30 Notable IT Executive Moves: July 2015

Start It Off

July was a month that saw multiple top channel chiefs making moves for new companies, with IBM, Cisco, SAP and more seeing departures of their top channel execs. However, the channel chiefs were not alone, with executive moves seen at some of tech's biggest companies and hottest startups, bringing in new CEOs, sales and marketing leadership.

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

Chuck Robbins

While it wasn't announced last month, the transition from longtime Cisco leader John Chambers to new CEO Chuck Robbins officially took place on July 29. Chambers will be transitioning into a role as executive chairman of the board and "executive sponsor for security." Robbins has already been off to a running start, making acquisitions and reorganizing the networking giant's executive team. Now that the executive officially holds the top spot, it should be interesting to see what changes are still to come.

Zorawar Biri Singh, Kevin Bandy

One of the many executive moves made by new Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins was the appointment last month of former Hewlett-Packard top cloud executive Zorawar Biri Singh (pictured) as senior vice president and CTO. Singh spent the last two years leading HP's cloud strategy as senior vice president and general manager of HP Cloud. He replaces popular outgoing CTO Padmasree Warrior. At the same time, Cisco announced the appointment of former Salesforce.com top exec Kevin Bandy as chief digital officer, responsible for developing the company's digital strategy, including around data and the Internet of Things.

Renee James

As part of a massive corporate reorganization at Intel last month, Renee James announced that she would be stepping down from her role as president by the end of the year. A 28-year veteran of the company, James said that she would be pursuing a role as CEO at a yet-unnamed company.

"Renee’s work as President has helped to prepare Intel for even greater success in the future. She has helped me move Intel forward with a clear strategy, new external talent and an intensive focus on diversity and leadership. Her transition work in the coming months will include transferring many key relationships and helping to reallocate her functions and initiatives," CEO Brian Krzanich wrote in a letter at the time.

Wendy Bahr, Bruce Klein

Cisco's more than 60,000 channel partners got new leadership last month, with the networking giant naming Wendy Bahr as its new global channel chief. She replaces Bruce Klein, who held the position for three years and was very popular with Cisco partners.

"My job is going to be to ensure a seamless transition between Bruce and myself, to continue to support the partners as we've done in the past who are a critical asset for Cisco because we can't do it without them," said Bahr in an interview with CRN at the time. "When I think about the next evolution of Cisco, what I really think about is our ability to embrace change, to drive the transformation to our customers digitizing their companies and doing that along with our partners."

The transition officially took place July 27, with Klein leaving to "pursue other opportunities outside of Cisco."

Tami Duncan

In another top channel executive move for July, IBM U.S. channel chief Tami Duncan left the company after more than 20 years. An IBM spokesperson at the time said that Duncan's departure was due to a "decision to reorient her career and her life in a different direction." Michele Stern, who was formerly vice president of global business partner sales and will now serve as vice president of global business partners, will replace Duncan. Stern will be responsible for assuming Duncan's former roles of overseeing IBM's channel partners in the region and helping further the company's transition toward higher-value solutions.

Lawrence B. Prior

More details emerged last month of CSC's upcoming split into two companies. In a Form 10 filing with the SEC on July 13, the solution provider named Lawrence B. Prior as the upcoming CEO and president of CSC's public-sector business, which will be splitting into its own $4.1 billion business in October. Prior has more than 30 years of experience in the public sector, most recently serving as executive vice president and general manager of CSC's own public-sector business.

Kevin Gilroy

SAP top channel exec Kevin Gilroy left the company last month after more than five years with the software company. Gilroy declined to comment on his departure, but an SAP spokesperson said at the time that he had decided to pursue other opportunities. Gilroy was recognized for being one of the main drivers behind the company's push into SMB channel sales. Rodolpho Cardenuto, president of SAP's Global Partner Operations organization, will replace Gilroy in the interim. Prior to joining SAP, Gilroy held channel positions at HP, OnForce and Arrow Electronics.

Mitch Breen

As hyper-converged startup SimpliVity prepares for an IPO, the company instituted a management shuffle last month that resulted in the departure of top sales executive Mitch Breen. Breen, who served as senior vice president of sales, left the company to "explore other opportunities." Breen joined SimpliVity in 2014 from EMC, where he spent more than 26 years. Breen's responsibilities will be assumed permanently by CEO Doron Kempel.

"I want to thank Mitch Breen for his extraordinary accomplishments with SimpliVity," Kempel told CRN at the time. "With Mitch, we expanded our business to over 60 countries. Mitch remains a friend and a shareholder."

Regina Kunkle

In yet another high-profile executive departure for NetApp, the company lost its Americas channel chief to SAP. Regina Kunkle, formerly vice president of North American channel sales at NetApp, left the company to take a position as vice president of state and local/higher education at SAP. She will be replaced by five-year company veteran Scott Strubel, who joined the company in May from Brocade, where he was head of channels. Partners said they weren't reading too much into Kunkle's departure, seeing it only as a return to her SLED roots (an area she had previously been in charge of at NetApp).

