The 15 Blockbuster Channel Executive Moves Of 2017 (So Far)

A Fresh Start

Many top vendors took a hit to their channel organizations in the first half of 2017, as ConnectWise, IBM, Palo Alto Networks and Verizon all lost key channel executives.

But the news wasn't all negative, as indirect sales leaders at Avaya, Carbonite, CenturyLink and Google have all received promotions and additional responsibilities. Meanwhile, Aerohive, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Intel and Xerox all brought in new channel leaders from the outside.

Solution providers also got in on the action, with two companies in the top 120 of the 2017 CRN Solution Provider 500 naming people from the outside as CEO, while another solution provider promoted from within to fill a CEO vacancy.

Read on to relive all the key channel executive moves so far in 2017.

(For more on the "coolest" of 2017, check out "CRN's Tech Midyear In Review.")

15. Walter Denk

Avaya in February named Walter Denk as its new channel leader, placing him in charge of plans to enhance partner programs and channel support following the company's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in January.

Denk has been working at the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company for five years, serving as Avaya's SMB business group vice president in Germany.

Before joining Avaya in 2012, Denk held positions in sales and marketing at Deutsche Telekom, IBM and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

14. Lisa Miller

Lisa Miller will be responsible for CenturyLink's channel organization once their planned acquisition of fellow telecom provider Level 3 is complete.

CenturyLink said in June that Miller had been named president of the new wholesale and indirect business unit for the combined company. Miller is currently Level 3's senior vice president of wholesale and alternate channel and Asia Pac Region.

CenturyLink is slated to acquire Level 3 by Sept. 30, both companies said. Once the merger is complete, the company will be organized into these business units: strategic enterprise; federal government and state government; global accounts management and international; small and midsize business, and local government and education; wholesale and indirect; and consumer.

13. Todd Palmer

Palo Alto Networks Channel Chief Todd Palmer, who was key in revamping the security vendor's partner program last year, left in May to join hyper-convergence startup Cohesity.

Palmer spent the past three years as Palo Alto Networks' vice president of Americas channel sales, responsible for driving the company's partner and sales strategy for thousands of solution providers.

Palmer is now the new vice president of worldwide channels at Cohesity. Cohesity in April raised a $90 million Series C round from backers including HPE and Cisco.

Palmer has been succeeded at Santa Clara, Calif.-based Palo Alto Networks by Karl Soderlund, who previously worked at Imperva and Aruba Networks.

12. Denzil Samuels

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

Samuels, who managed's worldwide partner network for nearly five years, is replacing Kerry Bailey, who held the worldwide indirect sales job for just 15 months and left to become an advisory board member for private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners.

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.

11. Pete Peterson

Xerox in April hired Pete Peterson, a longtime Tech Data executive, as senior vice president of global channel strategy. The position is a new role focused on driving best channel practices globally and growing business with multi-brand resellers.

Peterson will report to Xerox chief commercial officer Kevin Warren, and oversee infrastructure, operations, and channel program employees with global responsibilities.

Peterson previously spent 19 years at Tech Data, including more than a decade in senior sales and marketing roles, before leaving the company in late 2015. He briefly held sales executive roles at Brocade and Tessco Technologies before joining Xerox.

10. Jon Whitlock

Carbonite promoted Jon Whitlock in March to head its channel program after joining the Boston-based company just three months earlier as vice president of channel marketing.

Before Carbonite, Whitlock had spent more than four years at Kaspersky Lab, including as senior vice president of marketing in North America and as vice president for B2B marketing and channel programs in North America.

Whitlock replaces Jessica Couto, who left Carbonite to become vice president of channel for Boston-based security orchestration and automation company Hexadite. Couto had served as Carbonite's channel chief since December 2015.

9. Adam Slutskin

ConnectWise Chief Revenue Officer Adam Slutskin left the company in July after helping the IT service management vendor grow revenue 17-fold and carry out three key acquisitions.

Slutskin said in a LinkedIn post that he wishes to spend a little down time with family as he begins exploring what to do next. He joined the Tampa, Fla.-based company in May 2009, and was promoted to Chief Revenue Officer in June 2015, where he led a 300-person team across business development, channel, sales operations, account management, and marketing.

