30 Notable IT Executive Moves: April 2016
April brought a tall wave of channel chief moves across the IT marketplace, with big-name vendors and small startups alike doing some spring cleaning when it came to their partner-focused leadership. The month also didn't disappoint when it came to other blockbuster executive moves, either, as Symantec, Amazon, Intel and other familiar companies announced major changes to their top-level leadership. Some of the changes left partners saying they felt blindsided and upset, and others had them cheering their vendor partners' new leadership direction going forward. Take a walk back with CRN through the month of April and review who was in, and who was out, last month.
Symantec rocked the security world at the end of the month, revealing that President and CEO Michael Brown would step down as soon as a successor is found. Former Symantec executive Ajei Gopal joined the company as interim president and will lead a new Office of the President, to which company executives will report. Symantec did not provide a specific reason for the planned departure, but Chairman of the Board Dan Schulman said leadership felt like it was the right time for an executive transition as Mountain View, Calif.-based Symantec looks forward to the next phase of its transformation. Partners said they were taken aback by the change, but felt it would ultimately be a good move for the security vendor and its channel.
Arista Networks channel chief Todd Dalton recently left the company as the vendor looks to put a greater emphasis on outbound direct sales, sources told CRN last month. Dalton had been with Santa Clara, Calif.-based Arista since April 2013, when he joined the company from Juniper Networks. According to his LinkedIn profile, Dalton has taken a position as senior director of North America channel sales at Pluribus Networks. Partners said they feel the vendor is shifting to a more direct sales strategy and have seen the vendor make cuts to its channel field reps and inside channel sales team, a push they attributed to CEO Jayshree Ullal. Arista declined to comment at the time on personnel changes and maintained that it is "very customer-driven and views the channel as an important enabler."
As part of its push to emphasize its data center and cloud business, Intel said it is promoting Diane Bryant to executive vice president of the Data Center Group. Bryant had previously been general manager of the group, responsible for managing data center strategy, product development for enterprise, cloud service providers and high-performance computing infrastructure.
In a statement about the promotion, Intel CEO Bryan Krzanich said the move "reflects the significance of the cloud to Intel's strategy as we transform the business," praising Bryant's track record of adding value and growing the company's data center business to $16 billion in revenue in 2015. The news comes on the heels of Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel's revelation that the company was aggressively transforming its business, including cutting 11 percent of its workforce, to focus on the data center, cloud and Internet of Things.
At the beginning of the month, Amazon said Amazon Web Services Senior Vice President Andy Jassy has been promoted to CEO of the company's public cloud infrastructure business. The promotion comes on the heels of astronomical cloud growth for the Seattle-based company. Jassy founded AWS in 2003 with a team of 57 people and has left the business since, growing it to more than 1 million customers and getting it on track to hit $10 billion in sales this fiscal year. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a blog post that the appointment wasn't a reorganization, but rather a "recognition" of the role that Jassy has held so far in the company.
Former Cisco executive Edison Peres is putting a focus on M&A in his new role at Indianapolis-based Core BTS, a Cisco Gold partner, where he will be vice chairman of the board of directors. Mergers and acquisitions are a key growth strategy for Core BTS, he said, as it moves from being just a hardware player to a strategic service provider focused on services, managed services and the cloud. Peres is best-known in the channel for his role at San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco, where he helped lead a channel sales explosion as senior vice president of worldwide channels for more than a decade. He most recently held the role of senior vice president of cloud and managed services before he retired from the networking giant last year.
Cisco lost a top security executive last month with the departure of Faraz Siraj, head of Americas security channels. Siraj left the networking giant to join security startup ThreatQuotient, which provides an on-premise threat intelligence solution for centralized security analytics capabilities. Siraj will now service as director of channels for the Reston, Va.-based startup. Siraj joined Cisco in 2013, when the company acquired Sourcefire, where he was a top channel sales executive.
