30 Notable IT Executive Moves: August 2017

Start It Off

Leadership in the IT industry got shaken up in August, with a huge number of executive comings and goings during the month. The busy August included changes in top sales and channel roles at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Dell Technologies, VMware, Intel, Samsung and Brocade. Meanwhile, companies that saw changes at the president or CEO level included Lenovo North America, Pure Storage, Avaya and Infosys.

In the following slides, check out our picks for the 30 most significant executive moves affecting the channel in August.

Greg Davis

Dell Technologies appointed Greg Davis, an executive credited with building Dell's channel business, as its president of global client solution sales. The 15-year Dell veteran takes the role after spending about two years as senior vice president for go-to-market integration, leading up to and immediately following Dell's $58 billion acquisition of EMC. Davis is known in the channel for his time as vice president and general manager of global commercial channels. He held that position between 2007 and 2013 and was responsible for developing and driving Dell's first channel program.

In a related move, Dell said it has promoted Phil Bryant to senior vice president of global consumer and small business sales. The moves are intended to separate leadership of Dell Technologies' commercial and consumer PC businesses. Davis and Bryant are splitting responsibilities once held by David Schmoock, who was promoted earlier this year to president of North America commercial sales.

Steve Lalla

In other moves at Dell Technologies, CRN learned in August that Dell Senior Vice President Steve Lalla—the top executive overseeing the company's Dell Wyse thin-client business—is leaving the organization. Dell confirmed that Lalla is departing to "pursue other opportunities" and reaffirmed its commitment to the thin client channel effort, via a spokesman. Lalla has been leading the thin-client charge at Dell for the past four years.

Jay Parker, formerly president of Dell EMC global compute and networking sales, has been handpicked by Dell Technologies Vice Chairman Jeff Clarke to oversee the Dell cloud client computing solutions group in the wake of Lalla's departure. Parker will report to Clarke.

Brandon Sweeney

VMware shuffled its executive deck in August, appointing 14-year company veteran Brandon Sweeney to its top channel post and moving Ross Brown from that position into a role focused on cloud, IoT and other emerging technologies. Sweeney, who is credited with building VMware's channel, will serve as senior vice president of worldwide partners and alliances. His team will oversee VMware's global relationships with solution providers, distributors, telecom companies and OEMs. That will be on top of Sweeney's current responsibilities overseeing VMware's worldwide partner organization.

For Brown, the new role will involve leading VMware's business with systems integrators, systems outsourcers, ISVs and technology vendor partners. Brown has been at VMware for about two years as worldwide partners and alliances vice president.

Peter Ryan

Hewlett Packard Enterprise disclosed that Peter Ryan has stepped down from his role as the company's chief sales officer as of Sept. 1. Ryan is departing to move back to the U.K. in order to spend more time with his family, HPE President Antonio Neri said in a memo to employees.

Ryan joined HPE predecessor Hewlett-Packard in 2011 as senior vice president and general manager for enterprise servers, storage and networking in EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), according to his LinkedIn profile. After rising through the ranks in HP's EMEA operations, he was promoted in July 2016 to serve as chief sales officer for all of HPE.

Neri said he will take over as interim head of sales, but that he expects to have a new global sales leader in place before the start of HPE's next fiscal year. HPE's current fiscal year ends Oct. 31.

Keegan Riley

Elsewhere at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, the company has named Nimble's former sales chief, Keegan Riley, as vice president and general manager of the North America storage business. HPE acquired flash storage vendor Nimble this past spring for $1 billion, and the company pledged to run all of Nimble's sales through partners.

Riley had served as vice president of Americas sales for Nimble since 2012. Before that, he spent four years as a district manager for enterprise accounts at HP's storage division.

Emilio Ghilardi

After less than 18 months in the job, Emilio Ghilardi has stepped down as Lenovo's North America president. A statement from Lenovo did not provide a reason for Ghilardi's sudden departure. Christian Teismann, who had been serving as senior vice president and general manager of Lenovo's worldwide Enterprise Business Segment, has taken over Ghilardi's duties "in the interim," the statement said.

Ghilardi joined Lenovo in July 2015 as vice president and chief operating officer of Lenovo North America. He was promoted to president for North America in April 2016. Ghilardi initially joined the company from Hewlett Packard, where he worked for more than three years.

