30 Notable IT Executive Moves: December 2017

On The Move

Several vendors and solution providers made changes at the executive level this past month, including IT industry giants such as Tech Data, Avnet and Symantec. Perhaps no move carried greater potential implications than the announced exit of Cisco's top sales leader, Chris Dedicoat, who is slated to leave the company in July 2018.

A slew of other notable leadership changes happened elsewhere in December, including longtime ManTech International CEO being bumped up to the executive chairman role and Infosys landing a Capgemini veteran to become its next chief executive.

In the following slides, check out our picks for the 30 most significant executive moves that took place in the channel this December.

Chris Dedicoat, Rebecca Jacoby

Top Cisco sales leader Chris Dedicoat (pictured), a 22-year veteran of the networking giant, is stepping down from his role as executive vice president of worldwide sales effective July 28, 2018 – the end of the vendor's current fiscal year. Cisco has not yet named a replacement.

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins handpicked Dedicoat as his successor for the global sales post in July 2015. Partners who spoke with CRN called the departure another signal of Robbins' push to transform Cisco into a more software-centric, recurring-revenue-reliant technology vendor.

A top executive at one East Coast solution provider described Dedicoat as "a stubborn-type guy," and said his replacement ought to carry a modern, cloud-based sales skill set. Another executive at a Cisco Gold Partner expressed doubt that the company has completely nailed its software recipe yet, noting the difficulty involved in remaking a giant like Cisco.

In addition to Dedicoat's impending exit, Cisco announced that Senior Vice President of Operations Rebecca Jacoby – another longtime Cisco executive – will retire on Jan. 27. She will be replaced by Cisco's current senior vice president of Asia Pacific and Japan, Irving Tan, who is taking on a new role as senior vice president of operations and digital.

Dedicoat and Jacoby will both assume advisory roles upon leaving their current roles.

John Chambers

In other Cisco-related news, December saw the end of John Chambers' term as chairman of the San Jose, Calif., company's board of directors, officially drawing the long and fruitful Chambers era to a close. Current CEO Chuck Robbins has taken Chambers' place on the board, as expected.

Chambers has held the executive chairman title since July 2015. He joined Cisco in 1991 as head of sales, was CEO from 1995 to 2015, and had been on the board of directors since 1993. As CEO, Chambers grew the company from $1.2 billion to $47 billion in revenue.

Chambers' decision to not seek re-election was first announced in September, when Robbins praised his predecessor for possessing a "brilliant mind, compassion and charismatic leadership."

"John's influence on the industry is immense and he built Cisco around a culture of integrity and innovation that will continue to serve our employees, partners and customers for decades to come," Robbins said in a statement.

Meg Whitman

HPE CEO Meg Whitman, who has already announced her decision to step down from the channel giant's top executive position on Feb. 1, revealed that she is also leaving DXC Technology's board of directors.

Whitman joined the DXC board in early 2017, when the heavyweight solution provider was created by the merger of HPE's Enterprise Services division and industry stalwart CSC. Whitman has been widely credited and praised for successfully orchestrating that spin-off, along with the splitting of Hewlett Packard into HPE and HP Inc.

Whitman's departure was effective Dec. 21. DXC expects to name a replacement in early 2018.

"I want to personally thank her not only for helping to architect the transaction, but also for her guidance and wisdom as a board member. She has been instrumental in ensuring that our integration proceeded smoothly, and that DXC is on a strong and positive trajectory," DXC President and CEO Mike Lawrie said in the announcement.

Gavriella Schuster

Microsoft channel chief Gavriella Schuster will be stepping in as corporate vice president for the computing giant’s One Commercial Partner business after Ron Huddleston took an indefinite leave of absence from the role last month, citing family reasons.

Schuster had previously reported to Huddleston as corporate vice president for worldwide channels and programs. She is a 22-year Microsoft veteran who has held several top positions within its partner and enterprise businesses, including general manager of worldwide partner programs and marketing and general manager of its cloud and enterprise business in the U.S.

