30 Notable IT Executive Moves: October 2011

Rocktober In The Executive Suite

In a year of major executive changes up and down the industry, the past five weeks kept pace. Here we recap 30 of the most notable IT executive moves made in October or shortly before it, including more CEO turnover, continued exits from HP and Cisco as well as promotions, and a number of defections from major vendors to rivals.

Virginia Rometty

Ginni Rometty will take IBM's CEO reins on Jan. 1, 2012, the company confirmed this past month, succeeding CEO Sam Palmisano in the quest to bring IBM's $100 billion business into the era of cloud. Rometty, a 30-year veteran of the company, will be IBM's ninth CEO since its founding, and is currently IBM's global sales leader, running IBM's global strategy, marketing and communications. What put Rometty on the fast track to the top office, many IBM observers suggest, was her role as senior vice president of IBM Global Business Services, where she led the integration of PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting and spearheaded a team of some 100,000 business consultants and services specialists.

Shane Robison

The first major departure in HP's C-suite in the Meg Whitman era is Shane Robison, executive vice president and chief strategy and technology officer, whom HP confirmed would retire as of Nov. 1. Robison, an 11-year HP-er, came to the technology behemoth during its acquisition of Compaq a decade ago, where he was CTO and strategy chief. Among his functions at HP, Robison has led R&D investments and M&A, and was also in charge of HP Cloud Services.

HP doesn't plan to replace Robison; instead, it will retire his position.

Ihab Abu-Hakima

An upcoming changing of the guard at wireless upstart Meru Networks: Ihab Abu-Hakima, president and CEO, will be leaving the company within six months. Doesn't appear to be anything out of sorts; according to a statement from Abu-Hakima, "I feel I have achieved my personal and corporate goals, and given the strong momentum at Meru, now is the right time to transition to a new CEO to drive the company to the next level." Abu-Hakima will assist Meru's Board of Directors to identify his successor.

George Kurtz

More movement at McAfee: George Kurtz, worldwide chief technology officer, has left the company as of the end of October. Kurtz, who came to McAfee in 2004 with the company's acquisition of Foundstone, was previously senior vice president and general manager in McAfee's Risk and Compliance Business Unit. Kurtz wasn't the only exit from McAfee, either; Dmitri Alperovitch, vice president of threat research, has also departed as of the end of October.

Alan Cohen

The Cisco executive hits just keep on coming. Alan Cohen, former vice president for enterprise and public sector at Cisco, exited the networking giant to join Nicira, a network virtualization startup still in stealth mode...

Brett Galloway

…while Brett Galloway, senior vice president of Cisco's Network Services Group and chief of its Borderless Networks strategy, took a 12-month leave…

Stephanie Carullo

…and Stephanie Carullo, formerly Cisco's worldwide vice president of sales for data center and virtualization, became a vice president of sales at Apple…

Rick McConnell

…and Rick McConnell, a Cisco VP who headed the UC business in Cisco's Voice Technology Group, exited Cisco for Akamai, where he'll be executive vice president, products and development, effective Nov. 1.

Bethany Mayer

HP Networking once again has firmed up leadership, as Bethany Mayer, who had been running the division on an interim basis since May, was named senior vice president and general manager on an official basis in early October. Mayer reports to David Donatelli, executive vice president and general manager of HP ESSN and HP's Technology Services unit, and one of her first big channel-facing moves is the upcoming rollout of a networking-specific program within HP PartnerOne.

Alain Monie

In, and out, and back in again for Alain Monie, who in early October returned to Ingram Micro as president and chief operating officer. Monie had resigned from Ingram in August 2010 after seven years with the distributor to become CEO of Asia Pacific Resources International Ltd., a pulp and paper producer based in Singapore. Back at Ingram, where he first became president and COO in 2007, Monie once again reports to Ingram CEO Greg Spierkel and is responsible for the company's operating units.

Mark Weatherford

The well-traveled Mark Weatherford was named the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's new deputy undersecretary for cybersecurity for the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPDD), which examines how to protect U.S. citizens from physical and cybersecurity threats. Weatherford was most recently vice president and chief security officer of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, which works to protect energy grids in North America.

