30 Notable IT Executive Moves: August 2015
Start It Off
If it had to have a name, August would be the month of channel chief moves. Over the past 31 days, the channel saw many of their favorite channel chiefs and top executives jump ship to other vendors. In particular, the EMC Federation dominated last month's list of executive moves, holding more than five spots for big-name moves at VMware and VCE. However, Cisco wasn't far behind the lead last month, with the departure of two of the company's top cloud and unified collaboration executives.
Keep reading for the full list of who was in and who was out last month.
Ben Fathi, Ray O'Farrell
The EMC Federation executive exodus reached the very top levels of management last month with the departure of VMware CTO Ben Fathi (pictured) after three-and-a-half years with the company. While he confirmed the move to CRN, he said he has not decided what his next role will be yet. As CTO, and prior to that as vice president of research and development, Fathi led VMware's branching out into software-defined networking, storage virtualization and hybrid cloud. VMware announced that 12-year company veteran Ray O'Farrell would be assuming the CTO and chief development officer roles, reporting directly to CEO Pat Gelsinger. O'Farrell previously led the company's development of server virtualization and cloud infrastructure products.
Cisco lost one of its most highly respected channel veterans last month with the departure of Senior Vice President of Cloud and Managed Services Edison Peres. Most known in the channel for his role as senior vice president of worldwide channels for more than a decade, partners hailed Peres as the "Godfather" of Cisco's current channel strategy. More recently, Peres was the driving force behind Cisco's Intercloud channel effort. Peres will remain with Cisco in an advisory role over the next few months to help with the transition before his Nov. 1 retirement date. Cisco will not be filling Peres' position as part of a reorganization of its cloud field operations of the broader sales organization, the company said at the time.
In yet another top-level executive departure for Cisco last month, the networking giant lost channel collaborative sales leader Richard McLeod after 13 years with the company. McLeod was responsible for building out the company's channel program around unified communications and collaboration, driving the business from $350 million in 2002 to nearly $5 billion in 2015.
"After an amazing 13-year run, and a record fourth quarter for Cisco Collaboration, it’s now time to leave on a high [note] and move on to the next great adventure," said McLeod in an email to CRN at the time. "I would love to find another market transition and channel-building opportunity like the one at Cisco, which has been so good for me." Cisco would not comment on whether it had a replacement for McLeod.
After moving Wendy Bahr to serve as global channel chief for Cisco, the networking giant announced last month that channel veteran Rick Snyder would be the company's new Americas channel chief. Snyder joined Cisco in 2010 as part of the company's acquisition of videoconferencing vendor Tandberg, and most recently served as vice president of Cisco's global and strategic partner organization, where he was responsible for driving revenue and global management of partners and the company's global ISV initiative. Partners said Snyder's deep channel experience and proven ability to grow the channel would be an asset to Cisco's partner community going forward.
Google shocked the world last month with the announcement of a massive restructuring that created parent holding company Alphabet to oversee the multitude of product lines held by the company. Alphabet will be led by Co-Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, with longtime Google veteran and former product chief Sundar Pichai taking the reins at Google as CEO. Pichai's role includes overseeing the company's search, ads, maps, Google Play store, YouTube, Android and Google's cloud business. Partners said at the time that Pichai brings intense passion about the Google business to the table and hope that he will leverage the channel further to drive the company's business platform and cloud solutions deeper into the enterprise.
Pivotal Software CEO Paul Maritz stepped down last month. The announcement moved Co-Founder Rob Mee into the top leadership role at a time when parent company EMC is potentially about to undergo a massive restructuring. Maritz will remain with the company as executive chairman of the board. Mee most recently served as executive vice president for products and R&D, and had previously served as CEO of Pivotal Labs before its 2012 acquisition by EMC.
"Rob Mee has been credited for shaping the software development cultures of some of Silicon Valley’s most influential and valuable companies. He's an exceptional leader and technologist, passionate about our mission, committed to our principles and values, and knows how to build a successful business," Maritz said at the time about his successor.
