30 Notable IT Executive Moves: August 2011

Change In The Air?

Just when it looked safe to say the most notable IT executive moves of 2011 were behind us, August happened, and with it, some of the biggest changes yet. From Apple's Steve Jobs on down, here's a look at major shifts that were announced or that took place this month -- bearing in mind that this list could easily be 60, or 100.

Steve Jobs

Few are the tech CEOs that could be legitimately described as icons, but there's no debate about Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who resigned his position in late August and was elected chairman of Apple's board. Tim Cook, Jobs' longtime deputy and Apple's COO, has taken over the top job at Apple.

Jobs, a leading figure in the IT industry since co-founding Apple in 1976, has had a career dappled with product, service and personal highlights, from the Apple II computer more than 30 years ago to the iPhone and iPad, two of Apple's many smash successes and both tastemaker mobile devices.

Rory Read

It took long enough, but Advanced Micro Devices finally has its man: Rory Read, formerly president and COO of Lenovo, was named AMD's CEO in late August. Read's a sound choice for AMD for a couple of reasons, and the move marks the end of a long and arduous search for the troubled chipmaker, which allegedly had many high profile candidates in mind and was turned down by more than one. AMD had been looking for a new CEO for several months following the surprise resignation of former CEO Dirk Meyer in January.

Mike Borman

Blue Coat Systems took a sizable hit during its fiscal Q1, and the fallout left CEO Mike Borman -- who had been in the role less than a year -- out of a job. Borman stepped down as Blue Coat's CEO and will be replaced by Gregory Clark, most recently president and CEO of Mincom. Borman, best known to channel partners for the 30 years he spent at IBM, was IBM's top software sales executive in 2008 before he left to become CEO of Avocent. He joined Blue Coat in August 2010.

Mark McLaughlin

It was one of the most closely watched CEO selections in the security space this year, and several high profile candidates were mentioned as angling for the job. But Palo Alto Networks found its man in Mark McLaughlin, most recently CEO of VeriSign and a longtime security industry executive that Palo Alto's top managers say definitely gets the channel. With Palo Alto having made no secret of its IPO plans, McLaughlin is the steady hand it needs at the top, those executives told CRN.

Steve Gomo

It was an expected move, but still a noteworthy one: Steve Gomo, NetApp's executive vice president and chief financial officer, resigned from NetApp in mid-August. Gomo had been at NetApp for nearly 10 years, and plans to retire on Dec. 31. Nicholas R. Noviello, NetApp senior vice president of finance and its global controller, will succeed Gomo Jan. 1.

James Fairweather And Mark Reid

James Fairweather, (left), and Mark Reid both had a chance to return to Polycom, and to take new roles at HP following HP's sale of its Visual Collaboration unit to Polycom earlier this summer. But both executives -- both veterans of the video channel -- opted for the fast-rising videoconferencing startup, Vidyo, which in August named Fairweather its new vice president, worldwide channels and Reid its senior director of engineering. Solution providers heralded the move, saying that the influx of veteran video and networking talent to Vidyo in the past year further legitimizes the company as a competitor.

John Ferraro

InMage, the data recovery software developer, quietly changed CEOs earlier this summer, replacing John Ferraro with company co-founder Kumar Malavalli. InMage didn't offer a reason for Ferraro's departure but Malavalli told CRN that Ferraro was "brought in to increase sales. It was a mutual agreement for him to leave." Malavalli is best-known in the channel as one of the co-founders of Brocade Communications.

Navin Mehta

Polycom has continued to revamp its executive team following Andy Miller's ascent to Polycom's CEO office last year, and the latest addition, in August, was Navin Mehta, named Polycom's senior vice president of global services. A 28-year veteran, Mehta's resume includes Comverse, Compaq, Nortel, and most recently, Motorola, where he was vice president of Motorola Networks Services.

Steven VanRoekel

It didn't take long for the White House to replace Vivek Kundra, the outgoing federal CIO. In early August, the Obama Administration tapped Steven VanRoekel, a former Microsoft executive, to fill the role. VanRoekel worked at Microsoft from 1994 to 2009, most recently as senior director for Microsoft's Windows Server and Tools Division, and was also once an assistant to former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates. VanRoekel became managing director of the Federal Communications Commission in 2009 and was most recently executive director of citizen and organizational engagement at the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Arunas Chesonis

One of the biggest M&A moves in the telecom/carrier space this year will also mean a transition for one of its best-known executives. Arunas Chesonis, chairman and CEO of Paetec, will exit Paetec following its planned acquisition by Windstream. Chesonis, who founded Paetec in 1998, has no plans to retire, telling CRN that he will take some time off and then determine his next move.