Scott Noteboom

Will Yahoo's executive suite look at all the same by the time its current transformation ends? Already without a CEO for several weeks now, Yahoo's top executives are fleeing the company, notably Scott Noteboom, Yahoo's head of global data infrastructure, who jumped ship to Apple; Anna Toth, Yahoo's chief strategy officer, who resigned; and Raymie Stata, Yahoo's chief technology officer, who stepped down, though he will have an "entrepreneur in residence" role with Yahoo.

Quentin Gallivan

Business analytics specialist Pentaho has a new steward, and that's Quentin Gallivan, named to the CEO post in early October. Gallivan's track record includes a CEO stint at big data analytics specialist Aster Data, which was acquired by Teradata this year; a CEO stint at Postini before its acquisition by Google in 2007; and an executive vice president role at VeriSign, where he headed worldwide sales and marketing.

Founding Pentaho CEO Richard Daley will remain on the board of directors and also become chief strategy officer, where he'll focus on Pentaho's strategies for big data, customer adoption and cloud analytics.

Juliann Larimer

A change-up in Motorola Solutions' channel management, includes the appointment of Juliann Larimer, of Motorola's new vice president, global channels. Larimer, who joined Motorola Solutions earlier this year following a channel chief role at NCR, was most recently Motorola Solutions' vice president, global channel strategy, programs and governance.

Meanwhile, Mark Kroh, who had Larimer's job as global channel chief, is now Motorola Solutions' vice president, North America channels, where he'll have a narrower focus on Motorola's crucial North America partner business. Mike DeVente, who ran North America channels under Kroh, is now focusing on the Mobile Solutions (Enterprise) track in the company's PartnerEmpower channel program.

Michael Jerich

Speaking of channel executive change-ups, a big one occurred at Level 3 Communications, which named a new channel chief, Mike Jerich. Jerich, who returned to Level 3 following its acquisition of Global Crossing, where he was channel chief, will now be leading all of Level 3's indirect programs, from VARs and systems integrators to strategic alliances. His title is vice president, indirect channels.

Meanwhile, Nigel Williams, most recently senior vice president, enterprise sales and strategic alliance at Level 3, is moving up into Level 3's business development group, where he'll be focused on Level 3's longer-term partnerships. Wayne Dietrich, formerly Level 3's vice president of channel sales, is now vice president of VARs, systems integrators and strategic alliances under Jerich.

David Kenny

David Kenny, president and a director at Akamai, left the company as part of a number of executive changes confirmed near the end of October. Speculation holds that Kenny has designs on the top job at Yahoo, where he is already a board member. His exit came as Akamai added former Cisco executive Rick McConnell and also Kumud Kalia, newly Akamai's chief information officer, to its ranks.

Scott Moore

Scott Moore left and returned to Microsoft once before: in 2009, when he re-boarded the Microsoft bus after four years and a stint as media chief at Yahoo. This time, however, Moore's exit from Microsoft, where he was an executive producer heading up Microsoft's MSN portal in the U.S., appears permanent. Moore is headed for Yell Group, an online directories company, where he'll be chief digital officer.

Richard Kerris

In a move that may portend further obfuscation of the WebOS platform, HP's Richard Kerris, vice president of WebOS worldwide developer relations, left HP in mid-October for a new job as head of global developer relations at Nokia. Kerris, who before joining HP in January was CTO at LucasFilm, reported to HP CSO and CTO Shane Robison, who also left the technology giant.

Karl Soderlund

Avaya, which has seen nearly non-stop executive changes and turnover in its VP ranks for a few years now, at last has a new U.S. channel chief. Karl Soderlund, most recently senior vice president worldwide sales and business development at Certeon, was named to the role vacated by Carol Giles Neslund this past April, replacing John Spiliotis, who headed U.S. channels on an interim basis. Soderlund, perhaps best known to channel partners for the two years he spent as Americas vice president and general manager for sales and marketing HP ProCurve (now HP Networking), will be the driver behind Avaya's U.S. channel sales effort as it seeks to add strategic partners, build up its data networking practice, and prepare for an initial public offering.

Jim Harold

Blue Coat Systems, in the midst of a C-suite overhaul, quietly made changes to its channel management several weeks back, including a move to de-centralize channel leadership and push power into the hands of its regional executives. That meant the elimination of Blue Coat's global channel chief role, and the departure of Jim Harold, vice president, worldwide channel sales, whose exit was confirmed to CRN in mid-October by a Blue Coat spokesman. Laurie Usewicz, vice president of Americas channel sales at Blue Coat, is now the regional channel chief in charge of Blue Coat's partner program here.