Huddleston was hired by Microsoft in June 2016 after spending 11 years at Oracle and another eight years at Salesforce, most recently as senior vice president of its IoT Cloud business.

Partners applauded the sweeping reorganization of Microsoft’s channel organization last January, when its ISV, Enterprise Partner and Worldwide Partner Group teams combined to form One Commercial Partner.

George Pedersen

After holding the CEO title at public sector-focused solution provider ManTech International for more than two decades, George Pedersen is stepping aside to assume the role of executive chairman in 2018. ManTech President and COO Kevin Phillips is succeeding Pedersen as chief executive.

Pedersen co-founded the Herndon, Va.-based company – No. 31 on the CRN Solution Provider 500 – in 1968 and was appointed CEO in 1995. He helped grow ManTech from a $400 million solution provider in 2002, when it was first publicly traded, to a $2.02 billion heavyweight that employs more than 7,000

Pedersen will "continue to guide" the company's overall direction and mergers and acquisition strategy as executive chairman, according to the announcement. He will also remain on the board of directors. Phillips has been with ManTech since August 2005, when he began an 11-year stint as CFO.

Salil Parekh

IT outsourcing giant Infosys has named 25-year Capgemini veteran Salil Parekh, a current executive board member, as its next CEO. The appointment comes in the wake of a heated public clash involving the company's co-founder and board, which resulted in the sudden resignation of former CEO Vishal Sikka in August.

Parekh officially takes over as CEO and managing director of the $10 billion Bangalore, India-based solution provider. He had been with Capgemini since its 2000 acquisition of Ernst and Young's consulting business but resigned in October as the company cited "recent managerial evolutions."

Parekh has close to three decades of IT services experience and most recently held a position on Capgemini's Executive Board. Interim Infosys CEO U.B. Pravin Rao will return to his previously held role of COO.

Maurits Tichelman

Popular Intel channel chief Maurits Tichelman is out as vice president of Intel's sales and marketing group and general manager of sales within the worldwide direct and channel sales, CRN learned in December. The chip company confirmed that Tichelman has taken a new position outside of its channels segment.

Tichelman will be responsible for European sales strategy in that new role as marketing group vice president and general manager for the EMEA region. He had led Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel's channel business for the last four years, developing a reputation as a staunch channel advocate who truly supported Intel solution providers.

As channel chief, Tichelman established specialty partner incentives around the vendor's IoT, Education and High-Performance Computing Data Center businesses. He also took charge in restructuring Intel's channels team in order to streamline the company's various business segments.

Tom Gorey

Master agent and connectivity services provider World Telecom Group named Tom Gorey as its new director of strategic alliances in an effort to help partners win big with top telecom carriers such as AT&T, CenturyLink, Verizon and Frontier.

Gorey holds more than two decades of telecom industry and indirect sales channel experience. He has held indirect channels leadership roles since 2003, including more than eight years at XO Communications, and was most recently general manager of global channels at Seattle-based IT life services firm Evernex.

Gorey's newly created alliances director role is a result of WTG wanting a strategic thinker in place to help maximize partners' relationships with top carriers, which have stated their intentions to rely on the channel more in 2018 amid industry consolidation and staff reductions.

Scott Dunsire

Midwest solution provider Arlington Computer Products hired veteran channel chief Scott Dunsire as president to cap off 2017.

Dunsire was recognized as an elite sales leader by CRN last year and routinely garnered honors as a channel sales executive at both Hewlett Packard and HPE. While at HP, where Dunsire first began working in 2007, he was credited for accomplishing broad improvements and strengthening commitment across the vendor's channel segments.

Dunsire will oversee day-to-day operations at ACP as the solution provider makes a concerted push to invest in next-gen technologies. He said the company will focus on organic growth around its security, managed and professional services, cloud and device-as-a-service practices.

