25 Notable Executive Moves From The First Half Of 2010

Comings And Goings

Movement among executives in the IT channel is nothing new: some channel chiefs stay put and others are like nomads -- here today, gone tomorrow and somewhere else the next day. But there have been some eye-popping moves in the first half of 2010. Some were pleasant surprises, others head-scratchers, and all were of direct interest to the channel.

Here are 25 of the most impactful executive moves in the channel from the first half of the year (stretching from the very end of 2009 through roughly Independence Day), from channel chiefs to C-suite and SVP-level folks with a high degree of channel touch.

Stephen DiFranco Up To Bat At HP

Former Lenovo channel chief Stephen DiFranco was announced March 1 as the new channel boss for HP's Americas region -- one of the most visible and demanding channel jobs in the world. Word of DiFranco's appointment -- officially as vice president and general manager of the Americas Solutions Partners Organization at HP -- was made official to partners following whispers in late February that he'd be the guy. DiFranco replaced Adrian Jones, who vacated the HP channel chief role in November 2009 for a new post in HP's Asia-Pacific organization.

Kevin Gilroy Joins SAP

One of the year's most notable channel executive moves was also one of its first: SAP confirmed its hiring of Kevin Gilroy the second week of January. Gilroy, best known as a longtime HP executive and then as CEO of OnForce and president of Arrow Electronics' Enterprise Computing Solutions arm, joined SAP as vice president of North America channel for small and midsize enterprise.

Todd Abbott Exits Avaya

Following his appointment to senior vice president of sales and marketing and president, field operations, in May 2008, Todd Abbott was the top sales executive at Avaya, and one of the key players in not only its channel revamp but also its blockbuster acquisition of Nortel's enterprise unit last fall. It wasn't to last, however; Avaya confirmed in early June that Abbott had stepped down from his role, and that Joel Hackney, former head of Nortel's enterprise business, would succeed him. Details are still sketchy on why Abbott departed, but Hackney has promised channel partners no slowdown in Avaya's channel growth.

Nick Tidd Gets A Bump At D-Link

A longtime channel presence and still perhaps best known for his work at 3Com, Nick Tidd joined D-Link in May 2009 and became vice president of sales for D-Link Pan America and vice president of marketing for D-Link North America, charged with remaking D-Link's channel program with an eye toward better profitability and marketing for VARs. He's obviously being doing something good; D-Link in late January bumped Tidd up to the role of president for D-Link North America, giving him responsibility for D-Link's entire North American operation.

Andy Miller Steps In, And Up, At Polycom

Polycom in the past year has been remaking its channel strategy to prepare for battle against longtime nemesis Tandberg, recently acquired by Cisco in one of the more eye-popping video channel deals of the past several years. For that, it's needed a Tandberg insider, and Andy Miller, a former Tandberg CEO and Cisco executive, is that insider. Miller, who joined Polycom in July 2009 as executive vice president of global field operations, was named the new CEO of Polycom in mid-May, taking over for longtime chief executive Robert Hagerty.

Janet Schijns To Educate

Janet Schijns was one of the more popular channel chiefs in the networking channel, so Motorola turned a few heads when it confirmed, in early May, that Schijns would move to a new role running Motorola's Enterprise Mobility Solutions Training and Knowledge Management organization, a new business unit. Mark Kroh, formerly Motorola's North American government, commercial and enterprise leader, has stepped into the Motorola chief role, and with all Motorola has going on -- from a channel makeover to, at the macro level, an upcoming split of the company into two separate corporate entities -- has his work cut out for him.

Chris Frey's The Guy At Lenovo

When Stephen DiFranco departed the channel chief post at Lenovo for HP, Chris Frey became acting head of North America channel sales. Early in July, however, Frey was officially named to the permanent position, no longer "interim" and definitely full speed ahead.

