30 Notable IT Executive Moves: January 2017

Start It Off

With the start of the year, some executives look to get a fresh start with a new job. And some companies look to clean house. Either way, it usually makes January one of the busiest months for changes in IT industry executive ranks. And that was certainly the case last month.

Companies like Aruba, Lenovo and Dimension Data said goodbye to some of their top leadership, while others like Microsoft, RSA and Google welcomed new executives to the highest tiers of their organizations.

We could have easily put together a list of more than 30 executives who were in or out in January. But here's what we think were the most important.

Rohit Ghai

RSA named former EMC Enterprise Content Division leader Rohit Ghai as its new president, replacing former president Amit Yoran who left in December to take the top job at security startup Tenable Network Security.

Ghai has been president of the Enterprise Content Division since December 2014. Dell announced in September that it planned to sell the division to Canadian information management company Open Text for $1.6 billion.

Ghai assumed the RSA post when the deal to sell the Enterprise Content Division closed Jan. 23.

Dominic Orr

Dominic Orr, 66, retired as president of Aruba Networks as of Jan. 31 after a decade with the networking giant.

Orr's departure comes nearly two years after Aruba was acquired by Hewlett-Packard Co, now Hewlett Packard Enterprise, in a $3 billion deal.

Effective Feb. 1 Aruba's sales organization, including marketing, business operations, customer advocacy, operations and supply chain, reports to Aruba's founder and CTO, Keerti Melkote, who previously was only responsible for Aruba's technology strategy.

Gerry Smith

Lenovo lost its Chief operating officer last month when Gerry Smith departed the computer and mobile device company, accepting an offer to become CEO of retailer Office Depot.

Smith served as COO at Lenovo for less than three months and had just been appointed as the head of the company's PC business in November.

His departure comes amidst a number of executive moves at the China-based company. Chris Frey, Lenovo's commercial sales chief, left the company in October just 18 months after taking the position.

In November Lenovo hired former Intel senior vice president Kirk Skaugen as Data Center Group president.

Bertrand Yansouni

Google appointed Bertrand Yansouni as its new global channel chief, promoting him after he had been at the company for just two months.

In November Google hired Yansouni to lead the company's global partner sales and alliances for Google Cloud Platform, the foundation of the vendor's Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service products. Before that, he led the partner program at big data software developer Cloudera and before that served under current Google cloud executive VP Diane Greene when the two worked at virtualization powerhouse VMware.

Yansouni's appointment comes as Greene, co-founder and former CEO of VMware, mounts a channel charge to grab market share from rivals Amazon Web Services and Microsoft.

Ricardo Moreno

Intel hired Ricardo Moreno, as its new vice president of channel sales in January, the latest in a number of executive channel shifts at Intel in recent months.

Moreno was named vice president of Intel's sales and marketing group and general manager of the chipmaker's Partner Program Organization.

Most recently Moreno served as executive vice president of worldwide partner sales at networking intelligence software maker Infoblox, overseeing partner relationships, development and programs. Before that he worked at Cisco for 16 years, working his way up the ranks from channel account manager in Sao Paulo, Brazil and finishing his career at the networking giant as vice president of Cisco's U.S. and Latin America field partner organization.

Moreno's appointment comes after a major shake-up of Intel's top channel executives last fall, which included the departure of Intel Americas' general manager CJ Bruno, who was replaced by vice president of Intel Americas and director of sales Greg Baur.

Frank Vitagliano

Channel icon Frank Vitagliano was named president and CEO of solution provider powerhouse Computex Technology Solutions in January.

For more than three decades Vitaliano served in a number of channel management posts at IBM, Juniper Networks and Dell. Taking the top job at Computex, No. 124 on the CRN Solution Provider 500, means that Vitagliano will now be seeing the channel business from the solution provider side.

Vitagliano is replacing Computex co-founder and CEO Jason Haffer, who will remain on the company's board. His appointment comes as Computex embarks on an aggressive plan to accelerate sales growth by doubling down on its service offerings.

Vitagliano stepped down as vice president of channel sales at Dell in December after four years at the company helping to establish it as a channel powerhouse.

Denzil Samuels

Denzil Samuels, the global head of General Electric's GE Digital unit, was tapped by Hewlett Packard Enterprise to head up HPE's worldwide indirect sales organization, according to an internal HPE memo obtained by CRN.

