30 Notable IT Executive Moves: April 2015

Start It Off

At the end of each month, CRN rounds up 30 of the top channel executive moves. For April, we've collected more than that: Here are 34 top-level additions and subtractions. Among them, the channel saw the addition of new top-level North American leadership at Lenovo, the departure of a top channel exec from Microsoft, a series of shuffles at Citrix and new leadership at some of the industry's top solution providers.

Take a look at who was in, and who was out, last month.

Aymar de Lencquesaing

Lenovo continued shaking up its top-level executive lineup in April with the addition of Aymar de Lencquesaing as president of Lenovo North America. Lencquesaing joined the company in 2013 and most recently served as president of EMEA and senior vice president of the Lenovo Group. Before joining Lenovo, he was a corporate vice president at Capgemini. He also held executive positions at Acer and Packard Bell.

Jenni Flinders

After 15 years with Microsoft, U.S. Partner Group Vice President Jenni Flinders left the company in April, CRN learned. While no news of her next position has appeared, Flinders posted on her Facebook page that she was looking forward to her "new adventure." Flinders had been with Microsoft since 2000, most recently overseeing Microsoft efforts to get more of its 640,000 channel partners to sell cloud services, a role she has held since 2009. Before Microsoft, Flinders held positions at IBM and Lotus in South Africa.

Prakash Panjwani

Network security vendor WatchGuard Technologies named a new CEO, nearly a year after the resignation of former CEO Joe Wang. Prakash Panjwani steps into the new role after spending more than 12 years at data-protection company SafeNet. Interim CEO Mike Kohlsdorf, who will now join the board of directors, said in a statement at the time that he hopes Panjwani can "keep the momentum going" from the company's record year of growth, using his experience from growing SafeNet from a startup to a "leading data-security company."

Rakesh Narasimhan

In the first of many executive moves in April for Citrix Systems, Rakesh Narasimhan left the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based company "due to a personal family situation," according to a Citrix spokesperson. Narasimhan joined Citrix in January 2014 as vice president and general manager of its application and desktop virtualization business in charge of strategy, products, engineering and product marketing for the company's end-user computing portfolio. He left the company in February. Before Citrix, Narasimhan held positions at Microsoft and Oracle. He is replaced by 22-year company veteran Bill Burley.

Sudhakar Ramakrishna

In the second April executive departure for Citrix Systems, SVP and general manager of the Enterprise and Service Provider Division Sudhakar Ramakrishna left the company, according to an 8-K filing. He will remain with the company until May 31 to help with the transition, the company said. Ramakrishna joined the company in 2013 from Polycom, where he was president of products and services.

Al Monserrat

Former Citrix Systems top sales executive Al Monserrat has a new role as CEO at RES Software, after announcing his departure from Citrix in January. RES Software, an IT automation technology vendor, has been without a CEO since last June. Monserrat joined Citrix in 2000 and most recently served as SVP of worldwide sales and services, a position he held since 2008. Partners at the time said his move to RES Software could raise the profile of the Netherlands-based vendor, which is already seeing growing attention from businesses as a result of growing BYOD and mobility trends.

Matthew Morgan

In the third executive departure for Citrix of the month, Vice President of Corporate Product Marketing Matthew Morgan left the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based company for big data startup Hortonworks. In charge of global product marketing at Citrix, Morgan helped drive the company's push into enterprise mobility with Workspace Suite, which launched last May. Morgan will be vice president of product marketing at Hortonworks, reporting to President Herb Cunitz. Citrix said at the time that it does not plan to replace Morgan.

Brad Pedersen

In yet another executive move for Citrix in April, and arguably the most impactful, Chief Architect and Senior Fellow Brad Pedersen announced he would be retiring at the end of the month after 26 years with the company. The seventh employee hired at the company, Pedersen has been critical in the company's success in the remote access, application virtualization and Windows ecosystem markets. Partners praised his "huge influence" over the company, both with his technical expertise and helping the company adapt to changing marketplace dynamics.