Joe Mertens

It was no surprise move, considering it had been pre-announced earlier this year, but in mid-August, Sirius Computer Solutions confirmed that Joe Mertens has assumed the CEO post from founder Harvey Najim. Sirius, one of the country's top solution providers and ranked No. 33 on this year's VAR 500 list, has had the succession in the works since Mertens (pictured with CRN's Steve Burke) was named president in 2008.

Enrique Rodriguez

The hit parade of notable executive departures from Cisco this year has continued to expand, and one of the most recent was Enrique Rodriguez, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Service Provider Video Technology Group.

Rodriguez, who joined Cisco from Microsoft in 2010, was responsible for the Cisco business responsible for television and video sales to service providers. The service provider and enterprise video businesses have since been combined under one executive, Marthin De Beer, senior vice president of Cisco's Emerging Business Group, who also controls Cisco's consumer business unit.

Ed Richards

Ed Richards came to Cisco following its acquisition of Richards-Zeta Building Intelligence in 2009. Richards-Zeta, of which Richards was CEO and a founder, brought Cisco building management technology and helped yield Cisco Mediator, a system that monitors and manages heating systems, A/C systems and various other appliances within commercial buildings to make their use more efficient. Following the acquisition, Richards became a director of worldwide business development at Cisco, but Cisco confirmed to CRN and other outlets that Richards was among those who took Cisco's early retirement package this summer.

Kara Wilson

Another well-known executive opting out of Cisco was Kara Wilson, who became chief marketing officer at SuccessFactors in early August. At Cisco, Wilson was vice president of marketing for the networking king's communications and collaboration portfolio, and also a member of Cisco's Collaboration Executive Board. At SuccessFactors, Wilson will manage global marketing and communications.

Neal Oristano

For all the departures from Cisco, it did manage to make a few key grabs, as well. Neal Oristano was among six Juniper executives jumping ship to Cisco, where Oristano will be vice president, global service provider market segment sales. Oristano and Jim Labovites, joining Cisco as a vice president, are in fact re-joining Cisco, having both worked there years ago.

Charlie Kindel

Charlie Kindel, a 21-year veteran of Microsoft, confirmed in early August that he would leave Microsoft to start his own company. Kindel was most recently general manager of Microsoft Windows Phone, and previously served as general manager for Windows Home Server.

Simon Witts

Microsoft right at the end of August confirmed the departure of Simon Witts, its enterprise and partner sales chief. Witts' official title is corporate vice president, enterprise & partner group, and he oversees Microsoft sales to its 10,000 largest global customers and the solution providers that work with them. He's been at Microsoft for 18 years.

Charles Carmel

More big-ticket Cisco departures: Charles Carmel, who headed up Cisco's M&A strategy for many years and assisted with some of Cisco's biggest acquisitions, took a gig with private equity firm Warburg Pincus a few weeks ago. Carmel, who was most recently vice president, corporate development at Cisco, is a managing director at Warburg Pincus, which manages more than $30 billion in assets.

Emerick Woods

A changing of the guard at WAN virtualization upstart Talari Networks, which in mid-August named Emerick Woods its new CEO. Woods, who replaces Talari co-founder Andy Gottlieb in the role, was most recently CEO of Global IP Solutions, which was acquired by Google in 2010. A longtime technology industry presence, Woods held CEO positions at V-Enable, Aligo and Trapezo, and a decade ago was CEO of Vicinity Corp., later sold to Microsoft.

Donna Wittmann

Some of Cisco's key channel managers are getting new roles as a result of Cisco's corporate restructuring, and among them is Donna Wittmann, vice president of Cisco's Canadian Partner Organization. Wittmann is moving on to a global position within Cisco's Worldwide Partner Organization, under Andrew Sage, who was recently named vice president, worldwide partner-led at Cisco. Stepping into Wittman's stead in Cisco Canada is Mike Ansley, currently vice president of solutions sales for Cisco Canada.

Bill Wohl

Bill Wohl, HP's chief communications officer, was re-assigned in late August to what HP is calling a "special assignment." Chief Marketing Officer Marty Homlish -- like Wohl and HP CEO Leo Apotheker, a veteran of SAP, and new to the company within the past year -- is assuming HP's corporate communications responsibility on HP's executive council, while Lynn Anderson has day-to-day operations responsibility.