Samuels, who managed Salesforce.com's worldwide partner network for nearly five years, is replacing Kerry Bailey, who held the worldwide indirect sales job for just 15 months and is leaving to pursue other opportunities.

In the memo HPE Chief Sales Officer Peter Ryan said Samuels would be responsible for accelerating execution of the company's strategy around hybrid IT in collaboration with the HPE partner ecosystem.

Jeff Cotten

Rackspace promoted Jeff Cotten to be its new president last month, taking over as of Feb. 1 the position that's been held in recent years by Rackspace CEO Taylor Rhodes.

Cotten has held several leadership posts at Rackspace since joining the company eight years ago, most recently leading the team that provides managed services for the AWS public cloud.

In an interview with CRN, Cotten said he would continue nurturing the development of Rackspace's fast-growing businesses of providing managed services around AWS and Microsoft Azure, while also working on several other priorities for 2017, Rackspace's first year as a private company following its acquisition by Apollo Global Management in August.

Skip Tappen

Solution provider NWN promoted Skip Tappen to CEO in January after 12 years with the company, most recently in the position of chief operating officer.

Tappen will take over the CEO job held by Mont Phelps, the founder of NWN (No. 68 on the 2016 CRN Solution Provider 500), who took the company from a small Waltham, Mass.-based solution provider into a $350 million national technology services power.

Following the transition, Phelps plans to remain with the company, focusing on strategic acquisitions and relationships with partners and employees.

In his new role Tappen is focused on continuing to grow the company's cloud services business, which has been doubling in size for the past five years.

Praveen Akkiraju

Praveen Akkiraju, who was instrumental in growing VCE into a $2.1 billion business, is taking on the CEO post at software-defined WAN startup Viptela, the company announced Jan. 18.

Akkiraju spent three years as VCE's CEO, managing the converged infrastructure company, before leaving last year. Before that he held a number of executive positions at Cisco over a span of 19 years.

Viptela has embraced a full channel sales model and Akkiraju sees the company as an opportunity to disrupt the software-defined networking space.

Rajesh Gopinathan

Indian consulting behemoth Tata Consultancy Services promoted former Chief Financial Officer Rajesh Gopinathan to the top of the organization last month, naming him the company's new CEO.

Tata also appointed N Ganapathy Subramaniam, president of the TCS Financial Solutions business, as president and chief operating officer of the $16.5 billion company.

Gopinathan is replacing N Chandrasekaran, CEO for the last seven years, who has been appointed chairman of the entire Tata Sons conglomerate, effective February 21.

Sophie Vandebroek

Former Xerox CTO Sophie Vandebroek was named the new COO of IBM's research division last month.

The appointment will bring her back to IBM, where she started her career nearly a quarter century ago before moving to Xerox.

Vandebroek worked at Xerox for 25 years, including serving as CTO for the last decade. She retired at the end of 2016, the same time Xerox split into two companies.

Kevin Scott

Microsoft appointed LinkedIn veteran Kevin Scott as the software giant's new chief technology officer last month. Microsoft acquired LinkedIn in December for $26.2 billion.

One of Scott's first tasks will be to drive "strategic, cross-company initiatives" at Microsoft, including linking the vendor's cloud applications and services with LinkedIn's professional network.

Scott joined LinkedIn in 2011 as senior vice president of engineering and operations where he helped to build out the company's technology team. Most recently he was senior vice president of infrastructure at the company.

During Scott's time with the company, LinkedIn went through both an IPO and six years of rapid growth.

Chris Doggett

Chris Doggett departed Carbonite, where he had been serving as senior vice president of global sales, following a reorganization of Carbonite's sales team in January.

The sales reorganization stems from the completion of Carbonite's acquisition of EVault from Seagate and the integration of the two vendor's sales teams under the leadership of Paul Mellinger.

Before the acquisition Carbonite had focused on the small business cloud data protection service market. The EVault acquisition added business continuity and disaster recovery systems for mid-size businesses to Carbonite's portfolio.

François Locoh-Donou

Francois Locoh-Donou will take over as president and CEO of F5 Networks upon the retirement of current F5 top executive John McAdams when he retires in April.