Charles Giancarlo

Pure Storage CEO Scott Dietzen stepped down in August and has been replaced by tech industry veteran Charles Giancarlo. Dietzen said in a statement that Pure Storage "embarked on a global search a few months ago to identify the best candidates" to succeed him.

Giancarlo previously spent nearly 15 years at Cisco, between 1993 and 2008, serving as executive vice president and leading numerous divisions at the company during his tenure, according to his LinkedIn profile. Giancarlo later served as a managing director at Silver Lake Partners for six years.

Dietzen, meanwhile, has been appointed chairman of the board at Pure Storage.

Vishal Sikka

Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka resigned unexpectedly in August, penning a resignation letter that alludes to a long-running feud with Narayana Murthy, the co-founder of the systems integrator. Sikka was replaced on an interim basis by Chief Operating Officer Pravin Rao, and the company expects to hire a permanent CEO by March 2018.

Sikka had joined Infosys three years ago after serving as SAP's CTO.

Also in connection with the departure of Sikka, Infosys co-founder and former CEO Nandan Nilekani has been named chairman of the board. Nilekani had served as CEO of Infosys from 2002 to 2007.

Michelle Johnston Holthaus

Intel said that Michelle Johnston Holthaus will take the channel gauntlet from Greg Pearson as the new head of the sales and marketing group, effective Sept. 6. Holthaus has worked at Intel since 2003 in several channel-related positions, most recently as the company's vice president and general manager of sales and marketing for the Client Computing Group.

Pearson has been the senior vice president and general manager of Intel's sales and marketing group since 2013. He will "remain on the company's management committee and is expected to take on a new role with the company, which will be announced at a later date," according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing from Intel.

Kevin Gilroy

The head of Samsung's B2B organization, Kevin Gilroy, has stepped down amid a broad-scale effort that he spearheaded to ramp up Samsung's channel efforts. Gilroy had spent two years at Samsung as executive vice president and general manager of the commercial division. He joined the company from SAP, and had set about re-inventing Samsung's channel effort on a variety of fronts.

Gilroy disclosed the departure in a post on LinkedIn, and described the move as "retiring from Samsung." He departed as of Sept. 1 with plans to focus on part-time consulting and board advising, he said in the post.

In a statement to CRN, Samsung said that Gilroy "has requested to move from full time employment and to begin his next career in [part-time] consultancy to the IT sector." Gilroy will serve as consultant to Samsung through the end of the year, according to the statement.

Sandra Glaser Cheek

The channel chief at Brocade Communications, Sandra Glaser Cheek, departed in August and landed a top channel role at Ciena. Glaser Cheek, a 20-year channel veteran, is now vice president of global partners and alliances at Ciena.

Glaser Cheek was appointed vice president of worldwide channels for Brocade in January. She previously had served as vice president of worldwide channels at Ruckus Wireless before it was acquired by Brocade last year. Prior to Ruckus, Cheek held top channel executive positions at Extreme Networks, VMware and Adobe Systems.

Brocade veteran Raelyn Kritzer, formerly the company's senior director for worldwide partner programs and enablement, has succeeded Glaser Cheek.

Glaser Cheek's departure from Brocade-Ruckus has come as the company is set to be bought by Broadcom this fall; Broadcom plans to then sell Ruckus to Arris International immediately.

Kevin Kennedy

Avaya CEO Kevin Kennedy is stepping down after eight years of running the unified communications specialist as the company prepares to exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this fall. Succeeding Kennedy is Avaya's chief operating officer and global sales leader, Jim Chirico, who has been with Avaya since 2008.

Chirico has held a variety of executive sales positions since joining Avaya. Previously, he was executive vice president of global operations development and manufacturing at Seagate Technology.

Avaya said Kennedy is retiring and will officially step down as CEO and board member on Oct. 1. He will remain an adviser to the company.

Christopher Hylen

Data and application security company Imperva named former Citrix Systems executive Christopher Hylen as president and CEO, effective Aug. 15. Hylen has replaced Anthony Bettencourt, who had been president and CEO since August 2014. Bettencourt remains with Imperva as vice president of customer engagement, a new role for the company, while also retaining his role as chairman of the board of directors.

