The 15 Blockbuster Channel Executive Moves Of 2016 (So Far)

New Beginnings

Many top vendors took a hit to their channel organizations in the first half of 2016, as Arista Networks, Dell, Fortinet and Verizon Enterprise Solutions all lost key channel executives. Distributors also suffered some brain drain, with one CEO departure and two COO departures thus far this year.

But the news wasn't all negative, as indirect sales leaders at Dell, Intel and Microsoft have all received promotions and additional responsibilities, while Dell brought in a new channel leader from the outside.

Solution providers also got in on the action, with two companies in the top 50 of the 2016 CRN Solution Provider 500 promoting from within to fill a CEO vacancy, while two others named people from the outside as CEO or key practice leader.

Read on to relive all the key channel executive moves so far in 2016.

(For more on the "coolest" of 2016, check out "CRN's Tech Midyear In Review.")

John Byrne

Dell in July named John Byrne as the new global channel chief of Dell-EMC, tasking the 27-year sales veteran with combining two disparate channel organizations as part of the largest IT acquisition in history. Byrne was brought into Round Rock, Texas-based Dell a year ago as global vice president of sales strategy and operations, with oversight of Dell's channel added to his position a couple of months later. In the coming months, Byrne said he'll be meeting with partners, building out the company's channel organization and making specific decisions about programs and personnel with the aim of establishing a single channel program for the combined company by Feb. 1. Prior to then, Byrne has a number of key decisions to make regarding the shape and character of the new combined channel program.

Rick Hamada

Avnet CEO Rick Hamada stepped down in July after more than five years in the top slot and is being replaced on an interim basis by former Lenovo CEO Bill Amelio. A company spokeswoman told CRN that Avnet's board of directors believed a change in leadership was needed to "drive a greater sense of urgency and enhance our focus on execution." The decision came less than three months after the company said it planned to cut $25 million in personnel and other expenses from its technology business. The spokeswoman said Avnet plans to vet external and internal candidates – including Amelio – for the top slot, and expects to complete its search for a new chief executive within six months.

Adam Famularo

Verizon Enterprise Solutions lost popular channel chief Adam Famularo, who said in March that he would be leaving the company April 1 to become CEO of Erwin Inc., a data modeling software company. Famularo had held the vice president of global channels role at the Basking Ridge, N.J.-based company for 18 months and was succeeded by channel favorite Janet Schijns. In his new role at Erwin, Famularo said he hopes to build a nimbler company and add hundreds of new partners, as well as helping current partners grow their businesses. The appointment came at a time of change for Erwin, which was acquired by private equity firm Parallax Capital Partners on March 1 from CA Technologies.

Brett Dawson

Longtime Dimension Data CEO Brett Dawson resigned from the top role in June, saying he wanted to pursue other interests. Dawson had been CEO of the Johannesburg, South Africa-based company, No. 11 on the 2016 CRN SP 500, for 12 years. Dimension Data appointed COO Jason Goodall to take Dawson's place. The news came just before CRN reported that Dimension Data was experiencing layoffs across its customer service, alliances, solution engineers, sales and managed services departments. In February, Jun Sawada, senior vice president of Dimension Data parent NTT, told financial analysts the company was pursuing "cost efficiency and profit and revenue enhancements" within the Dimension Data business.

Phil Sorgen

Microsoft's Phil Sorgen left his role as global channel chief in May, taking a position as corporate vice president of the U.S. Enterprise and Partner Group. He previously held the title of corporate vice president of the Worldwide Partner Group. Microsoft announced in late June that Worldwide Partner Group General Manager Gavriella Schuster would take over as Sorgen's permanent replacement. Sorgen had held the global channel chief role since September 2013, after leading the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant's small and midmarket solutions and partner business in the U.S. since 2009. Schuster will be tasked with guiding tens of thousands of partners as they transition to a cloud solutions business model and tackle the Windows 10 upgrade cycle.

Paul Read

Just six days after announcing plans to become part of Hainan, China-based HNA Group, Ingram Micro said in February that president and chief operating officer Paul Read would be leaving the company. Read will officially depart from the Irvine, Calif.-based distributor in September, the company said, and there is no plan in place for a successor at this time. Since HNA wanted current CEO Alain Monie to continue leading the company for some time, a company spokesman said Read re-evaluated what his future was at Ingram Micro. The distributor said it is not under any pressure to cut head count or payroll from Tianjin Tianhai, which on Feb. 17 disclosed plans to acquire the distributor for $6 billion.

