30 Notable IT Executive Moves: May 2021
May saw big CEO shakeups with new leaders installed at VMware, Open Systems and Anexinet while longtime leaders at Insight Enterprises, ID Agent and Virtusa announced their departures.
May Also Saw Exec Moves At Atos, Microsoft, HP, Cisco
May brought some big CEO shakeups at technology vendors and national solution providers alike, with new leaders being appointed at VMware, Open Systems and Anexinet while Insight Enterprises, ID Agent and Virtusa announced the departures of their longtime chief executives.
But there were many other personnel moves within the technology industry, and they included companies like Microsoft, Atos, HP Inc., Cisco Systems, Splunk and Tech Data.
What follows are 30 notable IT executive moves that happened in May 2021.
VMware appointed company veteran Raghu Raghuram as its new CEO after a nearly four-month search to find a new chief executive to replace former Pat Gelsinger, who left earlier this year to lead Intel. Zane Rowe, VMware’s CFO, had been the company’s interim CEO.
Raghuram is a longtime VMware executive who first joined VMware in 2003 running product management for VMware vSphere and ESX. During his 18-year tenure at VMware, Raghuram served in various general manager and executive vice president roles, including head of cloud infrastructure and management, as well as head of VMware’s software defined data center division. Raghuram was most recently chief operating officer of Products and Cloud Services, responsible for all of VMware’s product and service offerings as well as centralized services, support and operational functions.
Raghuram told CRN that he has aggressive plans to create the worldwide leader in multi-cloud computing as an independent company following its spin-off from Dell Technologies. “The fact that we’re getting spun out of Dell, you can almost think of us as the Switzerland of multi-cloud,” he said.
Longtime Insight Enterprises leader Ken Lamneck plans to retire at the end of 2021 after quadrupling sales and increasing the channel giant’s stock price eight-fold, the company announced.
The Tempe, Ariz.-based company, No. 15 on the 2020 CRN Solution Provider 500, said it has engaged an executive search firm to identify potential successors to Lamneck from both internal and external candidates. Lamneck, 66, will continue to serve as Insight’s president and CEO until a successor has been named, and will then transition into an advisory role for the remainder of the calendar year.
Over the last 12 years, Insight said Lamneck has led the company’s transition from a value-added reseller to an intelligent technology solution provider, doubling sales from $4.1 billion in 2009 to $8.3 billion in 2020. Lamneck has spearheaded eight acquisitions as Insight’s CEO, including the $454 million buy of data center solution provider Datalink and $581 million purchase of direct market reseller PCM.
ID Agent Founder and CEO Kevin Lancaster departed the company nearly two years after the cybersecurity startup was acquired by IT service management vendor Kaseya.
Lancaster founded Bowie, Md.-based ID Agent in 2016 to provide dark web monitoring, phishing simulation and security awareness training to MSP and IT department customers. The company added 1,500 channel partners in just two years and was purchased by Miami-based Kaseya in May 2019, with Lancaster continuing to lead ID Agent as an independent business unit of Kaseya after the acquisition.
Following the deal, Lancaster also became Kaseya’s head of security solutions, which involved spending time with the company’s product and development teams as well as emerging technology vendors to pursue new security partnerships and capabilities. More recently, Lancaster became Kaseya’s EVP of go-to-market, where he drove cross-functional alignment and collaboration across the sales organization.
SASE provider Open Systems has a new CEO at the helm: IT veteran Geoff Haydon, who most recently worked at VMware Carbon Black.
Haydon has more than 30 years of experience in IT, with more than 20 years spent in cybersecurity. The executive plans to increase the company’s share of the managed security market, according to Open Systems. Haydon comes to Open Systems from VMware Carbon Black, where he served as vice president of sales and customer operations. Prior to that, Haydon served as chief revenue officer for Secureworks, CEO at Absolute Software, chief operating officer, Asia-Pacific and Japan for then-EMC, and as a vice president for RSA.
Haydon succeeds Jeff Brown, who joined the company as CEO in September 2019 and worked to boost mind share in the United States around the company’s flagship SD-WAN offering. Brown at the time filled the shoes of former CEO and founding partner of Open Systems, Martin Bosshardt.
Anexinet, a Blue Bell, Pa.-based channel partner of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Dell, named Brian Glahn as its new CEO as part of a leadership reorganization. Todd Pittman, Glahn’s predecessor, is now chief operating officer.
“The appointment of Brian is not a change in direction, rather a continuation of our momentum,” Anexinet Chief Marketing Officer Suzanne Lentz said in an email to CRN. “We have exciting M&A and growth initiatives this year. In order to successfully achieve them, it was decided that we need both a CEO and a COO to achieve our goals. The best alignment of skills for each position found Brian ideally suited for CEO and Todd Pittman’s skills more in tune with COO responsibilities.”