Locoh-Donou held leadership posts at network strategy and technology company Ciena for over a decade, most recently serving as COO. Positions he held prior to that included senior vice president of the company's Global Products Group and vice president and general manager of its EMEA business.

Earlier he held research and development roles with Photonetics, a French opto-electronics company.

Nitin Rakesh

Mphasis named former Syntel CEO Nitin Rakesh to be its next chief executive, charged with supercharging the company's digital transformation plans in the banking, financial services and insurance sectors.

Rakesh is replacing former CEO Ganesh Ayyar, who served eight years as CEO of the $895 million company.

Prior to taking his new job, Rakesh served as CEO of Troy, Mich.-based Syntel, No. 38 on the CRN Solution Provider 500, from April 2014 to October 2016, He resigned from that job due to "a personal decision on his part," a source familiar with the situation told CRN.

Raj Verma

Big data software developer Hortonworks in January named Raj Verma to be the company's president and chief operating officer, reporting to CEO Rob Bearden.

Verma will be responsible for advancing Hortonworks global sales strategy and execution and will oversee sales, sales engineering, channel, professional services, training and marketing operations.

Verma was most recently COO of Tibco Software, taking the company from $300 million in annual revenue to more than $1 billion. Other positions he held during his 12 years at Tibco included executive vice president of worldwide sales and chief marketing officer.

Tod Nielsen

Cloud ERP application developer FinancialForce named Tod Nielsen as the company's new president and CEO. The January appoint comes as FinancialForce reported 40 percent growth in 2016 and approached an annual revenue run rate of $100 million.

Nielson joins FinancialForce from Salesforce.com where he served as executive vice president of platform. Before that he was CEO of Heroku, which Salesforce acquired in 2011. He also once served as chief operating officer at VMware and co-president of VMware's Applications Platform Group.

Jeremy Roche, former FinancialForce CEO, will stay on as founder and special advisor to the management team.

Daniel Springer

Former Responsys CEO Daniel Springer landed a new position as CEO of DocuSign in January, replacing former CEO Keith Krach who will continue at the electronic signature software company in the role of chairman.

Springer has more than 25 years of leadership experience in the technology market, including serving as CEO of Responsys for over a decade. His resume includes serving as managing director of Modem Media, CEO at Telleo, and CMO at NextCard. He also worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Company.

"I look forward to leading the next chapter of DocuSign innovations to bring even more value to our customers, developers and partners around the world," he said in a statement.

Anthony Massetti

Black Box accepted the resignation of Anthony Massetti last month when he stepped down from his positions as senior vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer.

Massetti had worked at Black Box for only two months. He cited personal reasons surrounding his relocation to the Pittsburgh area, the location of Black Box's headquarters.

According to a statement from Black Box, No. 37 on the Solution Provider 500, Massetti will stay on with the company for a transition period while the company searches for a candidate to replace him.

Phil Quade

Cybersecurity vendor Fortinet appointed former National Security Agency executive Phil Quade as its new Chief Information Security Officer, placing him in charge of the company's information security and compliance operations.

In addition to the new position, Quade will also serve as a strategic consultant to Fortinet's C-Level enterprise customers.

Quade joins Fortinet with more than three decades of experience at the NSA in a number of positions across multiple branches of government.

Martin Fink

Western Digital named former HP Labs Chief Technology Officer Martin Fink as the company's new CTO last month, replacing Steven Campbell who left the company to pursue other opportunities, according to a company statement.

Fink moved into his new position in January after working with Hewlett Packard Enterprise and its precursor, Hewlett-Packard Co., for 30 years.

At HP and HPE Fink served in a number of positions, including as CTO and director of HP Labs, senior vice president and general manager of Business Critical Systems (BCS) for HP's Enterprise, Storage and Servers (ESS) business unit, and head of both HP's Open Source/Linux Organization and the NonStop Enterprise Division.

In his new position Fink will report to Steve Milligan, Western Digital CEO, and lead Western Digital's technology innovation roadmap.

Rob Holland

Rob Holland, former Datalogix and Oracle general manager, joined the team at Bluecore last month as the company's first Chief Operating Officer. Bluecore is a fast-growing developer of a real-time interaction management platform for e-commerce.