Chris Jones

Polycom poached one of rival Avaya's top execs as its new channel chief in July. Chris Jones officially assumed the channel chief role at the San Jose, Calif.-based company on Aug. 3. He replaces Damian Artt, who left in April. Jones previously served as vice president of global midmarket sales at Avaya, responsible for leading the company's midmarket and distribution teams. He has also previously served as U.S. channel chief at Juniper. At Polycom, Jones will be responsible for leading the company's sales strategy and execution in the Americas.

Carl Wiese

Carl Wiese, a former global collaboration business senior vice president at Cisco, is BlackBerry's new president of global sales. Wiese spent more than 12 years at Cisco, where he started as vice president of advanced technologies sales. His role at BlackBerry includes channel sales and is the latest in a series of executive transitions for the Waterloo, Ontario-based company.

Bill Swales

Oracle got a new channel chief last month, nabbing former vice president of HP's industry standard server business Bill Swales for the role. Swales fills a role that has been vacant since Rich Garaffo was promoted to senior vice president of North America technology, hardware and public-sector sales in November. After his time at HP, Swales most recently served as senior vice president of worldwide sales for Seagate's Cloud Systems and Solutions group. He also spent 12 years in sales at EMC. Sources familiar with the hiring told CRN of the move, but Oracle has not yet confirmed the appointment. Partners praised the move, calling Swales "very channel-friendly."

Lang Tibbils

Palo Alto Networks expanded its channel leadership lineup last month, naming former Intel Security executive Lang Tibbils to a new role around global partner experiences. In this new position for the company, Tibbils will be responsible for working with the vendor and its partners to drive an internal and external partner communication strategy around the globe. Tibbils comes to Palo Alto Networks from Intel Security, where he led worldwide channel marketing until April. He has also held key channel roles at Cisco.

Ed Walton, Ryan Allphin

Fresh off of a 50 percent compound annual growth rate and quadrupling revenues, Cradlepoint added a new vice president of North American channels and alliances in industry veteran Ed Walton and new CTO Ryan Allphin (pictured). Walton comes to Cradlepoint from Avaya, where he was global strategic accounts and vertical strategy leader. Allphin joins the company from Intel Security, where he spent 13 years, most recently as senior vice president and general manager of the Security Management Business Unit. In addition to Walton and Allphin, Cradlepoint also named Dan DesRosiers as vice president of sales West and Jeff Manning as vice president of sales East.

Michael Sheridan

As part of the company's second-quarter earnings call at the end of the month, FireEye announced that CFO Michael Sheridan would be leaving the company to take a CFO role at a "private technology company in an unrelated industry." Sheridan said he will remain with the company until August to oversee the financial filings. He joined FireEye in 2011 from Mimosa Systems, where he was also CFO. Sheridan will be replaced on an interim basis by Vice President of Finance Frank Verdecanna.

Mark Forman, Jennifer Napper

As Unisys puts more emphasis behind its public-sector business, the solution provider has named two new executives to help lead the charge. Mark Forman will now serve as global head of Unisys Public Sector, and Jennifer Napper as group vice president of the Department of Defense (DoD) and Intelligence Group within Unisys Federal. Napper will be responsible for account management, solution delivery, and business growth with DoD and intelligence clients. Forman, the former equivalent of federal government CTO, will be responsible for helping Unisys drive new technologies, such as cloud and big data, to its federal clients.

Ayman Sayed

At the end of the month, CA Technologies announced that it had tapped Ayman Sayed to be its new chief product officer. Sayed comes to CA from Cisco, where he has been since 1999, and most recently served as senior vice president of the company's Network Operating Systems Technology Group. At CA, Sayed will be responsible for the vendor's product development, including setting product direction to differentiate the company and maintaining product excellence.

Ted Plumis

Fresh off of an exciting year of growth for the security startup, Exabeam has named former Imperva channel exec Ted Plumis as its new vice president of channel, business and corporate development. Exabeam is a 100 percent channel-focused company that offers behavior analytics solutions to help clients get ahead of the growing number of security threats. In his new role, Plumis will be in charge of ramping up the company's channel support, including adding account managers, channel support execs and recruiting more partners. At Imperva, Plumis served as vice president of worldwide channel and service provider sales. He has also held top channel roles at Q1 Labs and ArcSight.

John Tonnison

Tech Data CIO and Executive Vice President John Tonnison got an expanded role in July, picking up responsibilities for the distributor's cloud business in the Americas and Europe. Tonnison now will be responsible for strategy, operations and go-to-market of the Clearwater, Fla.-based company's cloud business. By appointing Tonnison in charge of that division, CEO Bob Dutkowsky said in a statement that the move will elevate the company's cloud focus to a global strategic level. Tonnison has been with Tech Data since 2001. Prior to that, he held positions at TSN, Ameriquest, Log 2000, Frontline Distribution, and Mancos Computers.

Fred Voccola

Kaseya is looking to reinvent its beleaguered relationship with its MSP customers. Fred Voccola joined the cloud-based IT management platform company at the beginning of the month as CEO to do just that. Voccola replaces former CEO Yogesh Gupta, who will now serve as chairman of the board. In an interview with CRN at the time, Voccola said that he plans on seeking input from the company's MSP partners, increasing communication and rolling out new products that tie in the company's investments in its customer service organization.