Before Anexinet, Glahn was CEO at IT firm CXtec and previously at Atlantix Global Systems, acquired by CXtec in 2017. Mill Point Capital, a private equity firm that owns Anexinet, sold Atlantix to CXtec. Pittman joined Anexinet in 2015 as chief financial officer and became CEO in January 2019, according to his LinkedIn account.
The Southborough, Mass.-based company, No. 38 on the 2020 CRN Solution Provider 500, said Canekeratne, 55, will exit both the chairman and CEO roles by June 30, less than 10 months after Virtusa was acquired by Baring Private Equity Asia for $2 billion. Virtusa’s board of directors has initiated the search for a new CEO and expects to finalize its selection in the coming weeks, the company said.
Canekeratne founded Virtusa at the start of 1996, has served as the company’s chairman since its inception, and held the CEO role from 1996 to 1997 and again from 2000 until the present. He took Virtusa public in 2007 and agreed in 2015 to the $270 million purchase of up to 75 percent of 7,650-employee Indian Banking Giant Polaris.
BlueAlly appointed Sovereign Systems veteran George Barkley as its new CEO, taking over from Eric Reisberg, who moved to the role of chief revenue officer, according to their LinkedIn profiles.
Barkley had spent 12 years as a managing partner at Sovereign Systems, according to LinkedIn. Prior to that, he worked in sales at EMC and IBM.
Reisberg was BlueAlly’s CEO for two years. Prior to that, he had spent more than five years as the company’s president, according to LinkedIn.
French solutions provider Atos appointed Avanade and IBM veteran Dave Seybold, replacing former CEO Bryan Ireton, who took the role last June 1 after serving as Atos’ senior vice president in charge of infrastructure and data management for North America.
Seybold formerly was North American president of Avanade, a Seattle-based joint venture with Microsoft, for just under four years ending in April. In that role, he increased revenue by 36 percent from 2018 to 2020 by emphasizing experience-led consulting services after a 2017 revenue drop, according to his bio on Atos’ website.
Seybold previously served as Avanade’s chief operating officer for two years. He was a 25-year veteran of IBM, where his last position was global leader of software and cloud solutions for IBM Global Business Services, the company’s professional services arm.
Lenovo hired veteran AMD executive Vladimir Rozanovich to become president of the company’s North America business and senior vice president for the company’s new International Sales Organization.
Rozanovich comes to Lenovo after a 24-year tenure at AMD, most recently serving as corporate vice president for mega data center and cloud sales at the chipmaker. Prior to his role focused on data center at AMD, Rozanovich held positions that also included responsibilities involving AMD’s PC chip business, according to his LinkedIn profile. Those roles included corporate vice president for the Americas region and corporate vice president for the HP global account at AMD.
The hire comes on the heels of the April 1 reorganization at Lenovo that saw Matthew Zielinski, formerly the president of Lenovo’s Intelligent Devices Group in North America, promoted to a global executive role. Zielinski is now president of the new International Sales Organization at Lenovo.
VMware COO Sanjay Poonen, the highly respected seven-year company veteran who oversaw all of VMware’s sales and customer operations, is leaving the multicloud software powerhouse after being passed over as CEO.
Poonen, a software superstar in his own right who built the company’s end-user compute organization into a $1 billion business, said in a tweet that he would share more on his “next adventure” in the next few weeks and month.
Poonen joined VMware in 2013. Prior to that, he spent more than seven years at SAP, where he was most recently president and corporate officer of platform, applications and industries.
Marty Bauerlein, a 13-year Tech Data veteran, left the company, which prompted a reshuffling of the executive deck. He had served as senior vice president of North American sales for over three years, and prior to that led U.S. sales.
Taking over Bauerlein’s role is Sammy Kinlaw, who joined Tech Data in October as senior vice president of endpoint solutions. Kinlaw previously served in channel and sales roles in Lexmark, Lenovo, and IBM. Filling in for Kinlaw is Kevin Kennedy, who joined Tech Data in 2017 and was until now the company’s senior vice president of advanced solutions.
Finally, Stacy Nethercoat is taking over as senior vice president of advanced solutions as Kennedy moves to his new endpoint focus. Nethercoat, a nearly-22-year Tech Data veteran, had most recently served as vice president of Americas cloud computing for the distributor.
Splunk hired Shawn Bice, who currently manages Amazon Web Services’ lineup of database products, to the newly created position of president of products and technology.