Dave Donatelli

Dave Donatelli, former head of Hewlett-Packard's enterprise hardware business in April, reportedly joining Oracle as executive vice president in the company's hardware division. By joining Oracle, Donatelli joins a list of several former HP channel and enterprise execs moving to the company, including current co-CEO Mark Hurd. Donatelli joined HP in 2009 and was head of the company's enterprise hardware business until 2013, when CEO Meg Whitman put him in charge of identifying early-stage startups for investment. Before that, Donatelli spent more than 22 years at EMC.

Brandy Peterson, John Van Blaricum

Less than two months after a blockbuster merger between Accuvant and FishNet Security, two executives were scooped up by partner FireMon, which was spun off from FishNet in 2004. The network security intelligence vendor added Brandy Peterson as CTO and John Van Blaricum as vice president of marketing, the same titles they held at FishNet.

"The extensive knowledge and experience that comes with the addition of Brandy and John to the FireMon executive team further positions the company to build and deliver industry leading security solutions to the growing market we serve," FireMon CEO Jody Brazil said in a statement at the time.

Jeff Howells

After 23 years in the role and helping the company grow by $27 billion, Tech Data Chief Financial Officer Jeff Howells stepped down in April. He will be replaced by Chuck Dannewitz, former CFO for the Americas region. Howells, 58, said he intends to retire and spend time with friends and family, but said he might entertain opportunities to join a board of directors after his non-compete expires in one year.

"Jeff has been instrumental in the company's success during a period of significant growth and change," Bob Dutkowsky, Tech Data's CEO, said in a statement at the time. "His expert guidance and sound fiscal management have helped us navigate the ever-changing IT landscape, create the company's efficient operating model and drive its financial performance."

Mike Crane

Longtime Cisco executive Mike Crane moved to cloud-based contact-center solutions company Five9 last month. Crane was at Cisco for more than 18 years, most recently as vice president of advanced services. In an interview with CRN at the time, Crane said he saw an opportunity at Five9 to grow a services business, as he had done at Cisco, to provide high-end engagement with end users who want cloud-based solutions.

Neil Gissler

In the first big executive hire under new CEO Peter Altabef, Unisys announced in April that it had added longtime Accenture exec Neil Gissler as senior vice president of services. Gissler will be in charge of a new division at the solution provider, No. 17 on the CRN SP500 list, responsible for managing client service centers, software development centers and data centers. Gissler retired in August from Accenture, where he spent more than 28 years, most recently as Global Technology Consulting lead, where he was responsible for sales and delivery of IT strategy, enterprise architecture, infrastructure and security consulting services.

Tom Wilburn

Top Cisco sales exec Tom Wilburn jumped to wireless competitor Aerohive Networks in the middle of the month. Wilburn will be senior vice president of worldwide sales at the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company. Wilburn joined Cisco as part of its $450 million acquisition of Airespace in 2005, most recently serving as vice president of global enterprise networking sales, where he was responsible for routing, switching and wireless product sales. He also led the sales and integration of Meraki after the company's $1.2 billion acquisition by Cisco in 2012. Aerohive partners cheered Wilburn's addition, saying that the hire was a strategic step as the company looks to continue improving its sales strategy.

Mike Puglia, Brian Serino

Cloud-based IT management platform company Kaseya made two executive moves early in the month, naming Mike Puglia as CIO and hiring Brian Serino as vice president of worldwide sales. The appointments come as the company looks to drive growth using a cloud-first strategy. Serino joins the company from NetProspex, where he was senior vice president of sales and business development. Puglia most recently served as vice president of technology programs at Kaseya, but has also held positions at Salesforce.com and Veracode.

Michael Sotnick

In time with a new customer and partner success program launch, all-flash storage array vendor Pure Storage announced that it had added its first-ever channel chief. Michael Sotnick will now be vice president of global channels and alliances at the company. He joins the company from mobile platform developer Moovweb, where he was executive vice president and channel chief. Before that, he was channel chief at Quest Software and Veritas Software. Pure Storage also added former Riverbed and Symantec exec Alex Hesterberg as vice president of customer and partner success and technology services.