Hylen has also been named to the Imperva board. He comes to Imperva from Citrix, where he most recently served as CEO of Citrix GetGo. Prior to joining Citrix in 2013, Hylen served as senior vice president and general manager of Intuit Payment Solutions.

Chris Scanlan

Optiv Security's head of sales for North America, Chris Scanlan, departed in August. In a LinkedIn post, Scanlan, who had served as senior vice president of Americas sales, said he decided to step down after 13 years to "take some needed time off and recharge the batteries." He said he will focus on running his American Youth Soccer Organization.

Scanlan came to Optiv from the Accuvant side of the Accuvant-Fishnet Security merger in 2015. He had been at Accuvant since 2005 and held a variety of sales leadership roles in that time.

Optiv Security told CRN that Dave Castignola, who joined the company in April from RSA to lead worldwide sales, will continue leading its sales organization going forward.

Patrick Piwowarczyk

The senior director of global market engagement and enablement at Cisco Systems, Patrick Piwowarczyk, has departed to join competitor Polycom. Piwowarczyk is now head of channel development in the Americas for Polycom.

At Cisco, Piwowarczyk was focused on driving revenue growth, profitability, operational effectiveness and the customer and partner experience at Cisco. He was also senior director of Cisco's go-to-market business capabilities and global business sales operations for nearly four years.

Over his 20-year career, he has held top U.S. channel sales roles for networking vendors such as D-Link and 3Com.

Bill Lipsin

NetApp's vice president of global channels, Bill Lipsin, departed the company in August. NetApp did not provide a reason for Lipsin's departure. The company said it will conduct a search for a replacement, and said that the channel team will report to Rick Hegberg, vice president of OEM and alliances at NetApp, in the meantime.

Lipsin had served in the position since May 2015. Prior to joining NetApp, he had held channel roles at companies including Brocade, Arbor Networks and CA Technologies.

Tom Evans

Palo Alto Networks in August appointed Tom Evans, a veteran of security and channel sales, to serve as director of North America public cloud partners. Evans most recently was vice president of global channels and business development for K2. Prior to that, he held channel chief positions at ForeScout Technologies and F5 Networks.

Palo Alto Networks in August also promoted Lee Klarich, executive vice president of product management, to the role of chief product officer. Klarich initially joined the company in 2006.

John Spiliotis

In August, Palo Alto Networks also saw two executive retirements. John Spiliotis, senior vice president of Americas sales, is retiring and will be replaced by Patrick Blair, who comes to the company from serving as an executive vice president at Salesforce.com. Spiliotis has been with Palo Alto Networks since April 2013, when he joined the telecom vendor from Avaya.

Also retiring from Palo Alto Networks is chief financial officer Steffan Tomlinson, who has been with the company since 2012. Tomlinson will remain in the position until a successor is found, the company said.

Michael Canavan

Kaspersky Lab Senior Vice President of B2B Sales Michael Canavan has departed to take a new role leading professional services at Globalscape. Canavan had joined Kaspersky in 2010, first leading the company's pre-sales systems engineering for North America and, more recently, leading its B2B sales team in the region. His responsibilities had included overseeing the company's channel program and partners.

Alexander Moiseev, chief sales officer at Kaspersky, and Angelo Gentile, executive vice president, finance and operations, North America are leading B2B sales in the region while Kaspersky identifies a replacement.

Thomas Praschak

SMB managed services provider CompassMSP announced that Thomas Praschak, formerly the top executive of Strategic Products & Services, has been appointed as president and CEO.

Praschak had previously served as president and CEO at Strategic Products & Services for most of 2016, according to his LinkedIn profile. Earlier, he had served as chief operating officer of the company for two years, and before that held positions at companies including Dimension Data and DecisionOne.

Brian Robins

Endpoint security company Cylance has hired Brian Robins, formerly the chief financial officer at AlienVault, as its CFO.

Other CFO roles that Robins has held in the past included at CSC, Verisign and NeuStar -- the latter of which completed an IPO while he was there.

Robins replaces founding Cylance CFO Jeffrey Ishmael, who left the company last November.

Rob Potter

Security platform provider Verodin said it has hired former Symantec executive Rob Potter as its first chief revenue officer. Potter had left Symantec, where he served as vice president for public sector and health care, in early July during that company's leadership transition. Prior to Symantec, Potter held executive positions at companies including RSA, where he was vice president for federal sales.

