30 Notable IT Executive Moves: January 2015

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Channel companies kicked off the year in style, bringing fresh leadership into their sales, marketing, financial teams and more. January saw major vendors such as Lenovo, IBM, Microsoft, Xerox, Citrix and others bringing in new executives, as well as additions to solution providers, both big and small.

Take a look at which executives were in and which were out this month.

Chris Frey

Lenovo channel chief Chris Frey got an expanded role this month, adding responsibilities of overseeing the company's commercial businesses, SMB and large accounts. He will continue to also be responsible for Lenovo's North American channel sales. Frey's new title is vice president and general manager of Lenovo's North American commercial businesses. He is replacing 10-year Lenovo veteran Thomas Looney, who is retiring.

"I'm extremely excited about the opportunity that lies ahead of me," Frey said in an interview with CRN at the time. "Having the responsibility of the channel business, and now all of Lenovo's commercial business, will allow me to craft a strategy that's good for both Lenovo and partners that will allow us to scale together."

Lance Crosby

After helping build SoftLayer into a cloud powerhouse with IBM, Lance Crosby resigned as CEO at the end of the month. In his time at SoftLayer, Crosby helped evangelize and develop the company's cloud offerings and helped integrate them into IBM after the acquisition. Crosby came to SoftLayer in 2010 when the company merged with The Planet, where he was COO. Crosby was recently passed over when IBM chose a new leader for its cloud division, naming Robert LeBlanc as senior vice president of Cloud.

Christian Heilmann, Aaron Gustafson

As Microsoft continues to open its doors to the open standards community, it has added two longtime advocates to its lineup. This month, Microsoft added Christian Heilmann and Aaron Gustafson as senior program managers in its Develop Experience group. Heilmann (pictured) most recently was principal developer evangelist at Mozilla. Gustafson is best known as a web design consultant and web standards advocate. Both hires said they used to be at odds with Microsoft as it shunned the open source community, but look forward to helping the software giant play a bigger role in the community.

Donna St. John

As Splunk gains momentum in the data analysis space, it has made a key executive addition with Donna St. John as its worldwide channel chief. St. John joins Splunk from Palo Alto Networks, which she left in November. Partners recognized St. John for growing communications, partner outreach and channel strategy at Palo Alto. As senior director of Worldwide Partner Programs and Development, St. John will be responsible for spearheading the development of Splunk's channel program.

Elmer Lai

Autotask has had a busy few months, making an acquisition, getting acquired and rolling out a new user interface. In its latest move, the IT management platform company added Elmer Lai as CFO, a move CEO Mark Cattini said would help fuel future growth. Lai comes to Autotask from HubSpot, where he helped the company prepare for its $100 million IPO as vice president and chief accounting officer. He has also held financial positions at Sonus Networks, Airvana and Razorfish/iCube.

Sunil Potti

As it prepares for its next phase of growth, hyper-converged infrastructure provider Nutanix has hired former Citrix Systems exec Sunil Potti. As senior vice president of engineering and product management, a new position for Nutanix, Potti will be charged with unifying the company's product management and engineering teams for growth. Prior to joining Nutanix, Potti spent five years at Citrix, leading the company's NetScaler application delivery controller business.

Kurt Schmelz

This month, Xerox consolidated its two partner organizations into one, called the U.S. Channel Group, bringing Kurt Schmelz in as president to lead the charge. Schmelz previously was head of Xerox's U.S. Solution Provider's business, one of the two groups consolidated under the U.S. Channel Group. Schmelz will report directly to channel chief John Corley, and will be responsible for leading the integration and partner strategy going forward.

Leonard Iventosch

Former EMC channel chief Leonard Iventosch found a new home in January at data analytics firm ExtraHop. The longtime channel exec will now be ExtraHop's vice president of global channels, where he will help develop the company's budding channel program. Iventosch told CRN at the time that he hopes to grow ExtraHop's channel program from around 40 percent of revenue to 50 percent to 60 percent by the end of the year by helping partners build professional services around ExtraHop appliances. Iventosch left EMC, where he was vice president of Americas channels, in Dec. 2013. Prior to that, he was vice president of global channels and OEM at Isilon, which was acquired by EMC in 2008, and channel chief at NetApp.

Carlos Sartorius

Citrix was shaking up its sales leadership this month -- bringing in Carlos Sartorius to lead the company's sales as senior vice president of worldwide sales and services. Sartorius is a rising star within the company, most recently serving as managing director and vice president of Citrix's Europe, Middle East and Africa business since 2011. Sartorius also has held positions at Motorola, Hewlett-Packard, Orange Business Services and Avaya. He replaces Al Monserrat, a 15-year Citrix veteran who was regarded as the company's No. 2 executive after CEO Mark Templeton. Sources told CRN at the time that Sartorius' appointment was part of a larger Citrix sales reorganization as the company moves to adopt a national model in the U.S.