Jeff Tench, Neil Hobbs

On April 22, New Signature, a Washington, D.C.-based systems integrator that was 2014 Microsoft Partner of the Year, announced it had gotten $35 million in private equity capital from Columbia Capital and named Jeff Tench and Neil Hobbs from the firm as CEO and chairman, respectively. Hobbs is most known in the channel for running cloud video managed service company Teliris until it was sold to Dimension Data in May 2014. Co-founder Chris Hertz will become president, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the company and reporting to Tench. With the appointments and new funding, Hertz said, the company is a "long way" closer to its goal to triple the business in the next two years and hit $500 million in annual revenue within five years.

Bob Skelley

Dell Executive Director of North American Channel Sales Bob Skelley jumped from the vendor to Cambridge, Mass.-based Infinio. Skelley will now be vice president of global channels for the storage performance technology developer. The company said it will leverage Skelley's extensive channel background to build its own partner program, a challenge that Skelley told CRN at the time was a huge draw for him. Dell's regional teams will report to David Miketinac, executive director for channel sales.

Johnna Bowley

In the company's second channel executive addition of the month, Aerohive Networks said April 20 that it had appointed Johnna Bowley as its new channel chief. Bowley brings an extensive channel background to her new role, including positions at Riverbed Technology, EMC and NetApp. Partners praised her background and said Bowley's appointment is another example of Aerohive's looking to put more emphasis and investment behind the channel.

Jay Kidd

After nearly 10 years with the company, NetApp Chief Technology Officer Jay Kidd announced at the end of the month in a blog post that he will be retiring this summer. He is the second high-profile exec to leave NetApp in recent months, after Brian "Beepee" Pawlowski who left in March for competitor Pure Storage. In his blog post, Kidd wrote that he wants to pursue more "personal interests" and "delve more deeply into the areas of advising and investing." Kidd joined NetApp in 2005 from Brocade Communications, where he was CTO. Before that, he held positions at MultiGen-Paradigm, SGI and Hewlett-Packard.

Chris Griggs

Former Hewlett-Packard global sales exec Chris Griggs joined Skytap, a Seattle-based company providing enterprise cloud-based app development and testing environment solutions. Griggs will be vice president of EMEA. In tandem with Griggs' appointment, Skytap also announced it had opened a London office to spearhead its European market push and added former VMware architect Rick Cronin as technical director. Griggs most recently served as director of global accounts for HP and has also held positions at VMware.

Scott Parrish

AWS Premier Partner 2nd Watch added channel veteran Scott Parrish as chief financial officer as the company looks to manage its financials as it continues its spectacular growth. In a statement, CEO Doug Schneider praised Parrish's background in scaling businesses and helping companies keep pace with rapid growth rates. Parrish joins the Seattle-based company from the Azaleos Corp., an MSP for Microsoft technologies now owned by Avanade, where he was CFO. In an interview with CRN, Parrish said he plans to continue investing in R&D to deliver new functionalities as well as expand 2nd Watch's professional and managed services businesses.

Peter DiMarco

SMB distributor D&H Distribution announced on April 27 that it had hired Peter DiMarco as vice president of VAR sales, Computer Products Division, a new position for the company. DiMarco will be responsible for overseeing VARs through that division, including both independent and vertical-specific resellers, as well as supporting growth strategies for SMB resellers to push into the midmarket. DiMarco comes to D&H from EarthLink, where he was an IT channel development leader, and has also served as vice president of VAR sales at Ingram Micro.

Antonio Lucio

As Hewlett-Packard prepares for its split, details of executives for each of the two Fortune 50 companies begin to emerge. On April 14, the company announced that Antonio Lucio would be CMO of HP Inc., the division that will include personal systems and printing. He will report to Dion Weisler, who will be CEO of that company. Lucio will join HP Inc. from Visa, where he was global chief brand officer.