Isabelle Guis And Mansour Karam

Big hires going on at Big Switch Networks, the networking virtualization startup and OpenFlow evangelist. Isabelle Guis (pictured), formerly Avaya's general manager, enterprise communications business, is now Big Switch's vice president, outbound marketing. Mansour Karam, formerly director of business development for Arista Networks, is now vice president, strategic alliances at Big Switch, where among other duties he'll run Big Switch's partner ecosystem. Both join another recent hire, Howie Xu, who joined Big Switch in September as vice president, engineering, following nine years at VMware.

Brendan Hannigan

Brendan Hannigan went from CEO of Q1 Labs to a high-profile new position as the head of IBM's new Security Systems Division -- a move begat by IBM acquiring Q1 earlier in the month as part of an ongoing acquisitions spree. The new division, in which IBM will meld analytics with security, will rely heavily Q1's flagship suite, QRadar, which analyzes events in routers, switches, applications, databases, VPNs, firewalls and appliances.

Bill Wohl

Executives associated with HP's short-lived Leo Apotheker era are fading into the background. Bill Wohl, formerly HP's chief communications officer and who was already reassigned to "special assignment" in late August, confirmed via his Twitter feed that he had departed HP.

"Yes, I've left HP and am now 'pursuing new opportunities," Wohl posted on October 17. "I'm home in Pennsylvania and taking some deserved time off. Thx for your support."

Steve Reese

From one monster Cisco solution provider to another. Steven Reese, most recently senior director of solutions management for Nexus Integration Services in Valencia, Calif., joined Dallas-based INX as vice president, Collaboration and Secured Architectures, focused on how INX brings video, smart devices, Web services and Web portal integration to customers.

Said Reese to CRN, "If you look at VDI and videoconferencing, and you look at all these different assets in the business, are all focused around getting information to people when they need it, how they need it, scarily and ably. If you look at INX vs. other players in the industry, we have assets that allow us to step away from mainstream VARs and focus on a strategic delivery framework."

George Mulhern

Into the driver's seat at CradlePoint comes George Mulhern, who was named CEO of the 3G/4G network router solutions company at the end of September. Mulhern spent 20 years at HP, where he headed up everything from the hardware and software businesses to services, and where his last position was senior vice president of the LaserJet Global Business. Between HP and his appointment at CradlePoint, Mulhern was general partner with Highway 12 Ventures, a VC fund based in Boise, Idaho and focused on startups in the U.S. Northwest.

Alex Dobson

Alex Dobson has his work cut out for him. As the new vice president of sales for Huawei's U.S. Enterprise business, he'll spearhead the $28 billion Chinese telecom equipment giant's attempt to break in to the crowded U.S. enterprise networking market, where Cisco reigns supreme and plenty of other competitors, from HP to Juniper, are also battling for market share.

Huawei, which formally announced its U.S. partner program and broader enterprise push early in October, will begin recruitment of solution providers interested in its routers, switches and telepresence products. Dobson, known to the channel already for enterprise sales leadership and business development roles he had at 3Com and then HP Networking, will be driving the bus.

Dag Kittlaus

The most talked-about feature in Apple's new iPhone 4S is the one that does the talking: Siri, the personal assistant application. One of Siri's creators, however, has already moved on from Apple. AllThingsD in late October reported that Dag Kittlaus, co-founder and CEO of the company, Siri, that Apple acquired for the Siri voice control technology in April 2010, exited Apple. According to the report, Kittlaus' exit from Apple had been planned for a while, and Kittlaus sought to be closer to his family, take some time off and look at new ideas.

David Ruggiero

Polycom's been gradually stacking its executive team, and the latest addition is David Ruggiero, newly Polycom's theater president, North America, reporting to global sales EVP Tracey Newell. Ruggiero was most recently area vice president for Cisco, responsible for Cisco's sales and partnership with AT&T. At Polycom, he'll be leading Polycom's largest geographic region by revenue, focused on sales strategy and execution.

Integra Moves

A busy fall for Integra Telecom netted two additional executive hires in October, including Kevin O'Hara, executive chairman, and Joe Harding, senior vice president of product development. O'Hara, a former Level 3 Communications executive, replaced CEO Tom Casey, who left Integra to become CEO of pigment manufacturer Tronox. Harding, also a former Level 3 executive, is in charge of Integra's product management, development, and marketing.