After leaving Verizon in March, former channel chief Adam Famularo took a position last month as CEO of ERwin Inc., a data modeling software company based in Tampa, Fla., with plans to move its headquarters to Long Island, N.Y. Famularo is a longtime channel favorite, most recently servicing as vice president of global channels for Verizon. The appointment comes at a time of change for ERwin, which was acquired by private equity firm Parallax Capital Partners on March 1 from CA Technologies, a company Famularo worked with before Verizon as senior vice president of partner sales. In his new role, Famularo said he hopes to build a more nimble company and add hundreds of new partners to ERwin, as well as helping current partners grow their businesses with the company.
In another Symantec executive departure last month, Americas channel chief Stephen Thomas left the security vendor for a position at Cyberbit Commercial Solutions. Thomas will now serve as vice president of sales for North America for the critical infrastructure security company based in Raanana, Israel. In an email to CRN at the time, Thomas said he made the move to Cyberbit to help the company boost its channel sales presence in North America. Rob Potter will now oversee the responsibilities of leading Symantec's Americas channel team, the company said at the time.
As Round Rock, Texas-based Dell moves to complete its blockbuster $67 billion acquisition of EMC, it has appointed EMC channel veteran Pete Koliopoulos as vice president of global channels and alliances for Dell Software's systems and information management group. Partners praised the appointment, saying Koliopoulos was a key channel advocate as EMC was building out its program. Koliopoulos most recently served as vice president of marketing for Arrow Enterprise Computing Solutions North America. At EMC, he served as vice president of global channel marketing from 2006 to 2011, and then spent a year as vice president of global partner marketing for EMC's VCE alliance with Cisco and VMware.
Holly Rollo, Doug Howard
After leaving Fortinet last month, Holly Rollo has landed at RSA as chief marketing officer, the company said. Bedford, Mass.-based RSA also added Doug Howard as vice president of global services. Howard joins RSA from cloud and managed security company Savanture, where he was CEO. In her new role, Rollo will be responsible for putting her track record of brand transformation and growth to work, telling CRN at the time that she looks forward to helping RSA maximize its strong brand recognition and better communicate its full value proposition to partners and customers. The additions come amid the pending purchase of RSA, as part of parent company EMC, by Dell for $67 billion.
Intel had multiple high-level executive departures last month. One of those was Kirk Skaugen, the company's senior vice president for its Client Computing Group. Skaugen left to pursue his "next career opportunity," Intel said at the time. Skaugen led the charge after Intel reorganized in early 2015 to head the Client Computing Group, which was in charge of processors and modem chips in mobile devices on top of those used in PCs. Under Skaugen's leadership, Intel released its sixth-generation Skylake processors for PCs, and also promoted new channel-friendly form factors such as Compute Sticks, mini towers and all-in-one computers. Partners at the time worried about what Skaugen's departure would mean for Intel's channel. Navin Shenoy will assume responsibility for the Client Computing Group, the company said.
Another high-level executive departure at Intel last month was Doug Davis, the company's general manager of Intel's Internet of Things Group. Davis will retire from Intel at the end of the year, the company said, to spend more time with his family and pursue his interests. Partners worried that Davis' departure, alongside that of Client Computing Group head Kirk Skaugen, signaled trouble in the company's IoT and client computing divisions and worried what implications that would have on channel partners who work with those groups.
BlackBerry stepped up its security push last month, appointing longtime industry veteran Alex Thurber as senior vice president of Global Device Sales. Thurber joins Waterloo, Ontario-based BlackBerry from WatchGuard Technologies, where he was vice president of worldwide sales. Thurber has also worked as senior vice president for worldwide channels in commercial and SMB sales at McAfee, as well as in global channels strategy for Cisco Systems. In an interview with CRN last month, Thurber said he plans to use his channel and security expertise to help BlackBerry become more connected with its customers by attracting new types of partners and maintaining its focus on the channel.
Last month, business intelligence software company Qlik lost channel marketing executive Brooke Cunningham, who took a partner program management position at Splunk, San Francisco. Cunningham will now serve as area vice president of worldwide partner programs and operations at the fast-growing developer of big data analysis software. Splunk said in a statement at the time that Cunningham's appointment will help the company drive high-value partner program initiatives and continue growing its partner base. Cunningham joined Qlik, Radnor, Pa., in 2011, holding positions at CA Technologies, SAP and Business Objects before that.