Aruba Networks channel chief Karl Soderlund jumped ship last month from the wireless networking specialist vendor to security company Imperva. The move comes just a few months after Aruba announced its $3 billion acquisition by Hewlett-Packard. At Imperva, Soderlund will now serve as vice president of worldwide channels and alliances, responsible for transforming the company's channel program around service providers, distribution and VARs. Prior to Aruba and Imperva, Soderlund held executive positions at Avaya, Certeon, HP and Fortinet.
After a nearly six-month vacancy in the role, Intel Security named a new channel chief in former Avaya executive Richard Steranka. At Avaya, Steranka was vice president of the worldwide partner organization, and was recognized for leading the drastic overhaul of the vendor's partner program. Prior to that, he spent 19 years at Cisco in a variety of roles. In an interview with CRN at the time of his appointment, Steranka said he plans to continue the channel growth trajectory set in place by his predecessors, as well as drive investments in market-enablement activities beyond traditional training and education measures. Partners who knew Steranka from his time at Avaya praised his channel commitment and understanding and said they were looking forward to what he could do to accelerate channel sales at Intel Security.
In yet another executive departure for the EMC Federation (and by no means the last on last month's list), VCE lost top sales executive Mark Thurmond last month. Thurmond served as senior vice president of global sales for VCE, and will now serve as executive vice president of worldwide sales and services at visual analytics company Qlik. Thurmond joined VCE only this past January from fellow Federation company RSA, where he served as senior vice president of worldwide sales for more than six years.
Another executive departure for the EMC Federation last month was longtime executive Chuck Hollis, who left VMware to take an unspecified role at Oracle's Converged Infrastructure group on Aug. 24. Hollis joined VMware in 2013 as chief strategist of storage and availability. Prior to that, he spent 19 years at EMC, most recently as CTO of global marketing. Partners said Hollis' hire is a strategic move that should propel the vendor's infrastructure business forward, a market that it was a relative latecomer to and, as a result, is currently in the midst of a transition from on-premise software sales to cloud recurring revenue.
At the beginning of the month, VMware announced that it had hired Ross Brown as its new channel chief, replacing Dave O'Callaghan, who left the company after two-and-a-half years to do consulting and take an adjunct professor role at the University of Denver. As senior vice president of worldwide partners and alliances, Brown will be responsible for overseeing VMware's global channel and alliance teams.
The EMC Federation also saw the departure of VMware co-channel chief Todd Surdey last month, who resigned to take a senior leadership role at Salesforce.com. Surdey will now be senior vice president of worldwide sales for Salesforce.com's platform business, which includes Force.com and Heroku. Surdey joined VMware in 2010 and was promoted to the co-channel chief role in October of last year. Prior to that, he held positions at SAP, BEA Systems and TIBCO Software. According to an internal email at the time, newly appointed channel chief Ross Brown will be assuming Surdey's role.
With less than six months on the job, Lenovo Senior Vice President of the Enterprise Business Group Jay Parker has resigned. Parker was responsible for the company's server and data storage business. He will be replaced by Executive Vice President and COO of Lenovo's PC and Enterprise Business Group Gerry Smith in the interim. The move comes as Lenovo struggles with dropping earnings, particularly in the face of a weakening PC market. Prior to joining Lenovo, Parker held positions at Dell.
Symantec snagged Oracle exec Tom LaRocca last month as its new head of global partner program sales. He follows the move of Adrian Jones, who left Oracle a year ago to join Symantec and now serves as executive vice president of worldwide sales for the vendor. LaRocca will report to global channel chief John Thompson.
In the second appearance on last month's executive moves list last month for Aruba, the wireless networking vendor lost its top worldwide sales and services leader to rival F5 Networks. John DiLullo will now serve as the new leader of F5's global sales organization on Aug. 31. He replaces longtime executive Dave Feringa, who steps down Oct. 1 to spend more time with his family. In his new role, DiLullo will be responsible for driving the vendor's channel and sales strategy. That is an especially important role for F5 as the company ramps up its focus on new areas, such as application security, service provider solutions and cloud application deployment.