Elias Khnaser

After helping guide the solution provider's strategy and practices, Elias Khnaser left Sigma Technology Solutions, where he was CTO, to join Gartner as a research director. At Gartner, Khnaser will focus on consulting Gartner customers around cloud and end-user computing. At Sigma Technology Solutions, which is No. 89 on the CRN SP500, Khnaser helped guide a strategy around the cloud and end-user computing technologies, including placing big bets on investing heavily in the cloud. A longtime industry veteran, Khnaser also has held CTO roles at Artemis Technology and VSD Technologies.

John Starr

Websense has a new global channel chief in John Starr, who joins the company from Vista Equity Partners, the private equity firm that owns Websense. Starr will now be vice president of global sales channels and professional services. He comes on board as Websense establishes a new professional services arm to address customer concerns and prevent turnover. Starr replaces Shawn Pearson, who left the company to pursue his own interests.

John Solomon

John Solomon, a 20-year Hewlett-Packard veteran, has moved on from the company, joining Apple as vice president of enterprise and government. Solomon is part of a wave of employee departures from HP -- including HP Vice President Scott Dunsire -- as the company splits into two publicly traded Fortune 50 companies. Throughout his long career at HP, Solomon has held positions in marketing and sales primarily in the company's Imaging and Printing, as well as Personal Systems divisions, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Sam Henry

As Xamarin tightens its relationship with Microsoft, it has hired former longtime Microsoft executive Sam Henry as its vice president of sales strategy. Henry spent close to 15 years at the software giant in a variety of developer roles, most recently as head of global sales enablement. In his new role at Xamarin, Henry told CRN that he plans to double the size of the company's sales and customer engagement team to 100 as well as build a "mobile adviser" team to large businesses.

Patrick Zammit

Avnet turned to longtime company veteran Patrick Zammit as its newest global president for its Technology Solutions division, replacing departing president Phil Gallagher, who announced his intention to leave in September. Zammit has been with Avnet since 1993, most recently as president of the Europe, Middle East and Africa region of its electronics marketing group. Zammit will now be responsible for global performance, strategic direction and day-to-day operations, reporting directly to CEO Rick Hamada.

David Roberts

Hewlett-Packard has nabbed longtime industry veteran David Roberts as a vice president in the company's Enterprise Group, responsible for overseeing HP's relationship with $30 billion systems integrator Accenture. Roberts has a long history with the channel, holding positions at McAfee, Microsoft and CA over his 24-year career driving channel sales. In an interview with CRN after his appointment, Roberts said HP has an all-out offensive to grow its sales footprint, particularly with Accenture.

Bob Bruce

Silver Peak, a network and data acceleration technology developer, hired Bob Bruce this month as its new channel chief. As senior vice president of channel sales, Bruce said he will help give partners more of a say in developing the company's channel program as Silver Peak prepares for a jump in the market for software-defined WAN acceleration. Bruce isn't a stranger to Silver Peak, serving as an independent consultant to the company for several years before quietly joining Silver Peak in mid-November. Prior to that, he held executive roles at Aruba Networks, Juniper Networks, Cisco Systems and 3Com.

Kevin Weiss

Unitrends got new top-level leadership in January, picking up former top McAfee exec Kevin Weiss as CEO. Former CEO Mike Coney left the company in December to pursue other opportunities, the company said. Weiss is most known in the channel for serving as president of McAfee until 2006, and has worked in venture capital and consumer-facing companies since. In his new role, Weiss will be responsible for increasing Unitrends' channel investments, as well as boosting its brand awareness. Weiss told CRN at the time that he also plans to increase the market's awareness of Unitrends' growth and its data protection software.

Phil Harris

At the beginning of the month, BMC Software landed former Cisco exec and cloud expert Phil Harris as its new CTO. Harris is formerly the CTO of Cisco's Cloud Systems Management Technology group, where he led technology and business strategy. In his new role, Harris told CRN he hopes to help BMC capitalize on its rich portfolio and prepare for the next wave of technological change. Harris' hire is the latest in a series of executive appointments by BMC in recent months, including Paul Appleby, executive vice president of worldwide sales and marketing, Robin Purohit, president of support services, and David Gai, president of customer success.

Fred Studer

NetSuite kicked off the year with the appointment of former Microsoft and Oracle exec Fred Studer as chief marketing officer. Studer is recognized as a top marketing executive, with experience in product and corporate marketing at Microsoft and Oracle. At NetSuite, he will be responsible for overseeing the marketing efforts of cloud CRM and ERP platforms. Studer replaces David Downing, who left the company five years ago and whose responsibilities have been handled by CEO Zach Nelson.