Ken McCray

Intel Security named a new Americas channel chief in January, replacing Fernando Quintero, who assumed a role as head of Latin America. Longtime executive Ken McCray will now serve as head of channel sales and operations for the Americas. McCray most recently served as senior director of the Americas Channel team, overseeing corporate resellers, distribution partners and the inside channel account team. With a strong reputation in the channel, McCray told CRN at the time that be believes he will be a stabilizing force for partners as the company works to transform its strategy to one centered on the pillars of protect, detect and correct.

E.C. Sykes

Two months after the resignation of CEO Michael McAndrew, Black Box Network Services, No. 37 on the 2016 CRN SP 500, has a new top executive, the company revealed in February. E.C. Sykes assumed the role of CEO on Feb. 29, the Lawrence, Pa.-based company said, and will also sit on its board of directors. He has also held positions at Flextronics from 1999 to 2013, where he helped grow the company from $625 million to more than $4 billion. That growth experience could come in handy as Black Box struggled in 2015, ending the year with a restructuring of its sales force and a 62 percent drop in its stock to an all-time low.

Todd Dalton

Arista Networks channel chief Todd Dalton left the company in April as the Santa Clara, Calif.-based vendor looks to put a greater emphasis on outbound direct sales, sources told CRN at the time. Dalton had been with 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 have said they feel Arista is shifting to a more direct sales strategy and they have seen the vendor make cuts to its channel field reps and inside channel sales team, a push they attributed to CEO Jayshree Ullal.

Larry Reinhold

Systemax revealed in early March that it had named former CFO Larry Reinhold as its new president and CEO, an appointment that came on the heels of falling sales, layoffs and the sale of the North American IT assets. Reinhold replaced Richard Leeds, who is now serving as executive chairman of the company, No. 26 on the 2016 CRN SP 500. Reinhold will continue in the CFO role on an interim basis. The change in leadership effectively removed day-to-day control of the company from the Leeds family, who founded Systemax in 1949 in the New York borough of Queens. (It's now based in Port Washington, N.Y.) Richard Leeds' brothers -- Robert and Bruce -- will continue serving as vice chairmen.

Pete Koliopoulos

As Round Rock, Texas-based Dell moves to complete its blockbuster $67 billion acquisition of EMC, in April it 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.

Andy Bryant

Arrow Electronics said at the end of January that COO Andy Bryant would be retiring from the Centennial, Colo.-based company at the end of April. Bryant had served as COOof the company's global components and global enterprise computing solutions (ECS) businesses since 2014. Bryant joined Arrow in 2008 as president of the company's ECS business. Following Bryant's retirement, Andy King, president of Arrow's global components business, and Sean Kerins, president of Arrow's ECS business, are reporting directly to CEO Mike Long.

Peter Brant

Network security vendor Fortinet confirmed in March that enterprise sales chief Peter Brant had left the company. Brant had served as senior vice president of Americas enterprise sales. He has now taken a position at F5 Networks as senior vice president of North America sales. Brant's departure comes just a few months after Fortinet announced a reorganization of its sales force, which eliminated the U.S. enterprise team and redistributed it into two groups under a single, unified sales force. That integrated sales force is led by Patrice Perche, now senior executive vice president of worldwide sales and support.

Kelly Bissell

Accenture moved all of its security resources under the same department, naming former Deloitte executive Kelly Bissell to lead the new security practice as global managing director for Accenture security. Bissell joined the Dublin, Ireland-based company, No. 2 on the 2016 CRN SP 500, after nearly 14 years at Deloitte, where he led cyber-risk services across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). In the new role, Bissell has been tasked with growing Accenture's security practice to more than $1 billion in revenue, up from between $500 million and $1 billion today. Bissell will do this by growing Accenture's presence in areas such as mobile security and traditional governance, as well as risk and compliance consulting, the company said.

Marvin Blough

After leaving Dell Software in the middle of January, where he was group channel chief, Marvin Blough took a position at StorageCraft as vice president of worldwide sales. Blough joined Dell as part of the company's 2012 acquisition of SonicWall, where he helped grow the company from $90 million to $450 million. Partners said his departure was a huge loss for Dell, as Blough was a "huge channel proponent" and "instrumental in helping many channel partners succeed." At StorageCraft, Blough will be responsible for expanding the Draper, Utah-based company's channel sales and building distributor relationships, the company said. Blough was replaced by Steve Pataky, who joined Dell from FireEye, where he was vice president of worldwide channels and alliances.