Joe Sykora

Former Fortinet channel chief Joe Sykora landed at Bucharest, Romania-based security vendor Bitdefender as the company's first-ever vice president of worldwide channel development.

Sykora's priorities in the new role include establishing more consistency around the structure, benefits and governance of Bitdefender's partner program. The addition of Sykora is the latest in a string of channel investments for Bitdefender, which include enhancements to the company's deal registration, marketing development funds and lead generation offered to partners. The Bitdefender ecosystem featured 4,200 qualified resellers as of 2015.

Before joining Bitdefender, Sykora served as vice president of Fortinet's Americas channels, sales operations and advanced technologies segments. During his time at Fortinet, the vendor saw its channel sales jump nearly 50 percent year over year, according to Sykora's LinkedIn profile.

Patrick Burns, Adam Stewart

When IT service management vendor Autotask and data protection specialist Datto finalized their merger, the combined company announced two additions to its seven-person executive team from the Autotask side of the house: Vice President of Product Management Patrick Burns and Senior Vice President of Engineering Adam Stewart.

Burns has been with Autotask for more than a decade, during which time he has played an integral role in planning product integration and technical application following acquisitions in 2014 and 2015. Stewart first joined Autotask in 2005 as vice president of client services and has worked in the IT industry since 1989.

Burns and Stewart will report directly to Datto CEO Austin McChord, whom the company said is intrigued by the potential for innovation around Autotask's PSA platform technology. Networking would be one such possibility after Datto acquired cloud-based networking provider Open Mesh in January.

Todd DeSisto

Pulse IoT security platform provider Pwnie Express has a new chief executive in town, with former Axeda President and COO Todd DeSisto taking over for Paul Paget in December.

DeSisto has been on Pwnie Express' board of directors since 2016 and oversaw a powerful IoT business while at Axeda, which was later sold to PTC for $170 million. He has worked at several other fast-growing tech companies during an accomplished career, including Aloha Partners, Network Intelligence, New River and Atlantic Cellular Company.

A major priority for Pwnie under DeSisto will be the continued development and refinement of the company's Stampede partner program, which aims to drive IoT sales through selected regional resellers as well as MSSPs.

Uri Levy

Skybox Security named eight-year company veteran Uri Levy as its first-ever channel chief with eyes on driving a newly launched MSSP and systems integrator channel program forward.

Levy, whose official position will be vice president of cybersecurity sales, told CRN he hopes to double the company's base of MSSPs in the next year and get money in partners' hands quicker. The security vendor is specifically chasing growth for its North American channels business, he said.

Levy has nearly two decades of executive, sales and marketing experience under his belt at companies such as Netcom Systems, where he served as CEO and general manager, and Computer Associates as the company's vice president of marketing in Israel.

Scott Gordon

San Jose, Calif.-based security vendor Pulse Secure tapped a new chief marketing officer with the hiring of Scott Gordon, who plans to heighten the company's focus on virtual and cloud services business driven through channel partners.

Gordon most recently held the CMO title at startup security software developer RiskIQ and before that served as ForeScout Technologies' top marketing executive for more than four years. He has also worked at AccelOps, PacketMotion and SenSage, among other companies.

In an interview with CRN, Gordon said Pulse Secure's larger partners should expect to see increased services revenue with an emphasis on training and implementation, so that solution providers can meet specific customer needs.

Aaron Zeper

Tech Data executive Aaron Zeper, a vice president in the Global Lifecycle Services business, was laid off by the distributor in December, less than a year after Tech Data Services President Charles Layne left the company.

Zeper joined Tech Data along with Layne with its 2015 acquisition of Phoenix-based solution provider Signature Technology Group, a data center specialist that gave Tech Data its first services capabilities. Both executives had been with STG since 2011.

Zeper revealed his departure on LinkedIn, writing that the layoff left him unemployed for the first time in almost 20 years. Tech Data confirmed Zeper's departure to CRN, but did not disclose whether other STG-related services positions have been eliminated. Tech Data's acquisition of Avnet Technology Solutions significantly enhanced the distributor's services offerings and, as a result, also spurred a handful of leadership changes around that business.