Bice will report to CEO Doug Merritt and will oversee all Splunk technical divisions including product, engineering, design and architecture operations, as well as the CIO, CTO and chief information security officer functions at the company. Bice’s appointment, effective June 1, comes less than a month after former CTO Tim Tully left Splunk to join venture capital firm Menlo Ventures as a partner, overseeing that firm’s Menlo XV fund for early-stage startups.
Bice joined Splunk from AWS, where he had worked for five years overseeing the cloud giant’s portfolio of database products including Amazon Relational Database Service, Amazon Aurora, Amazon DynamoDB and Amazon DocumentDB. Before joining AWS in 2016, he worked at Microsoft for 17 years in various leadership roles, including managing the company’s SQL Server database product and Azure cloud data services.
Amazon Web Services appointed Intel veteran Rachel Mushahwar as its new Americas partner sales leader for the cloud provider’s commercial sales team.
As the new America channel chief, Mushahwar replaced Darci Kleindl, who has taken another channel position at AWS, according to a person familiar with the personnel changes. Both Mushahwar and Kleindl report to Greg Pearson, vice president of worldwide commercial sales at AWS.
Mushahwar previously worked at Intel for more than six years, most recently as vice president and general manager of U.S. sales enterprise, government and next-wave cloud providers, according to her LinkedIn page. Prior to her time at Intel, she worked in IT leadership roles at PetSmart for nine years.
Cisco Systems brought on former Forescout Technologies executive Neville Letzerich as its new vice president and chief marketing officer of its security division.
Letzerich comes to Cisco having served as CMO for five other technology companies. He most recently served as CMO for Forescout Technologies for more than a year and left the company in February following a string of executive departures for the security vendor. He’s also sat in the CMO seat for encryption specialist Virtru, software company HotSchedules, cybersecurity provider Forcepoint, and software company Bazaarvoice. The marketing executive also served as CMO for Duo Security in 2018, prior to Cisco's acquisition of the company for $2.35 billion.
“We are expanding our world-class marketing organization to continue to accelerate Cisco Security’s growth. We are happy to welcome Letzerich as the vice president of security marketing. [Letzerich] is a results-oriented executive with more than 20 years of leadership experience and significant expertise in cybersecurity and software as a service (SaaS),” Cisco told CRN.
HP Inc. announced three executive appointments: Greg Baxter as chief transformation officer, Didier Deltort as president of personalization and 3D printing, and Kristen Ludgate as chief people officer.
Baxter was most recently chief digital officer at MetLife, and he took over from Marie Myers, who moved into the role of CFO earlier this year. Deltort previously was president of the Europe, Middle East and Africa business for Zimmer Biomet.
Ludgate was most recently chief human resources officer at 3M, where she worked for 17 years.
Cisco Systems promoted Luxy Thuraisingam to its new head of global partner marketing, the tech giant told CRN exclusively.
Thuraisingam is replacing Boon Lai, who served as vice president of global partner marketing for Cisco for more than two years. Lai joined Google in January as senior director of product marketing, Google workspace communications. In her new role, Thuraisingam will report to Michelle Chiantera, vice president of Americas growth marketing and global partner segments for Cisco.
Thuraisingam started at Cisco in 2019 as vice president, Americas industry and Canada growth marketing. In her last role, she led a marketing organization that included supporting Cisco’s partners. Thuraisingam has been instrumental in transforming the Canada marketing culture, earned the trust of sales stakeholders and partners, and delivered exceptional business results, according to Chiantera in a blog post on the promotion.
VMware’s worldwide software-defined networking, security and automation leader, Ravi Kagalavadi, left the company after a 17-year tenure. His departure came just days after VMware named Raghu Raghuram the company’s new CEO following a four-month CEO search.
VMware’s longtime network virtualization and data center engineering leader Kagalavadi—who last year became vice president of worldwide networking, security and automation solutions engineering—announced his departure from VMware on LinkedIn. His new job is senior vice president of worldwide sales engineering at Alteryx.
Kagalavadi first joined VMware in 2003 as a principal engineer for global accounts. He worked his way up the ladder to become director of systems engineers in 2014, driving virtualization across global and enterprise accounts. Other top executive roles during his tenure include vice president of the Americas software-defined data center solutions engineering. Since August 2020, Kagalavadi had been vice president of worldwide networking, security and automation solutions engineering.
Microsoft confirmed role changes for two of its top executives, Judson Althoff and Jean-Philippe Courtois, with Althoff now set to head up “a unified global commercial organization focused on empowering customers and partners.”