AMD Executive Shake-Up

As AMD undergoes a business unit reorganization and adapts to a new CEO, the company has one more big change to deal with as three top-level execs departed this month. John Byrne, general manager of computing and graphics business group, Collette LaForce, CMO, and Raj Naik, chief strategy officer, all left the company on Jan. 12. The company gave little to no information at the time on replacements or reasons for departure, other than to say in a statement that the company was honing its leadership team to "further sharpen our execution and position AMD for growth."

Brad Brooks

DocuSign announced a new chief marketing officer this month. Brad Brooks joined the company on Jan. 14 to help expand the reach of the DocuSign customer network. Brooks brings more than 25 years of experience to his new role, including positions at Microsoft, Juniper and AT&T Lucent Technologies, and most recently serving as CMO and senior vice president of Global Marketing at Juniper.

Kash Shaikh

In order to help the company grow its demand generation, training and marketing communications, Ruckus Wireless brought on Kash Shaikh as its new vice president of global marketing. Shaikh will be responsible for the strategy and management of marketing efforts, with the goal to grow brand awareness and product sales. He has extensive experience in the field of more than 18 years, most recently as vice president of platform marketing and business development for Riverbed Technology. Prior to that, he held marketing positions at Hewlett-Packard, Cisco and BayNetworks/Nortel.

Tim Ament

As part of its reorganization this month, Ingram Micro launched a new U.S. Advanced Solutions organization, covering data center, infrastructure, enterprise software, networking, security, servers, storage and virtualization, and named Tim Ament as senior vice president. Ament will be responsible for unifying the division's go-to-market strategy as well as overseeing the GSA schedule and professional services. Ament has been with Ingram Micro since 1997, holding a variety of sales and vendor management roles.

Stefan Ried

Unify, a communications software and services company, closed out the month with the addition of Stefan Ried as CTO of the company's Product House and head of technology strategy. Ried joins Unify from Forrester Research, where he was vice president and principal analyst, covering the Internet of Things, cloud platforms and emerging business models. Prior to that, he held executive positions at SAP and Software AG. In his new role, he will be responsible for helping Unify tap into the latest technology trends.

Jonathan Levine

Intermedia has a new CTO, the company announced on Jan. 7. Jonathan Levine joined the cloud IT services company as CTO at the beginning of the month, and has been charged to build a "holistic technology strategy" for the company that will drive growth and efficiency. Levine joins Intermedia from Rakuten, a Japanese e-commerce company, where he was vice managing director of the Development Unit. He has also held positions at Fusion Communications and ePhysician.

Michelle Ansley, David Gibson

Birch Communications, a communications, broadband and cloud-based IT service provider based in Atlanta, was on an executive hiring roll this month, picking up two additions to its leadership team. Michelle Ansley (pictured) will now be vice president and chief administrative officer, responsible for human resources and facilities at the company. Later in the month, Birch announced David Gibson would be joining the company as vice president of business development. Gibson will be responsible for leading product development and the wholesale division, the company said.

Stacey Pompei, Brandon Smith

Intelisys made two key executive appointments this month to its channel team. Stacey Pompei (pictured) joined the company from a private legal practice, and will now serve as vice president of supplier management and general counsel. She has more than 14 years of legal experience in the channel, including with Intelisys. The Petaluma, Calif.-based company also promoted Brandon Smith to vice president of partner sales and business development of the central region. Smith was previously director of partner sales for the region.

Jatin Dalal

Wipro, a 150,000 employee global solution provider based in Bangalore, India, hired a new CFO this month. Jatin Dalal has been announced as the company's new CFO, replacing retiring CFO and executive director Suresh Senapaty, who has been with Wipro for more than three decades. Dalal will officially take over his new role on April 1. Dalal has been with Wipro since 2002 and has led difficult projects, such as launching the company's shared services division.

Usman Choudhary, John Lyons

ThreatTrack Security, a cyberthreat prevention company, made two additions to its executive lineup this month, a move the company said will help position it for strong product and channel growth. Usman Choudhary (pictured), a 20-year industry veteran, has joined the company as senior vice president and chief products officer. Choudhary joins ThreatTrack from NetIQ, where he was senior director of engineering, and will now be responsible for leading the company's product development strategy. John Lyons will be joining ThreatTrack as senior vice president of worldwide sales, where he will be responsible for the company's sales and channel organizations. Lyons comes to ThreatTrack from Tenable Network Security, where he was vice president of sales for the Americas.

Puneet Arora

Puneet Arora has joined 8x8, a cloud-based UC and collaboration company, as senior vice president of global sales, the company announced this month. In his new role, Arora will be responsible for leading direct and channel sales. Arora is a longtime industry veteran, with sales experience at Salesforce.com, Oracle and LivePerson. He most recently served as vice president and head of North American sales at LivePerson, an online marketing and analytics company.