Patricia Hume

Patricia Hume keeps on moving. Hume, best known in the channel for her stint at SAP, left SAP for a top sales post at GFI Software earlier this year, and in August, left GFI to become vice president of worldwide sales at Convio, which makes on-demand "constituent engagement" fund-raising applications for nonprofit businesses. At SAP, Hume was head of the channel organization, and before her three yeas there was group vice president of Avaya's SME division and a 17-year IBM-er.

David Twohy

In its Technology Services unit, HP promoted David Twohy, former vice president of Americas channel sales, to vice president of global channel sales. Twohy had been in the Technology Services VP role since July 2009, and among his duties are managing about 100 HP sales representatives in the U.S., Canada and South America. Twohy's been at HP since 2001.

Robbie Bach

Robbie Bach was a key player in the development of Microsoft's successful Xbox business, and was a 22-year veteran of Microsoft before leaving the company in May 2010 amid a shakeup int he Entertainment and Devices Division. Bach surfaced in mid-August, named to the board of audio electronics company Sonos, which makes a system for wirelessly streaming music around homes.

Mario Forziati

When major tech companies have layoffs or shakeups, it's reasonable to guess many executives will depart those companies and join partners. Mario Forziati, a 15-year Cisco veteran, did just that, leaving Cisco for the role of vice president of sales, New England, for Cisco partner Precision Computer Services (PCS). PCS, based in Shelton, Conn., saw annual sales up 35 percent in 2010, and was named Cisco's 2011 New Partner of the Year. Forziati was one of Cisco's first channel account managers in 1996, and eventually managed partner operations in the Northeast.

Peter Belyea

A changing of the guard at one of the better known, multifaceted solution providers in upstate New York: Peter Belyea was named president of CXtec and Teracai, a newly created position responsible for oversight of both organizations. Bill Pomeroy is still the two companies' founder and CEO, but according to Belyea, will be focused more on the strategic direction of the company, with Belyea focused on day-to-day operations in sales and marketing. Teracai, itself, was previously a separate, Cisco-focused VAR division of CXtec, and that company was later split into two.

Rob Tarkoff

A recent reorganization at Adobe also saw the departure of one of its key executives. That's Rob Tarkoff, Adobe senior vice president and general manager for digital enterprise solutions, who was named CEO of Emeryville, Calif.-based Lithium Technologies in mid-August and will take over the role from Lithium co-founder Lyle Fong effective Sept. 12. Fong's new title is chief strategist and he'll stay with the Board of Directors, too. Tarkoff is an IT veteran, and was at one point senior vice president and general manager for EMC's Captiva Software Division and also senior vice president of business development and channels for EMC's Software group. Lithium runs online communities for a number of companies, including major retailers like The Home Depot, Sephora and Best Buy.

VCE Changes

What's going on over at VCE? Amid constant rumors of layoffs and other executive changes, a few moves have floated to the top. First was Pete Koliopoulos, who left VCE in late June to become vice president of marketing, North America, at distributor Arrow ECS. Another curiosity: the title of Michael Capellas, who was tapped to head VCE in May 2010 but no longer has the title of CEO. Sources told CRN that Capellas' role did not change, and is focused on VCE's long-term strategy while Frank Hauck, who joined VCE as president in April 2011, is in charge of VCE's day-to-day business.

Mike Kirkup

Another week, another veteran executive headed for the exits at beleaguered mobile phone maker Research In Motion. The latest, confirmed right at the end of August, is Mike Kirkup, a popular and longtime RIM executive who was RIM's director of global developer relations. Kirkup confirmed the departure on his personal blog, and he joins a hit list of executive departures from RIM that has included several marketing executives exiting for Samsung, and the resignations of RIM's former head of marketing, Keith Pardy, and one of its chief operating officers, Don Morrison, earlier this year.

James Gosling

The "Father of Java" is on the move again. James Gosling, who joined Google a year after leaving Sun Microsystems, has now left Google for a role at startup Liquid Robotics. Gosling, in a blog item titled "I've Moved Again" at the end of August, said it wasn't an easy decision.

"I had a great time at Google, met lots of interesting people, but I met some folks outside doing something completely outrageous and after much anguish decided to leave Google," he wrote.

Liquid Robotics designed autonomous vehicles that can cruise the ocean and upload data to the cloud using various network connections.

Check out more IT executive moves from July.