The global commercial organization will bring together Microsoft’s global sales and marketing organization, previously run by Courtois, and the company’s worldwide commercial business, previously run by Althoff. Althoff, who has been serving as executive vice president of Microsoft’s worldwide commercial business, will hold the title of executive vice president and chief commercial officer. Althoff joined Microsoft in 2013. He previously served as senior vice president of worldwide alliance and channels and embedded sales at Oracle.
Courtois will take on a new role “engaging more directly in cloud and AI technology, leading our national transformation partnerships around the globe, providing continued leadership to members of our global team, and in the pursuit of philanthropic interests aligned with both the company, and his personal interests,” Microsoft said. Courtois has worked at Microsoft for 37 years.
Signal AI appointed Hanna Lindén as its chief people officer.
Lindén joined Signal AI in 2018 as vice president of people. Prior to that, she served as director of human resources for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Ooyala; vice president of talents and human resources at Videoplaza; and senior consultant at The Up Group.
“Hanna has contributed hugely through our rapid growth at Signal AI, not only in terms of building the People team but more broadly to the business strategy and culture,” David Benigson, CEO and founder of Signal AI, said in a statement. “She has been a valuable and trusted member of the leadership team, and we very much look forward to this next chapter of growth and evolution of the business with Hanna as our Chief People Officer.”
MSP-focused technology developer N-able hired cybersecurity industry veteran Dave MacKinnon to be its new chief security officer, as the company nears its spinout from parent company SolarWinds.
He previously spent 20 years leading a variety of global security teams, most recently as senior director for security operations and response at AT&T/WarnerMedia. Prior to that, he held security leadership roles at Turner Broadcasting System, PhishMe and KPMG.
Durham, N.C.-based N-able, which was formerly known as SolarWinds MSP, continued to change up its executive team ahead of the spinout, which is expected sometime during the second quarter.
After two years serving as Citrix channel chief, Bronwyn Hastings landed a new job at Google Cloud as head of technology ecosystem.
Hastings had been serving as Citrix’s senior vice president of worldwide channel sales and ecosystem. Mark Palomba, chief operating officer of sales and services, will handle her duties while Citrix searches for a permanent replacement.
A native of Australia, Hastings joined Citrix in 2019 after stints as a channel leader at SAP and Oracle. Palomba, her interim successor, joined Citrix a year ago. Before that, he served as senior vice president and managing director of the financial services market unit of SAP.
Kelly, who will become part of the North America leadership team, most recently led sales at Dell for the U.S. Department of Defense and global intelligence community customers. He first joined Dell in 1999 as an account manager and was promoted in 2005 to director of sales for the U.S. Army, according his LinkedIn profile. He then left Dell in 2013 for two short stints: a district sale manager for Symantec, followed by a larger role at software behemoth Microsoft as senior director for U.S. Army.
“Our customers look to us for the technology and expertise they need to transform and protect their data, and we are committed to their success,” said Kelly, a 20-year Dell veteran who has extensive experience in federal technology sales.
Intel saw multiple executive departures, including Frank Soqui, who is retiring after serving as vice president and general manager of the Desktop, Workstation and Channel Group, according to Intel executive Gregory Bryant. Soqui had been at Intel for nearly 40 years, according to his LinkedIn profile.
May also saw the departure of Ahmad Zaidi, vice president and general manager of Intel’s Chipsets and IP Technologies Group, who had been with the company for 34 years, according to his LinkedIn profile. He now works at Nvidia as a vice president of engineering.
Another executive who departed in May was Shelagh Glaser, who worked at Intel for 29 years and was most recently CFO and COO of the Data Platforms Group, according to her LinkedIn profile. She left the company to join Zendesk as CFO.
Former Hewlett Packard Enterprise GreenLake North America Vice President and General Manager David Twohy, one of the original driving forces behind the HPE GreenLake pay-per-use model, was appointed senior vice president, strategic accounts, for hybrid IT solution provider Ensono.
Twohy, a highly respected 19-year HPE services veteran who evangelized the pay-per-use model as far back as 2012, is now overseeing the top 25 strategic accounts in North America for Ensono, which was acquired by global investment firm KKR & Co. just last month.
“It’s my dream job,” said Twohy, noting the new post allows him to leverage his expertise in deploying a wide range of services to help customers accelerate their digital transformation. “This is an opportunity to help our customers transform their entire IT environment from mainframe to cloud and everything in between. Ensono is very uniquely positioned to deliver all those services end to end. I am super excited and energized by this new role.”
Bishop Fox, a private offensive security testing firm, made four executive appointments: MJ Porcello as vice president of team people, Tony Needler as associate vice president of consulting managed services, Julie Albright as CMO, and Patty Wright as senior vice president and general manager of consulting.