"Since announcing our plans to separate we have made great progress in designing how HP Inc. will operate in order to foster an entrepreneurial spirit that is built around innovation and quality," Weisler said in a statement. "Antonio's vision for a world-class marketing organization and comprehensive experience cultivating iconic global brands make him the perfect leader to join our team and take the HP Inc. mission forward."

Casey Coleman

Unisys, No. 17 on the CRN SP500, announced a big win for its federal business April 15, adding former U.S. General Services Administration CIO Casey Coleman to lead its federal government civilian agency business. Coleman will be group vice president for civilian agencies, Unisys Federal. Coleman most recently served as client EVP at AT&T Government Solutions, but also served as CIO of the GSA from 2007 to 2014.

"As someone with a passion for helping federal government agencies use technology to advance their missions, I look forward to working at Unisys to serve the company's civilian agency clients," Coleman said in a statement. "This position offers me an opportunity to have a significant impact across the entire federal civilian sector."

Jed Ayres

AppSense, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based provider of user workspace management solutions, added industry marketing veteran Jed Ayres to support its go-to-market, customer acquisition, growth and partner focus. Ayres will now be senior vice president of marketing. Ayres comes to AppSense from $300 million VAR MCPC, where he was chief marketing officer. Before that, he held positions at MTM Technologies, Megapath Networks and Rhythms NetConnections.

’We are excited to welcome Jed to our executive team. He brings the perfect blend of marketing execution, domain expertise, and thought leadership to AppSense. He is a key addition to our executive team and will support our go-to-market efforts, while enhancing AppSense’s growth and partner focus," CEO Scott Arnold said in a statement.

Marc McClure, Vince Stemen

Tech Data kicked off the month with the April 1 appointment of two vice presidents of field sales. Marc McClure will be vice president of field sales for the eastern U.S. and Vince Stemen will be vice president of field sales for the western and central U.S., both reporting to Senior Vice President of U.S. Sales Marty Bauerlein, the Clearwater, Fla.-based distributor said. McClure most recently served as director of field sales for the eastern U.S., where he was responsible for developing and planning initiatives for VARs. Stemen was also a director of field sales, for the West and Central U.S. regions.

Sanjay Kapoor

San Jose, Calif.-based application networking vendor A10 Networks announced April 7 that it had named Sanjay Kapoor as vice president of global marketing, reporting to CEO Lee Chen. Kapoor will be responsible for the company's marketing strategy and execution. He most recently served as chief marketing officer and senior vice president of Strategy at Nomimum. He has also held positions at Juniper Networks, where he was chief strategy officer for the company's software division, as well as Cisco Systems.

Jim Tennant

Longtime channel veteran Jim Tennant joined UnitedLayer, a San Francisco-based hybrid hosting company, at the end of April. Tennant will be vice president of channel sales at the company, where he will be responsible for growing UnitedLayer's channel presence and helping current partners grow sales. Over the past 25 years, Tennant has held channel positions at XO Communications, AT&T, ICG Communications, Verizon, ShoreTel and more.

"Jim brings a wealth of experience in building successful nationwide channel programs at industry leading organizations," said Abhijit Phanse, CEO of UnitedLayer, in a statement. "We are seeing strong adoption of our hybrid cloud solutions. Jim's expertise will be instrumental in strengthening UnitedLayer's channel program and helping partners realize the unique advantage they have to grow their business through our cloud solutions."

Mark Bennetts

Qumulo got a new channel chief, naming Mark Bennetts vice president of worldwide sales and partners April 8. In his new role, Bennetts will be responsible for growing the partner base and revenue growth for the Seattle-based company, which recently emerged from stealth with a data-aware scale-out NAS. Bennetts comes to Qumulo from Juniper Networks, where he ran commercial sales. Before that, he held positions at Cisco and HP.