Thomas Hansen

Dropbox has a new channel chief. The cloud file sync and share developer announced July 21 that it had hired former Microsoft executive Thomas Hansen as global vice president of sales and the channel to start in August. The appointment of Hansen, who served as worldwide vice president of small and medium business at Microsoft, comes as Dropbox appears to be moving closer to the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant. In the role, which is a new one for the vendor, Hansen will be responsible for helping drive Dropbox's sales, particularly growing its enterprise and international businesses.

Bill Veghte

After a tragic accident earlier this year that took the life of SurveyMonkey CEO Dave Goldberg, the company is turning to one of the channel's own top execs for its next leader. Former HP COO Bill Veghte, a longtime friend of Goldberg, announced that he would be the online survey and polling company's next CEO, effective Aug. 3. Veghte left his position at HP as executive vice president and general manager of HP's Enterprise Group at the end of June for a "new opportunity," though he didn't say at the time what that would be. Prior to that, he served as COO and chief strategy officer until August 2013.


As the El Segundo, Calif.-based company looks to transform itself into a cutting-edge "solutions and services powerhouse," PCM President Jay Miley announced a major corporate and executive reorganization last month. The company created three new business groups and named new executives to lead the charge. Herb Hogue will lead the Advanced Technologies Group, Brian York will lead the Endpoint Technologies Group and Stephen Moss will take charge of the Managed Technologies Group. PCM also added former Ingram Micro and Zones exec Anne Wilcox as senior vice president of marketing, and former Zones exec Tom Ducatelli as executive vice president of commercial sales.

Paul Chapman

Former HP executive Paul Chapman has joined Box as the file sharing company's new chief information officer. Chapman was most recently CIO of HP Software and also has held top executive positions at VMware. Chapman has been charged with helping continue the transformation Box is driving in the enterprise, using the cloud and emerging technologies to boost productivity.

"[Chapman] brings decades of IT industry experience to Box, and we’re thrilled to have him join the team," Box CEO Aaron Levie said in a blog post about the appointment.

James Lewandowski

After being named President and COO of FireMon earlier this year, the security company has now also named James Lewandowski as CEO. Lewandowski replaces Jody Brazil, who has been with the company for more than a decade and who will now serve as chief product strategist. Lewandowski has been charged with accelerating FireMon growth to the next level with a focus on business development and new program launches, following on 40 percent year-over-year growth in bookings and a 45 percent increase in new customers in the first half of 2015. The ultimate goal, FireMon said at the time, is to double the size of the company over the next three years.

Bill Miller

Performance-driven storage company X-IO named Bill Miller as the company's new CEO in July. Miller replaces Brian Owen, who now serves as an executive board member and will continue playing a role in the company's strategy and partnerships. In his new role, Miller will be responsible for growing the company's technology and engineering prowess to establish X-IO as a leader in the storage industry, as well as build out the company's channel program. Miller brings more than 33 years of experience to the post, including multiple board of director positions and former co-founder and CTO of StorageNetworks.

Linda York

Enterprise network hardware company Curvature had a big executive win in July, naming former Dell vice president Linda York as vice president of global services and channels. The appointment comes as Curvature looks to move from its network hardware resale legacy to a channel-focused program around network services. York has extensive experience in technology and channels, most recently serving in a variety of vice president and executive consultant roles at Dell for the past 13 years. She also has held executive positions at NetPower and HP.

Jim Walsh, Lance Mead

Password manager and digital vault company Keeper Security named two new top executives last month: Jim Walsh as executive vice president of sales, and Lance Mead as senior director of mobile operator sales. Walsh will be responsible for the company's channel and enterprise sales channels and Mead for strategic sales and deployments of the company's software through global mobile operators. Both executives join Keeper Security from MobileIron, where Walsh served as vice president of North America sales and Mead served as senior director of operator sales for the Americas.

Scott Skidmore

Cambridge, Mass.-based data reduction technology company Permabit named longtime technology industry veteran Scott Skidmore as vice president of sales. Skidmore comes to the company from CommVault, where he was vice president of channels for the Americas. In his new role, Skidmore will be responsible for growing Permabit's channel sales and partner base.

"I am excited to be joining Permabit and leading the development of channel programs and driving revenue through an indirect business model,’ Skidmore said in a statement at the time. "The storage industry is changing rapidly and Permabit’s data reduction technology is one of the catalysts, enabling our storage partners to deliver high performance, high capacity storage at dramatically reduced TCO."

Brett Wilson

After coming out of stealth earlier this year and announcing $10 million in Series A funding, security startup EnSilo has continued that momentum with the addition of security veteran Brett Wilson as vice president of sales as the company looks to go global and expand its operations in North America. Wilson joins the San Francisco-based security startup from Cyren, where he served as general manager of the company's Security-as-a-Service business unit. He also has served in executive positions at Trustwave and Symantec.