12 Notable IT Executive Moves: November

Over And/Or Out

From C-suite shifts to channel chief changes and some eyebrow-raising moves, here's a roundup of major IT executive moves -- vendor and VAR alike -- relevant to the channel for the month of November.

HP's Humke Heads Out

There are few executives in the public sector channel as well-known, well-traveled, well-respected and well-engaged as HP's Mike Humke, which is why it was something of a surprise to learn earlier in November that Humke would be leaving his post. Details of Humke's new assignment aren't much confirmed, save that it will be a public sector post with one of HP's top partners. As a 12-year veteran, Humke was named to CRN's Top 25 Channel Sales Leaders in 2009, but is departing HP, according to sources, so he can take a position that brings him closer to the partner community.

EMC's Ambulos Goes Global

Well-known to partners as EMC's North American channel chief, Gregg Ambulos, in early November, added global channel duties to his purview as well, getting a bump to vice president of worldwide global channel operations. It means Ambulous is going to be that much busier, as he'll still be keeping his vice president of Americas sales channels post as well.

"We have a strong group of partners worldwide," Ambulos told CRN. "Our goal is to drive consistency from a global perspective."

Papermaster Pops Up At Cisco

Having been at the center of two media circuses already -- IBM sued to try to block his move to Apple in 2009, and he left Apple unceremoniously earlier this year following the iPhone 4-related Antennagate -- Mark Papermaster will probably grab headlines no matter where he goes. This time, however, it's to Cisco, where Papermaster was confirmed in mid-November as the new vice president of the Silicon Switching Group.

Papermaster, a 25-year IBM veteran and then vice president of devices hardware engineering at Apple, will be responsible for the ASIC chips that go into some of Cisco's most important switching lines.

Seifert Lands At Avaya

Determined to squash doubts about its ability to manage a data networking business, Avaya has continued to add channel resources, products and leadership to its data team. In early November, it reeled in a big one with William Seifert, who is now chief technology officer of Avaya Data Solutions. Seifert was most recently at Prism VentureWorks and before that was founder and CEO of Agile Networks -- later acquired by Lucent -- and CTO of Wellfleet Communications, later Bay Networks following a merger.

Kinkade Moves Up At FalconStor

FalconStor in late November confirmed the appointment of Brendan Kinkade as vice president of channel management and global alliances, where he'll be point man for the ongoing growth of FalconStor's channel program. He'll also look to drive alliances and strategic partnerships for the data protection vendor. It's an expansion of duties for the well-traveled Kinkade, who was most recently FalconStor's vice president of global alliances, and before coming to FalconStor in December 2008 was the founder of Kinkade & Co. and vice president of marketing at Nexsan Technologies.

Toohey Tops Verizon Enterprise

Verizon Communications in early November confirmed Bob Toohey as its new president, global enterprise, where he's responsible for marketing, sales, professional services, service delivery and customer experience for global enterprise, midsize business and government customers at Verizon. Toohey was most recently senior vice president of global customer care and services and is a 22-year Verizon veteran.

A Two-Fer At Avnet

Two of Avnet's top channel-facing executives received new assignments as of mid-November. First was Chris Swahn, named general manager and vice president of Avnet Technology Solutions Americas' Oracle Solutions group. Swahn succeeds Mike Hurst -- who became vice president, global supplier business for Avnet's Oracle business in July -- and leaves behind his role running Avnet's Cisco solutions group, which goes to Darren Adams. Both Adams and Swahn report to Jeff Bawol, president, Avnet Technology Solutions, Americas.

Dell's Mobile Manuevering

Dell took some observers by surprise in mid-November, saying it would discontinue its communications solutions group and part ways with Ron Garriques, who has run the unit since 2007 but will leave Dell effective Jan. 28, 2011. According to Dell, it no longer sees mobile devices as a consumer-focused initiative and it's come time to make some changes in how it addresses the mobile device landscape.

New Top Man At Intronis

SaaS backup and disaster recovery specialist Intronis in mid-November confirmed Kent Plunkett as its new CEO. Before Intronis, Plunkett founded SaaS company Salary.com, growing the company to $40 million in sales and a $59 million IPO before its acquisition by Kenexa earlier this year. Intronis founder and former CEO Sam Gutmann will remain with the company as chairman.

Marketing Muscle At Tech Data

Tech Data in early November named Michael Donner its vice president, marketing services, where he'll lead the distributor's advertising, marketing and VAR support agency, TDAgency. A 20-year marketing veteran, Donner held various marketing, sales and strategy executive positions at Thales, Capgemini, Eclipsys, Telelogic and Solectron.

"We looked long and hard for a leader with deep experience in consulting, strategy, operations, sales and marketing who also had a proven track record with demand generation," said Joe Quaglia, senior vice president, U.S. marketing at Tech Data, at the time.

NWN Expands C-Suite

If fast-growth VAR powerhouse NWN is going to hit the billion-dollar mark, it's going to need its top people well positioned, and in late October -- OK, so we're cheating a bit -- NWN named Skip Tappen to the new post of chief operating officer. Tappen previously was executive vice president of the $250 million, Waltham, Mass.-based solution provider, and as COO will be in charge of daily operations and have P&L responsibility for six of NWN's seven sales regions.

"One of the keys is how do we adapt and grow and break through the [revenue] ceilings to get from one level to the next, from $250 million to $500 million," Tappen told CRN. "You need to continue to adapt and grow the organization to scale it."

YouTube Founder Bolts Google

Executives coming and going from major Silicon Valley companies in expansion mode is nothing out of the ordinary, but Google in late October lost a milestone employee: Chad Hurley, the co-founder of YouTube.

Hurley sold YouTube to Google in 2006 for $1.76 billion alongside co-founders Jawed Karim and Steve Chen, both of whom have already left the company. Hurley will remain a YouTube adviser, but he'll spend time on his men's clothing line, Hlaska, and the chief executive role at YouTube will go to Salar Kamangar, who was most recently YouTube's day-to-day operations chief.