Thomas Hansen

Carbon Black has named former Dropbox and Microsoft executive Thomas Hansen as its first chief revenue officer. In the role, Hansen will be responsible for overseeing sales, customer success teams, customer service and support, professional services, and sales engineering.

Hansen has come to Carbon Black with extensive experience in global markets, Software-as-a-Service companies, and the channel. He most recently served as global vice president of revenue at Dropbox, a position he held since August 2015. Before that, Hansen spent 14 years at Microsoft, most recently as worldwide vice president of SMB.

John Zanni

Data protection technologies firm Acronis said that its chief marketing officer, John Zanni, has been promoted to serve as president. Zanni joined Acronis in 2014 as senior vice president of cloud and hosting sales, and before that held positions with Parallels and Microsoft.

Gaidar Magdanurov, Acronis' vice president and general manager of consumer and small business, will succeed Zanni as CMO.

Parag Patel

Applications and data management firm Reltio has named former VMware executive Parag Patel to a newly created role, executive vice president of worldwide customer operations. Patel previously spent 13 years in various executive positions at VMware, most recently as vice president of worldwide sales for hyper-converged software. Before VMware, Patel held sales leadership positions at companies including Bowstreet Software.

Tim Hebert

Longtime Atrion executive Tim Hebert has launched an application development and systems integration practice, Trilix, aimed at serving SMBs.

The new business follows Hebert's 27-year run at Atrion, which Hebert helped grow from two people to 250 employees. Atrion was acquired by Carousel Industries in October 2016.

Hebert will continue serving as chief client officer at Carousel, where's he's responsible for maintaining corporate culture and client experience.

Ashish Gupta

Crowdsourced security testing firm Bugcrowd in August appointed Ashish Gupta, formerly of Infoblox, as its CEO. He succeeds company founder Casey Ellis in the role, who transitions to serve as chairman of the board and chief technology officer at Bugcrowd.

Gupta was most recently the chief marketing officer and executive vice president at Infoblox. Prior to that, he worked for companies including Microsoft and Vidyo.

Bina Chaurasia

Tanium in August hired Bina Chaurasia, formerly of Ericsson, to serve as chief people officer. The role is a newly created position for Tanium, and involves leading the company's vision and strategy for its staff, the company said in a blog post. Most recently, Chaurasia had served as senior vice president and chief human resources officer at Ericsson, a company she had initially joined in 2010. Earlier, she held positions at companies including Hewlett Packard and Sun Microsystems.

Ken Fabozzi

D&H Distributing announced the hiring of distribution veteran Ken Fabozzi to serve as senior director of VAR field sales, a role that involves supporting D&H's SMB resellers. Fabozzi has worked for three decades in reseller-related roles, according to D&H. Most recently, he spent six years at Jenne Inc. as vice president of U.S. sales. Before that, Fabozzi served as director of sales for data center at Ingram Micro, and spent nearly 17 years in total at Ingram Micro, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Michael Printz

Cloud-managed Wi-Fi vendor Mojo Networks in August named Michael Printz, formerly of Mimosa Networks, as its vice president of sales for North America. The appointment comes as Mojo Networks has doubled its channel and sales teams over the past year, the company said in a news release. Prior to Mimosa Networks, where Printz served as vice president of worldwide sales and support, he held positions at companies including DigitalPersona and LongBoard.

Ray Ramella

Cybersecurity services provider and consultancy Mosaic451 has hired Ray Ramella, formerly the chief prosecutor for the U.S. Marine Corps, as general manager. Ramella will head the company's legal, finance and human resources operations. A Marine Corps veteran, Ramella has more than 24 years of law experience, Mosaic451 said—including as a civil Law officer for the Marine Corps and later as its chief prosecutor.

Ken Hoge

Data virtualization software firm Actifio has brought aboard Ken Hoge, formerly of companies including Eaton, in a channel account manager role. Hoge has joined Actifio to grow its channel partner and service provider business in the Western region, according to a post on LinkedIn. His career previously included more than nine years in sales roles at Eaton, while Hoge had most recently held an enterprise account executive position for Turbonomic.