While not new to the company, Sue Barsamian got a new role at HP last month as the vendor tapped the channel veteran to lead its security software business. Barsamian has been leading HP's indirect enterprise channel sales for the past two years and will now serve as vice president of enterprise security products for HP Software, reporting to HP Software Executive Vice President Robert Youngjohns. In her new role, Barsamian will be responsible for the company's security go-to-market strategy and delivery of product and services. Prior to joining HP, Barsamian held top roles at Mercury Interactive (which HP acquired in 2006) and Verity Software (which HP acquired as part of Autonomy in 2011).
After driving a channel resurgence at SAP and HP, Kevin Gilroy has jumped to Samsung Electronics as executive vice president of the company's U.S. B2B division, according to CRN sources last month. Gilroy announced last month that he was leaving his position as senior vice president and general manager of global small and midmarket business for SAP. Partners said his appointment at Samsung could be a "game-changing addition" for the vendor and will "kick it into high gear," as Gilroy brings with him deep channel expertise and understanding.
Andrew Young, Wayson Vannatta, Erik Halvorsen
WatchGuard Technologies continued to shuffle its executive lineup last month, naming former Gemalto exec Andrew Young as vice president of product management; former InfoSpace exec Wayson Vannatta as vice president of information technology; and promoting Erik Halvorsen to vice president of Americas sales.
"We're on an incredible trajectory in terms of growth, innovation and industry recognition," newly appointed WatchGuard CEO Prakash Panjwani said in a statement at the time. "Erik, Andrew and Wayson bring a wealth of experience to WatchGuard and exemplify the high-performance, industry-leading team we’ve built to sustain and accelerate WatchGuard’s momentum."
David Weier, Andrew Lewman
Threat intelligence company Norse named two new executives last month. David Weier joined the company from crowd security intelligence company Synack, where he was vice president of worldwide sales. Weier will now serve as senior vice president of global sales for Norse, responsible for creating sales momentum by building on the growing recognition of the importance of threat intelligence. Andrew Lewman joined the company from the Tor Project, where he was executive director and CEO. Lewman will now serve as vice president of data development, responsible for using his extensive expertise to drive market awareness and application of the company's threat intelligence solution.
Nimble Storage named former EMC exec and popular channel figure Leonard Iventosch as its new vice president of worldwide channels last month, reporting to Vice President of Worldwide Sales Denis Murphy. Iventosch left EMC in December 2013, where he served nearly five years as North American channel chief. In the interim, he took a role at data analytics firm ExtraHop from January to May of this year. Prior to that, he spent eight years at NetApp. In his new role, Iventosch told CRN that he will be responsible for driving sales through partners, with particular emphasis on addressing the growing opportunity in the enterprise market.
EarthLink got a new channel chief last month, naming Olen Scott as its new vice president of channel sales. Scott most recently was a regional vice president of the company's Northern region, a position he has held since 2013. Prior to that, he held positions at XO Communications and Verizon Business. In his new role, Scott will be responsible for improving the company's channel partner program, in particular around the company's early 2016 launch of its first-ever Partner Advisory Council. Scott said he also hopes to enhance the company's partner portal.
On Aug. 5, StorageCraft Technology announced that Brian Wistisen would be the backup and disaster recovery company's new director of product marketing. Wistisen comes to StorageCraft from SanDisk, where he was director of product management until 2014. He also has held positions at CA Technologies, Symantec and Intel's LANDESK division.
"Brian Wistisen brings a wealth of knowledge about product marketing in the IT channel, specifically the backup, disaster recovery and storage space, and most importantly he understands the needs of our partners and their clients," said Curt James, StorageCraft’s vice president of marketing and business development, in a statement. "His addition not only strengthens the company's marketing efforts, but will also enhance the success of our partners."