AlienVault lost worldwide channel chief Anthony D'Angelo last month, as the executive left to take a position at Viptela, based in San Jose, Calif., as vice president of worldwide channel sales and distribution. D'Angelo had only been at AlienVault since January. He said in an email at the time that he was sad to leave, but couldn't pass up the new opportunity. AlienVault, based in San Mateo, Calif., as well as Madrid, has tapped Mike LaPeters, vice president of North American channel sales, to assume the worldwide channel responsibilities, starting immediately, the company said.
ForeScout Technologies is another security vendor that lost its channel chief last month. Tom Evans, who had served as vice president of Americas channel sales, left the Campbell, Calif.-based company for a sales and channel leadership role at business process application company K2 Software. Evans took the position of vice president of Americas channel sales in January, replacing Devin Archer, who left the security startup to be head of channels for Warren, N.J.-based risk management and cyberthreat intelligence vendor Prevalent. Evans had joined ForeScout from F5 Networks, where he was senior director of channel sales and distribution for the Americas.
After bringing together a division of Raytheon, an acquisition of Websense and multiple product lines from Intel Security, Forcepoint made another major change last month, confirming the departure of CEO John McCormack. The Austin, Texas-based company said McCormack will remain with Forcepoint as an adviser to the board of directors through the end of the year. The company has named CFO Jim Hagan as interim CEO and is conducting an external search for a successor. It said it expects that search to be completed within a few weeks. Partners said at the time they were surprised by the departure, but said it could ultimately be a good move as the company continues to transform.
F5 Networks lost its channel chief last month. Jim Ritchings left the Seattle-based application delivery networking vendor after more than 15 years, with no plans for where he will land next. He will be replaced by recent hire David Helfer as senior vice president of Worldwide Channels and Alliances. Helfer is best-known for his long stint at Juniper Networks in channel leadership roles, including as vice president of Worldwide Channels and Commercial and vice president of Juniper's Global Partner Organization. He joined F5 in March as vice president of worldwide channel sales.
Rick Osterloh is heading back to Google to lead the Mountain View, Calif.-based company's new hardware product division. Osterloh had most recently served as president and chief operating officer of Motorola Mobility, which was acquired by Lenovo in October 2014 for $2.9 billion. Osterloh will now serve as senior vice president of hardware at Google, reporting to CEO Sundar Pichai and responsible for Google's Nexus smartphone, the Chromecast media streaming device, Chromebooks, and Project Aura, the team that's working on the successor to the Google Glass product. Partners said bringing Osterloh back on board is a "massive advantage" for Google, given his experience leading device-centric organizations.
In yet another executive departure from Intel last month, reports emerged that mobile phone division head Aicha Evans had resigned. Evans had been in her position for less than a year, the report said, though Intel has struggled to plant a significant stake in the mobile phone market, ending last year with a less than 1 percent market share in phone processers. Before joining Intel, Evans held engineering management positions at Rockwell Semiconductors, Conexant and Skyworks Solutions Inc.
Verizon stepped up its smart cities business with the hiring of former Cisco executive Mrinalini Ingram last month. Ingram will now lead the strategy, engagement, implementation and solutions support across Verizon's smart cities portfolio of products. Ingram will report directly to Mike Lanman, senior vice president of Internet of Things and enterprise products at Verizon. He joins Basking Ridge, N.J.-based Verizon from Cisco, where he most recently served as senior director of its Smart + Connected Communities strategy and business development. He had been at Cisco since 2000.
Cognizant, No. 8 on the CRN 2015 Solution Provider 500, made a big addition last month, naming former VMware executive Jonathan Chadwick to its board of directors. Chadwick most recently served as executive vice president, chief financial officer and chief operating officer at VMware, before leaving the company in February of this year. He has also held positions at Skype, Microsoft and McAfee. He will also serve on Cognizant's audit committee.
