "It's refreshing for me to be in a company that's providing innovative technology to customers, and not technology that's dated and not where the market is headed,” Foreman told CRN at the time of his hiring.

He played a key role in creating Nutanix’s new partner charter last year, Power to the Partner program, that emphasizes incentives around new deals and training rather than solely sales. Foreman also had a 20-year career at IBM spanning from 1996 to 2016 in various top channel sales roles.

Bob Wallace, vice president of Sales Strategy at Nutanix, will replace Foreman as Nutanix’s interim global channel leader. Wallace has been with Nutanix for six years holding various sales executive roles including vice president of Channel, OEM and Inside Sales.

Prior to Nutanix, Wallace was director of inside sales at Palo Alto Networks from 2010 to 2012, and has sales experience working for the likes of EMC and IBM. Wallace could not be reached for comment by press time.

On March 1, Nutanix’s Nasdaq stock fell from $50.09 per share on Feb. 28 to $34.72. Nutanix reported solid sales of $335 million for its second fiscal quarter, but the company’s third-quarter revenue guidance of between $290 million and $300 million was far below analysts’ expectations of $348 million for the third quarter.

However, the company’s stock has slowly been rebounding over the past several weeks. Nutanix stock was at $43.14 per share as of Monday afternoon with a market cap of $7.86 billion.

Nutanix CEO and founder Dheeraj Pandey told CRN that he wasn’t worried about the stock and market cap drop. “The best of companies have had stock drops like this,” Pandey told CRN in March. “If you build something bold and audacious, you got to fall. But once you fall, how do you rise to the occasion and how do you learn from those mistakes, is what builds great companies.”

Nutanix has been making headlines in April with the general availability of its Kubernetes solutions, Nutanix Karbon, as well as a blockbuster partnership formed with Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

The company is hosting one of its largest consumer and partner events of the year next month with Nutanix 2019 .NEXT Conference from May 7 to May 9 in California.

“I think a lot of partners will be focused in on what Dheeraj has to say about Rodney and others leaving and everything else that has happened over the last few months,” said the top executive solution provider who partners with Nutanix. “I have faith in them. I think Nutanix is a great company that grew very fast in a few short years and will get over this speed bump.”

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