ConnectWise CEO Arnie Bellini said he would function as the company's combined CEO and CRO for the foreseeable future, while Steve Farnan – an eight-year ConnectWise veteran – has been promoted from vice president of sales to senior vice president of sales.

8. 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 the vendor.

Moreno was named vice president of Intel's sales and marketing group and general manager of the Santa Clara, Calif.-based chipmaker's Partner Program organization.

Moreno most recently 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, finishing his career at the San Jose, Calif.-based networking giant as vice president of the 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.

7. 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. Phelps took the Waltham, Mass.-based company, No. 79 on the CRN SP 500, from a small 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.

6. Ron Gill

Ron Gill, the former sales leader for Ruckus Wireless America, landed a new position in February at rival company Aerohive Networks.

Milpitas, Calif.-based Aerohive hired Gill as its new vice president of Americas sales, placing Gill in charge of leading the company's channel sales charge in the region.

Before joining Aerohive, Gill served as vice president of Americas enterprise sales at Ruckus, leading Ruckus' North American sales for eight years. The company also added Latin America to his responsibilities in 2012.

Gill left Ruckus in November 2016 right around the time parent company Brocade Communications announced it was being acquired by semiconductor maker Broadcom for $5.9 billion. Brocade acquired Ruckus in May 2016 for approximately $1.2 billion.

5. Alan Marc Smith

Alan Marc Smith departed in April after two years as CEO of Herndon, Va.-based DLT Solutions, No. 39 on the CRN SP 500.

Smith had joined DLT Solutions in January 2015, when the company was acquired by private equity firm Millstein & Co, where Smith had been an operating partner. Previously, Smith had served as CEO of distributor Westcon-Comstor, and then as chief executive of Electrograph Systems.

The following month, DLT named longtime immixGroup executive Art Richer to be its next CEO and drive growth in cloud, cybersecurity, and big data analytics.

Richer spent 18 years at immixGroup, joining the value-added distributor a year after its inception and spearheading the company's sale to Arrow Electronics in March 2015.

4. Bertrand Yansouni

Google appointed Bertrand Yansouni as its new global channel chief in January, just two months after Yansouni joined the Mountain View, Calif.-based company.

Google hired Yansouni in November 2016 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, Yansouni led the partner program at big data software developer Cloudera and worked at virtualization powerhouse VMware, where he served under current Google cloud executive Diane Greene.

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.

3. 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, Vitagliano served in a number of channel management posts at IBM, Juniper Networks and Dell. Taking the top job at Houston-based Computex, No. 120 on the CRN SP 500, means that Vitagliano will now be seeing the business from the solution provider side.

Vitagliano is replacing Computex co-founder and CEO Jason Haffar, 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 in December 2016 as vice president of channel sales at Dell after helping to establish the Round Rock, Texas-based company as a channel powerhouse.

2. Janet Schijns

Verizon Executive Vice President of Solutions and Sales Channel Janet Schijns left the company in July after seven years at the company. Schijns had been the top Verizon channel executive since May 2016, when she replaced former Verizon channel chief, Adam Famularo.

Schijns, a passionate channel advocate and proponent of women in the channel, is being succeeded by Joe Chuisano, the Basking Ridge, N.J.-based telecom giant's current managing director of Verizon Business Markets.

In his CRN 2016 Channel Chief profile, Chuisano said his top goals were increasing the overall percentage of revenue through the channel, launching and revamping the Verizon channel program, and increasing the amount of net new accounts through partners.

Later in July, Schijns joined Boca Raton, Fla.-based Office Depot as senior vice president of services, copy, print and tech.

1. Marc Dupaquier

IBM's popular channel chief, Marc Dupaquier, departed in June after 33 years with the Armonk, N.Y.-based technology giant, including the last four leading Big Blue's vast ecosystem of global channel partners and distributors.

Dupaquier said he is retiring as IBM's general manager of global business partners to work with startups, in what he'll only describe as a "different kind of IT project" that's a "passion" he's been working on pro bono in recent months.

Dupaquier's biggest achievement as IBM channel chief was pulling together the disparate channel initiatives and programs scattered across IBM's hardware, software and service product groups under the IBM PartnerWorld umbrella, said Mark Wyllie, CEO of Flagship Solutions Group, a Boca Raton, Fla.-based solution provider and IBM channel partner.

IBM veteran John Teltsch will replace Dupaquier.