"Jonathan brings a wide range of expertise as a technology, finance and operations executive to the Cognizant Board," CEO Francisco D'Souza said in a statement at the time. "As clients around the world turn to Cognizant to modernize their IT infrastructures for the digital era, Jonathan's extensive experience with key enabling technologies including virtualization, networking and security will provide a unique and valuable perspective to our board."
Kirkland, Wash.-based solution provider CB Technologies said at the end of the month that it had appointed Michael Archibeque to lead its public sector business as senior vice president of government solutions. He comes to CB Technologies from the New Mexico Public Education Department, where he was chief information officer, and has spent the vast majority of his career helping implement technology for education development. Archibeque's hiring comes as CB Technologies looks to invest more in its education and public sector businesses, CEO Kelly Ireland said in a statement at the time.
"Our commitment to deliver on the particular needs of these customers is deepened with the addition of Mike to our leadership team. Mike's extensive experience with government and academic entities will have an immediate impact on current initiatives such as GenYes and development of our Learning Management solutions," Ireland said.
Cloud management software company Skykick made multiple executive additions last month, one of which was the addition of Chike Farrell as vice president of marketing. Farrell comes to Skykick, Seattle, with extensive marketing experience, most recently having founded his own digital marketing agency called Caribbean Ideas Limited. He has also held marketing roles at Microsoft and Ernst & Young.
Skykick also said it is adding Kathryn Saducas as general manager of Western Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). A former Microsoft executive, Saducas has experience leading cloud organizations in Asia and Latin America. In particular, she has experience leveraging channel partner organizations in those regions. She has also held positions at American Express.
Finally, Skykick added Anthony Philips as general manager of business development for EMEA. Philips has had multiple business development and marketing positions at Microsoft since 2000, leaving the company in December 2014.
Along with the other new additions to the Skykick team, co-CEO Evan Richman said, Philips' hiring will mean the company will have more leverage to expand globally.
’SkyKick’s mission is to help partners succeed in the cloud,’ Richman said in a statement at the time. ’Today more than 5,000 IT solution providers in 125 countries rely on SkyKick to deliver cloud migration, backup and management services for their customers, which also provides new cloud revenue streams for those partners. With these hires, we’ll be able to better help these partners and expand our global footprint.’
Cloud ERP provider FinancialForce, San Francisco, added Adrian Ivanov as chief customer officer. In the newly created role, Ivanov will be charged with leading the company's customer strategy and acquisition, in particular making sure there is a unified customer experience. Ivanov had previously served as senior vice president of global sales at FinancialForce, a role he had held since 2009.
"I look forward to having the ability to be 100% focused on the success of our customers in my new role. I'm inheriting a very capable customer success team and a strong foundation on which to build," said Ivanov. ’I will focus on making our customers wildly successful, as they define it. I believe this is the strongest measure of our own success."
Vision Solutions, an availability and disaster recovery software provider, said it had added channel veteran Chris Cleary to its executive lineup. Cleary will now serve as senior vice president of Double-Take global sales, responsible for overseeing the sales of the company's flagship disaster recovery solution. A key part of that sales strategy is growing and investing in the company's channel partners, the company said. Cleary comes to Vision Solutions, Irvine, Calif., from Globalscape, where he was director of global channels and distribution. He has also held roles at Egenera, Fortinet and AT&T.
Data security startup Vera, Palo Alto, Calif., closed out the month with the addition of Andy Zambito as its first vice president of worldwide sales. He joins the company from Appcelerator, where he was also senior vice president of worldwide sales and alliances. Before joining Appcelerator in 2013, he held positions at Good Technology. In his new role, Zambito will be responsible for driving the company's sales and channel partner efforts.
San Antonio, Texas-based security solution provider Delta Risk added Tempy Wright as its new vice president of marketing last month. She is the company's first marketing executive, joining Delta Risk from Cyveillance, where she was vice president of marketing and communications. She has also held leadership positions at SecureWorks and VeriSign.
"Tempy is a valuable addition to the executive team, and we expect that her leadership will play an important role in shaping the future of the company," said CEO Scott Kaine, in a statement at the time. "Her understanding of the information security market, along with her creativity and proven expertise in driving successful marketing programs to impact the bottom line, will be a tremendous asset for us."