In a new role for Intelisys Communications, the master agent has promoted Mike McKenney to vice president of supplier sales. The position is designed to help the Petaluma, Calif.-based company grow its service provider partner sales and extend additional help to its telecom and cloud services suppliers. McKenney previously served as vice president of partner sales and business development for the company's West region. In his new role, he will work with the existing Supplier Management Team to create revenue-driving programs for new and more than 100 existing supplier partners.
One of Microsoft's top Azure partners, 10th Magnitude, announced a new vice president of cloud solutions last month, naming Brian Blanchard to the role on Aug. 3. Blanchard will lead a rapidly growing cloud business at the Chicago-based company that recently earned the elite distinction of being named a Microsoft National Solution Provider. Blanchard most recently served as executive director for application management at Oakwood Systems.
"10th Magnitude leads the market in using Microsoft Azure and DevOps to deliver truly transformational solutions for our clients," CTO Jacob Saunders said in a statement at the time. "Brian's expertise in developing innovative cloud and application development solutions, as well as his strong relationship with Microsoft, will allow us to best serve our rapidly growing large-scale enterprise market."
File-sharing company Box landed a new CFO last month, naming Adam Ross to the role. Ross joins the company from NASDAQ, where he was vice president of corporate solutions. He also has held positions at Bloomberg Financial LP, Volpe Brown Whelan, Raymond James and Robert W. Baird. Ross will be responsible for driving financial momentum at the company, particularly around bringing cloud solutions to the financial services sector.
Michael Wood, Ron Longo, Mark Thorpe
Early on in the month, cloud networking company VeloCloud Networks announced a series of executive additions. Michael Wood joined the company from Akamai Technologies, where he was vice president of product management. He will now serve as vice president of marketing for VeloCloud. Ron Longo joined the company from OnMobile, where he was vice president of North America and will now serve as vice president of business development at VeloCloud. Finally, Mark Thorpe has joined the company from ServiceSource with additional experience as an initial member of the Citrix M&A team. Thorpe will serve as vice president and head of finance and administration.
Fresh off of $40 million in Series B funding, Seattle-based data-aware storage startup Qumulo announced Aug. 18 that it had added Matthew Frey as its new chief financial officer. Frey comes to Qumulo from Optimum Energy, where he was CEO. He also has held positions at Vitesse Semiconductor and World Wide Packets.
"I look forward to working with [Co-Founder and CEO] Peter [Godman] and the rest of the Qumulo team to help drive growth and make our customers wildly successful," said Matthew Frey, CFO of Qumulo. "I am excited about the many opportunities that lie ahead as we continue to turn enterprise scale-out NAS on its head and define next-generation scale-out storage."
Minneapolis-based solution provider Atomic Data hired a new chief information security officer last month. In a new role for the company, Yan Kravchenko will be responsible for driving the company's compliance and security practices. Kravchenko brings extensive experience to the new role, including as compliance advisory practice lead at NetSPI.
"I look forward to helping Atomic Data continue to enhance its Information Security posture. Atomic Data has built its reputation by allowing customers to focus on their business, and leave IT concerns to the professionals. In time, I hope my expertise with security and compliance will benefit our clients the same way," Kravchenko said in a statement at the time.
Telecom veteran Marc Willency is the new CEO of Integra, the company announced at the end of the month. Integra is a regional provider of networking, communications and technology solutions. Willency brings more than 17 years of experience to his new role, most recently from Level 3 Communications, where he served as group vice president for customer solutions and enablement. In his new role, where he replaces outgoing CEO Robert Guth, Willency will be responsible for accelerating the company's growth through a focus on customer experience, network infrastructure, security solutions and cloud services.
Erb's Technology Solutions (ETS), a solution provider based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, named Amy Luby to its newly created position for vice president of sales and marketing. Luby will be responsible for managing and growing the company's sales and marketing efforts, in particular, driving revenue and expansion into new markets. She joins the company from JetStream Networks, where she was senior vice president of sales and marketing. She also has held positions at Trend Micro, Bradford Networks and Synnex.