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Channel Chief Musical Chairs: Oracle, SAP, VMware See Big Changes

New Year, new job. That familiar refrain seems to have extra meaning at the start of 2019 — as multiple current and former channel chiefs make high-profile career moves. The executive moves could influence partner programs at Oracle, SAP, SonicWall and VMware, just to name a few.

What’s the common thread for all of these executives on the go? Most (though not all) of the companies involved are striving to trasform from traditional software sales to subscription services. In many cases, those software company transformations create a clear need for MSP and MSSP partners. Also of not: None of the high-profile executives, at least so far, have jumped to pure play cloud (IaaS, SaaS or PaaS) companies.

Here’s a sampling of the career changers:


SAP Departure: Rodolpho Cardenuto, formerly president of SAP’s Global Partner Operations team, has left the software giant, according to CRN. The skinny: Cardenuto’s successor has yet to be named. Still, SAP has a deep bench of channel leaders and the company’s shift to recurring revenue-centric partner engagements continues to accelerate. SAP held a successful SME (small and midsize enterprise) partner briefing in Q4 in New York.


Bill Swales

Bill Swales

From Oracle to VMware: Oracle Channel Veteran Bill Swales has jumped to VMware, according to his LunkedIn profile. The skinny: Oracle has successfully migrated thousands of partners to its cloud products and services. But the overall Oracle cloud business isn’t growing nearly as quickly as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services. VMware, generally speaking, is a faster-growth software company than Oracle — without many of the legacy burdens that Oracle is still navigating. But we’re curious to see exactly what role Swales is taking on.



Frank Rauch

From VMware to Check Point: Channel veteran Frank Rauch has jumped from VMware to Check Point, CRN reports. The skinny: Rauch is well-known for building partner loyalty at VMware, HP and Compaq. Check Point Software Technologies, meanwhile, is gearing up for the company’s annual CPX360 conference in Las Vegas. Key Check Point partners like Compuquip are now making the move from reselling and consulting into managed security services. Rauch will need to help partners accelerate those moves into MSP and MSSP models.


Sue Barsamian

Into the Symantec Boardroom: Former HP Enterprise Senior VP Sue Barsamian has surfaced on Symantec’s board of directors. The skinny: Barsamian exited Micro Focus about a year after that company acquired some HPE assets. Symantec, meanwhile, is fortunate to have her in their boardroom. The security software developer is seeking to restore credibility on Wall Street after stumbling a bit in 2018. An audit committee turned up minor issues with the company’s finances, but the process spooked investors and raised a fresh round of questions about Symantec’s overall business. Barsamian was part of a strong leadership team at HPE — a welcome addition for SYMC shareholders and partners who want to know that Symantec is on the right path forward.


Steve Pataky

Bob VanKirk

SonicWall – A Retirement, Promotions and Hires: SonicWall Senior VP of Strategic Sales Robert VanKirk is stepping up into the chief revenue officer (CRO) position, succeeding Steve Pataky — who is retiring. The skinny: The CRO transition is part of a larger SonicWall strategy to expand its sales and marketing resources for partners. Multiple hires and promotions have been announced publicly and internally in recent days. The company, spun off from Dell Technologies in 2016, has successfully extended beyond firewalls to offer a cybersecurity platform for MSPs and MSSPs.



Among the additional channel executives making career jumps:

  • Druva to Mesophere: Darron Makrokanis, formerly vice president of federal sales and field operations at Druva, has joined Mesosphere as VP of the cloud technology firm’s public sector business, ExecutiveBiz reports.
  • Infrascale to Bedrock Analytics: Chris Sterbenc jumps from data protection specialist Infrascale to Bedrock Analytics as senior VP of sales.
  • IT Glue to Cytracom: IT Glue veteran Dave Goldie has joined Cytracom as VP of channel.  He essentially is the company’s North American channel chief. Goldie’s career move comes after Kaseya recently disclosed that it owns IT Glue.
  • Tech Data to Synnex: Michael Urban is jumping to Synnex as president of Worldwide Technology Solutions Distribution, effective February 2019. He will report to Synnex President and CEO Dennis Polk.

Whom did we miss — at least for the month of January 2019? Email me the details: Joe@AfterNines.com.

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