Tom Liguori

IT distributor Avnet landed a chief financial officer who has more than 30 years of finance and operations experience under his belt with the hiring of Tom Liguori.

Liguori has held the CFO role at six different companies since 1996, including telecom provider Channell and most recently at Fort Collins, Colo.-based semiconductor and industrial power services firm Advanced Energy. Under Liguori, Advanced Energy emerged as a top financial performer through the establishment of shared service centers, enhanced business systems and streamlined cost structures, among other initiatives.

Former Avnet CFO Kevin Moriarty left the company in August after nearly five years in the position. Controller Ken Jacobson had been serving as interim CFO in his stead.

Rahul Kashyap

Endpoint security vendor Cylance announced the promotion of industry veteran Rahul Kashyap to global chief technology officer. Kashyap will report directly to CEO Stuart McClure in the new role, which will see him spearhead innovation efforts around the company's artificial intelligence-powered cybersecurity solutions.

Kashyap joined Cylance in October 2016 as senior vice president and chief product officer. He spent the previous five years at virtualization startup Bromium, first as chief security architect and later as executive vice president. He also spent more than seven years as a vulnerability researcher at McAfee.

Kashyap's security expertise includes network intrusion prevention systems, host intrusion prevention systems, web application firewalls, endpoint/server host monitoring and micro-virtualization. In addition, he serves as an adviser at security, big data and IoT incubator The Hive.

Cate Lochead

Experienced executive Cate Lochead joined Waltham, Mass.-based endpoint security vendor Carbon Black as its new senior vice president of marketing.

In the role, Lochead will be responsible for driving marketing initiatives around the company's cloud-based endpoint protection platform – Predictive Security Cloud -- among other go-to-market duties. Before being hired by Carbon Black, she served as CMO of open-source database developer MariaDB and vice president of application communications at Oracle.

"As we position ourselves to capture the rapidly growing Next-Generation Antivirus market, we’re thrilled to have an industry veteran join our team and expand our global brand," Carbon Black CEO Patrick Morley said in a statement.

Jeff Gerkin

Buffalo, N.Y.-based solution provider Computer Task Group, No. 76 on the 2017 CRN Solution Provider 500, named a new sales leader with the appointment of Jeff Gerkin as executive vice president of North American sales.

Gerkin joins CTG from ManpowerGroup, where he served as senior vice president for North American sales, and has also held sales and marketing positions at Right Management, Cognos and Accenture Information Management Services. He will oversee CTG's Health Solutions, Strategic Staffing Services, and Diversified Industrials sales segments in his new role.

CTG has made significant investments into its sales organization this past year, including the hiring of Vice President of Healthcare Sales Robert Barras and expansion of its existing business development staff in key areas.

Peter Altabef, Nathaniel Davis

Solution provider Unisys elected current President and CEO Peter Altabef (pictured) as the new chairman of its board of directors, effective April 26. The company also named Nathaniel Davis as its Independent Lead Director. Paul Weaver, the sitting board chairman, will step down from the board now that he has reached the mandatory retirement age of 72.

Altabef has been chief executive at Unisys since 2015, when he left Micros Systems after its acquisition by Oracle. He previously served as president and CEO at Perot Systems, which was later bought by Dell and possesses more than 20 years of channel executive experience.

Davis has been a member of the Unisys board since 2011. He is also chairman of the company's Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee.

Julie Larson-Green

Experience management platform provider Qualtrics hired 25-year Microsoft veteran Julie Larson-Green as its chief experience officer.

Larson-Green has a wealth of industry experience from her time at Microsoft, where she worked as CXO with the computing giant's Office experience organization as well as its applications and services group. In those roles, she helped Microsoft engineers and developers create intelligent experiences around the company's Office 365 offering on emerging devices, with particular emphasis on applying artificial intelligence and collaboration features to the software suite.