Justin Crotty Exits Ingram Micro

Distributors don't always have it easy when it comes to services, and few knew that better than Justin Crotty, who headed up Ingram Micro's services division as vice president of services North America. Crotty will try his hand elsewhere, it appears, electing to step down from Ingram and become senior vice president and general manager of NetEnrich. His departure, announced in mid-June, followed on the heels of another major Ingram exit, that of Alain Monie, who resigned as president and COO of Ingram effective Aug. 22 and will become CEO of a multinational industrial company in Asia.

Stephen Mungall Joins Trend Micro

Trend Micro needs a veteran hand at its channel tiller, and it's getting one in former IBM and Lenovo channel executive Stephen Mungall, who was named vice president of U.S. channel sales at the end of June. Partners told CRN.com they expect Mungall to bring a measure of stability to Trend's channel, which saw the departure of most recent chief Cody Leser, who'd been in the role for barely a year, last fall.

Cisco Readjusts The Frame

Just before Independence Day, Cisco confirmed changes for three of its most well-known and veteran channel talents. Effective Aug. 1, Cisco's Edison Peres (pictured) will be the day-to-day face of worldwide channel operations as senior vice president, worldwide channels, Wendy Bahr will exit her post as U.S. and Canada channel chief to oversee Cisco's global and transformational accounts across various geographies and vertical markets, and Dave O'Callaghan will move from distribution boss to heading up the growth of Cisco's SMB and commercial business.

Cindy Cole Joins Meru

Having recently completed a successful initial public offering, Meru Networks is in a critical time for channel growth -- one where its success in recruiting and driving business through partners will help establish it as a WLAN channel power. In early May, Meru named Cindy Cole its new vice president of worldwide channels, picking up a veteran talent who most recently headed worldwide enterprise channels for Nuance Communications but has a long sales and channel history that includes stints at Trend Micro, Palm, Sun Microsystems and Novell.

Allison Watson Gets New Role

Just in time for Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference, the software giant dropped a bombshell: Allison Watson, corporate vice president of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group, is moving on to be corporate vice president of Microsoft's Business and Marketing Organization in the U.S. She's effectively trading places with Jon Roskill, who previously held the role and as of July 1, has taken over as Microsoft's worldwide channel chief.

Several Exits At EMC

The past few months have brought a few high-profile exits at storage giant EMC, not the least of which was the departure of channel chief Kristian Thyregod, which EMC confirmed in mid-June. As a driving force behind EMC's Velocity Partner Program, Thyregod had taken over as EMC's channel boss earlier this year from Pete Koliopoulos. Thyregod's exit, in turn, came right on the heels of another high-profile departure, that of former senior vice president of global channel offices Willem Hendrickx, who resigned his post and was later named executive vice president for Telecom and Media at Swedish IT services company Tieto.

New Gig For Pete Koliopoulos

Speaking of EMC's Pete Koliopoulos, he was channel chief up until February 2010, when he was moved to a yet-to-be-fully-defined position working on channels for EMC in its VCE coalition, which includes EMC, VMware and Cisco.

Michael Capellas Surfaces

A blast from the channel past: former HP president and Compaq CEO Michael Capellas was in early May tapped to lead Acadia, the joint cloud computing effort from Cisco and EMC. As Acadia's CEO, Capellas' role is to head up the Cisco-EMC-VMware Virtual Computing Environment (VCE) coalition, and building VCE's presence in the channel.

Richard Geraffo Jr. Exits VMware ...

In a move with big implications for the virtualization channel power balance, Richard Geraffo Jr. left VMware in April to take over as senior vice president and managing director of the Americas for HP's $54 billion Enteprise Business group. In his new role, he replaced Tom Iannotti, who now leads HP Enterprise Services.

... And Jeff Casale Takes Over

Dusting off following Geraffo's departure, VMware at the beginning of July announced it had hired Jeff Casale, a 19-year EMC veteran, to fill the role of senior vice president and general manager of VMware Americas. Casale joins a long line of previous EMC executives, including VMware president and CEO Paul Maritz, who have made the move to VMware (in which EMC holds an 80 percent-plus equity stake).