Porcello was most recently vice president of people and talent at BitSight. She has also served as vice president of human resources at Siemens-owned Mendix and Netscout-owned Arbor Networks. Needler was previously director of IT operations at Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Companies, and, prior to that, he worked in IT infrastructure management roles at Enstar Group and Freeport-McMoRan.
Albright was most recently senior vice president of global marketing at Resolve Systems. She also ran her own marketing consultancy and worked with dozens of growth-stage companies, including AlienVault, Asana and Syncsort. Wright was previously vice president and general manager of customer experience at Cisco, where she worked for more than six years.
Algolia, an API software provider for application developers, appointed former Domino Data Lab executive Jason McClelland as CMO.
McClelland was most recently CMO at Domino Data Lab, a provider of ML Ops software. Prior to that, he was CMO of Heroku, an application development platform-as-a-service provider that was acquired by SalesForce. He also worked in sales and ecommerce at Adobe for nearly nine years.
“This is an exciting time to be here at Algolia, and Jason’s outstanding experience in helping both product-led growth and enterprise SaaS companies scale is a perfect fit for us,” said Bernadette Nixon, CEO of Algolia in a statement. “Jason inherently understands the developer, having started his career as one, and that’s important as it’s a key persona for us. And Jason’s passion not only for marketing, but leadership excellence and culture make him an exciting addition to our executive team.”
Lightbit Labs, a provider of NVMe over TCP software-defined storage solutions, appointed former WekaIO executive Carol Platz as vice president of marketing.
Platz was most recently senior director of global corporate marketing at WekaIO, where she worked for more than five years. Prior to that, she was director of corporation demand generation and brand marketing at Western Digital and global director of marketing at Cloudian.
“Carol will be an invaluable resource for Lightbits Labs, bringing unique, highly specialized insight into software-defined cloud storage technologies and the marketing strategies needed to ensure business success,” said Kam Eshghi, chief strategy officer at Lightbits Labs, in a statement. “With her leadership, Lightbits Labs is well positioned to grow our brand and product awareness as customers embrace the value, efficiency and scalability of NVMe/TCP-based, cloud-native storage.”
Beyond Identity, a provider of password-less identity management software, appointed Carbon Black veteran Tony Shadrake as vice president of the Europe, Middle East and Africa regions.
Shadrake was most recently a regional sales director at VMware, which he joined through the company’s acquisition of Carbon Black. He had worked with major accounts as a director in Europe while at Carbon Black, where he worked for nine years prior to the VMware acquisition.
“The pedigree of the founders is fantastic and I’m excited to be a part of this growing business,” Shadrake said in a statement. “There is so much potential in the EMEA markets for a modern authentication solution that solves a real problem and takes away the risk and pain of passwords, so I’m looking forward to continuing the company’s success as we build out these new regions.”
Data platform software provider Confluent appointed former Salesforce executive Larry Shurtz as its chief revenue officer. The company also appointed Alyssa Henry, general manager and seller lead at Square, to its board of directors.
Shurtz was most recently executive vice president of enterprise North America at Salesforce. Prior to that, he led the company’s Financial Services and Healthcare and Life Sciences organizations. He also served as an executive at Oracle leading the consumer-packaged goods and aerospace teams.
“To compete and thrive in the modern world, businesses need a data platform that can react, respond, and adapt at the speed and agility of its customers—in real time,” said Jay Kreps, co-founder and CEO of Confluent in a statement. “With Alyssa and Larry’s unique go-to-market and product expertise, we can help more companies quickly adapt to this world by connecting their constantly flowing data into a unifying central nervous system that powers their business.”
Aptos, a provider of retail technology solutions, made three executive appointments: David Bertolino as CFO, Terry Geraghty as chief human resources officer and Jeremy Grunzweig in the newly created role as Americas general manager.
Bertolino was most recently CFO at N3, a company that was acquired by Accenture. Prior to that, he was in a variety of financial leadership roles at Verint Systems. Geraghty had joined Aptos in December as interim chief human resources officer, and before that, he had the same title at Manhattan Associates. Grunzweig was most recently a senior vice president at Global Payments. Before that, he was COO for the North America retail business unit at MICROS Systems.
“At a time when many of our competitors are scaling back resources, Aptos is doubling down on its mission to deliver world-class software and services that can help retailers digitally transform their enterprises and thrive,” Aptos CEO Pete Sinisgalli said in a statement. “I am confident that David, Terry and Jeremy as well as our recently announced Chief Product Officer Karthik Mani will add to our growth trajectory as we continue to make meaningful investments that elevate customer satisfaction and success.”