"Just like a platform for experience management will become standard in every organization, the CXO role will become imperative for every business. Julie is an incredible leader and we are thrilled to have her join Qualtrics," said Ryan Smith, co-founder and CEO of Qualtrics, in a statement.

James Smith, Garry Olah

Analytics platform-as-a-service developer GoodData made two key additions to its executive team, hiring James Smith and Garry Olah as chief marketing officer and senior vice president of business development, respectively.

Smith possesses more than 25 years of marketing experience at top companies such as Intel, Electronic Arts, Avaya, Sitecore and OneLogin, where he most recently worked from 2015 to 2017 as CMO.

Olah has three-plus decades of sales, marketing and business development expertise on his resume and served as vice president of business development at Citrix from 1999 to 2011. During that time, Citrix grew from a $100 million company to nearly $2 billion in revenue, according to Olah's LinkedIn profile.

Andrew Baird

St. Louis-based cloud and data center services provider TierPoint picked up a new marketing executive with the appointment of Andrew Baird to the role of marketing vice president. He will report to Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications Pete Abel.

Prior to joining TierPoint, Baird was responsible for product marketing at Audible, an Amazon company where he focused on business-to-business offering Audible for Enterprise. Before that, he was head of marketing, co-location and interconnection at Digital Realty and a top product management exec at Telx, which was acquired by Digital Realty.

"Andrew's a smart and dynamic professional, whose track record of marketing excellence has earned him well-founded respect in our industry," Abel said in a statement. "We're thrilled to have him join our team."

Mike Healy

Former ShoreTel Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President Mike Healy, who held those roles at the telecom provider for 10 years, has landed at smart sensing solutions vendor Quanergy Systems as CFO.

Healy left ShoreTel in October, just one month after the company was acquired by UCaaS provider Mitel. He has more than 30 years of experience as a senior financial executive, with 13 of them coming as a CFO.

Silicon Valley-based Quanergy, founded in 2012, provides time-of-flight LiDAR sensors, real-time capture software and spatial data processing and tracking for a number of industries, according to its website. Verticals served include transportation, agriculture, manufacturing automation and aeronautics, among others.

Toni Adams

Medallia, a San Mateo, Calif.-based developer of Software-as-a-Service applications used to capture customer feedback, in December hired Toni Adams to be the company's vice president of partner and alliance sales.

Adams joined Medallia from Qlik, the Radnor, Pa.-based data analytics software vendor, where he served as senior vice president of the company's global partner organization for just over two years.

At Qlik Adams managed a significant overhaul of the company's partner program through 2016 and 2017, adding program tracks for consulting and service provider "influencer" partners.

Medallia, according to its website, works with a range of professional service, application technology, and digital/data analysis service companies. Adams provided information about his new position on his LinkedIn page.

Kurt Rosenberg

Industrial computing and communication provider Online Development appointed a successor to longtime chief executive Ron Monday in late December. The Knoxville, Tenn.-based company, a subsidiary of the Softing Group, promoted President Kurt Rosenberg to CEO.

Rosenberg, who will report to Softing AG CEO Wolfgang Trier, has nearly three decades of experience within the industrial automation space. He spent almost 15 years at Rockwell Automation, where he worked in several different sales, marketing and business development roles. Rosenberg most recently oversaw Rockwell's Western Region, Central Region, and North American machine and equipment builders (OEM) segments.

Monday, who has been in the CEO's chair at Online Development since 1989, will transition to a consulting role with the business.

Norman Gennaro

Veteran IT executive Norman Gennaro ended his almost six-year tenure at Amazon Web Services in order to join Zendesk as senior vice president of worldwide sales last month.

Gennaro had been the territories market segment leader for AWS' North American operations, where he helped the public cloud vendor develop a multibillion-dollar midmarket business. Prior to that, he spent 16 years as vice president and senior technical director at Oracle.

While at Oracle, Gennaro co-authored four patents as part of the vendor's North American Sales Consulting team.