Lew Tucker Gets Cloudy At Cisco

Rounding up the new homes of former Sun executives has become something of a channel sport in recent months, and in June, Cisco threw its fishing line out, confirming that it had reeled in former Sun CTO and vice president of cloud computing Lew Tucker to become Cisco's new cloud CTO. Details of Tucker's role are still being learned, but he reports to Cisco CTO and principal cloud strategist Padmasree Warrior.

Tech Data Wright-Sizes

Tech Data in early April confirmed Murray Wright its new president, the Americas, following the December departure of previous Americas president Ken Lamneck for the CEO job at Insight Enterprise. Wright's ascent led to more promotions within the Tech Data ranks. In mid-May, Tech Data confirmed moves for Pete Peterson, named senior vice president of U.S. sales; Chuck Bartlett, named vice president and general manager of Advanced Infrastructure Solutions; and Joe Quaglia, given additional responsibilities for Tech Data marketing and vendor partnerships.

Christopher Rajiah Racks 'Em Up

Longtime Extreme Networks channel chief Christopher Rajiah departed Extreme at the very end of 2009, and in early 2010 began making the rounds as the new director of North American channels for cloud upstart Rackspace. The growth of Rackspace's three core businesses -- managed hosting, cloud hosting and e-mail and apps -- has meant an increased emphasis on driving sales in those businesses through referral and reseller partners, with which Rajiah is tasked.

Karl Soderlund Trades 'Curve For Certeon

WAN optimization and acceleration are increasingly frequent bets in the channel, and count Karl Soderlund among those taking them. Soderlund, who had headed up sales and marketing at HP's ProCurve networking division, joined Certeon in early May as senior vice president of worldwide sales and business development. At Certeon, he'll be challenging the WAN optimization heavyweights -- the edge to Certeon being, as Soderlund told CRN.com, that Certeon's offerings are all software-based.

'Godfather' McHugh Enters Brocade

Former "Godfather of ProCurve" John McHugh joined Brocade as its new chief marketing officer in late February, ready to promote Brocade as, in the words of its CEO Mike Klayko, " an end-to-end networking company." McHugh, who had worked at Nortel following his departure from HP ProCurve in 2009, will be a big part of Brocade's determined channel push and challenge to Cisco, HP, Juniper and other data center titans.

Nancy Reynolds Gets Kasperskonality

What a wild past year for Nancy Reynolds, for whom every time we looked up seemed to be somewhere new. At the beginning of 2009, Novell and Trend Micro channel veteran Reynolds exited Palo Alto Networks, where she had joined Palo Alto CEO and fellow Trend alumnus Lane Bess, but soon found herself out of a job, the channel chief position eliminated. No sooner did her Palo Alto gig end, however, that Reynolds popped up at Dell, as Round Rock's top global enterprise channel executive.The lure of a major, upstart security vendor appeared to be too much, however, and the first week of January, Kaspersky Lab confirmed it had snagged Reynolds to be its senior vice president of corporate sales. It's at Kaspersky where Reynolds seems most comfortable, and as she told CRN.com in January she intends to be there for at least five years.

Rich Severa Points In Different Direction

Well-known in the Sun and server channels for his role heading up Arrow Enteprise Computing Solutions' Sun group, Rich Severa has apparently exited Arrow, although the details of his departure aren't known. At press time, Arrow has confirmed Severa's exit from the company. In late June, it also confirmed Sean Kerins as the new president of Arrow ECS North America.

Taylor Macdonald Turns Up

Last seen running channels at smartboard maker Promethean, channel management veteran Taylor Macdonald has turned up as vice president of channels at Intacct, a supplier of on-demand financial management and accounting applications. Perhaps best known as the channel chief of Sage before a Sage executive shakeup saw his departure from there in October 2007, Macdonald also previously served as president of worldwide channels at Deltek and several other companies.