In his new position, Holland will be responsible for scaling the organization's operations and management functions. In 2016 Bluecore's headcount more than doubled to over 120 employees as the organization grew to support more than 325 retail brands according to a company statement.

Holland's appointment comes amidst a number of other announcements and appointments made by the company over the last year. Those included the appointment of former e-commerce executive Jared Blank in September to the position of SVP of Data Analytics and Insights, and the addition of Aaron Arboleda and Chad Horenfeldt as Bluecore's VP of engineering and VP of customer success, respectively.

Waheed Choudry

Waheed Choudry, Dimension Data's North American president, left the company in January, the latest of a number of top executive departures to hit the solution provider.

Choudry had been with the company, No. 11 on the 2016 CRN Solution Provider 500, since it acquired Nexus in 2014. He previously served as Nexus president and COO since 2004.

Senior vice president of human resources Denise Messineo also left the company. In previous months other departing Dimension Data executives include CEO of Americas Mark Slaga and CFO Eric Gibson, both in December, and global CEO Brett Dawson in June.

Aaron Mills

Business training and certification provider Global Knowledge hired former Hewlett Packard Enterprise executive Aaron Mills as its vice president of channel sales in January as part of a push to increase the company's indirect revenue.

In an interview with CRN, Mills said he is focused on growing channel revenues and wants the channel to account for a larger percentage of the company's overall sales.

Currently the channel accounts for 15 percent of Global Knowledge's revenue. Mills set a goal of moving 45 percent of the company's sales through the channel within two or three years.

David Hall

PCM hired David Hall last month, appointing the former CompuCom executive as the head of PCM's lifecycle services business, tasked with overseeing the services organization around the company's mobility-centric solutions, data center networking and Wi-Fi practices.

In addition to Hall, PCM also hired former SHI Senior Vice President Keith Joseph to lead the company's commercial inside sales practices.

The two appointments come as part of what CEO Frank Khulusi called a minor reorganization following the departure of commercial sales leader Tom Ducatelli and endpoint technology group leader Brian York from the El Segundo, Calif.-based PCM, No. 28 on the CRN Solution Provider 500. Ducatelli and York left PCM less than a week before Hall and Joseph were appointed to their new posts.

Corey Nagel

Corey Nagel was named Intermedia's new director of partner development as part of a set of initiatives the company launched last month, including the unveiling of new field sales and sales engineering practices, with an eye on doubling the company's revenue within four years.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Intermedia, No. 189 on the CRN Solution Provider 500, also hired two other Microsoft executives last month, appointing Eric Roach as the new global vice president of field channel sales and distribution, and Bob Neal as Intermedia's new director of distribution and strategic communities.

The hiring of the three Microsoft executives follows Intermedia's hiring of Microsoft channel superstar Eric Martorano in September to be the company's senior vice president of worldwide sales.

Jennifer Bodell

Former StorageCraft channel leader Jennifer Bodell joined up with Pax8 last month, as the cloud distributor's new director of emerging channels.

Pax8 hopes that in her new position at the Greenwood Village, Colo.-based company, Bodell can double the number of channel partners recruited by the company each month.

To achieve that, Bodell said in a statement that she would leverage the experience she acquired as the channel marketing manager and inside channel account manager for StorageCraft before coming to Pax8.

Rob Cataldo

Less than a full year since leaving his former position as regional sales manager at Kaspersky Labs, Rob Cataldo has returned to Kaspersky to take a new position as the senior director of enterprise sales.

In his new role at the company Cataldo will be responsible for leading regional sales activities targeting channel resellers with more than 1,000 employees while driving growth through the company's current network of partners.

Cataldo brings 16 years of sales experience with him, including an 11-month stint as regional sales manager for Boston-based security vendor Bromium.

Patrick Doherty

OnX Enterprise Solutions appointed former Unisys executive, Patrick Doherty to be president of its U.S. business.

Doherty will replace Mark Kelly, who left the organization, No. 46 on CRN's SP500 list, at the end of January to pursue other career opportunities, according to a statement from the company.

Previously, Doherty served as the executive vice president of sales and marketing at Sungard Availability Services and held various sales and marketing leadership roles at AT&T. Most recently Doherty was vice president of sales for Unisys' North American business unit.OnX also hired Frank Casey, a former Dimension Data vice president, as the company's new Chief Technology Officer.