The VAR Guy

July 21, 2011

3 Min Read
Cisco Confirms Channel Changes Amid Layoffs

Amid layoffs at Cisco Systems Inc., the networking giant today confirmed multiple Worldwide Partner Organization changes. The moves are meant to streamline the organization and speed decision making, according to a blog post. Key leaders such as Keith Goodwin, Edison Peres and Wendy Bahr remain in place. And several familiar names — such as small business veteran Andrew Sage — are moving into new posts. Plus, Cisco has named a channel marketing leader to succeed Luanne Tierney, who left to join Juniper earlier this year. Here’s the update.

The blog post, authored by Senior VP Keith Goodwin, covers three key areas: Partner Led, Geographic Alignment and Partner Marketing. Goodwin mentions…

1) Partner Led: Our Partner organization will assume responsibility for building the global capabilities to support Partner-Led – one of two global go-to-market selling models. The Partner Led global sales model will increase Cisco’s reliance on partners to address the needs of customers across all market segments where Cisco will not have a high-touch sales presence.

Andrew Sage will take on the role of Vice President, Partner Led. A 12-year Cisco veteran, Andrew most recently spear-headed our Small Business Sales efforts and was instrumental in shaping our key strategies for the Partner-Led model.

2) Geographic Alignment: Rather than seven global theaters with seven leaders, we have simplified and created three geographic regions, each with one new partner leader.

  • Stanimira Koleva will head up the newly created APJC (Asia Pacific, Japan and Greater China) geography

  • Milo Schacher will lead EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa)

  • Jim Sherriff will be in charge of the Americas geography

3) Partner Marketing: Last and certainly not least, we’ve heard from partners that marketing is integral to your success and we want to ensure that you have the programs, tools and education you need to market to customers. Rest assured that we will continue offering programs like Partner Velocity, marketing toolkits and new innovative resources to help you increase your profitability. In fact, we are evolving partner marketing to better scale and support our Partner-Led model while growing our marketing investments in you, our Partners.

To continue innovating in our partner marketing efforts, Amanda Jobbins will lead Partner Marketing  as Vice President. The new Partner Marketing organization led by Amanda will now be  under the Cisco Global Marketing organization, and Amanda will report directly to Blair Christie, our Chief Marketing Officer. Amanda will also be an active member of my senior leadership team. I strongly believe this structure will allow us to simplify how you work with us, and most importantly, will ensure additional marketing investments in you, our Partners.

While we’re making some changes to our organizational structure, Edison Peres will continue to lead Worldwide Channels and Wendy Bahr will continue to lead our Global and Transformational Partner Organization.

Sources say some Cisco channel team members have also opted to retire or leave the company as part of the streamlining plan. One example: Karl Meulema, senior VP, Global Strategy and Operations, is retiring from Cisco, sources say. Bob Singleton is set to replace him, the sources add.

Reading Between the Lines

Sources say the Cisco channel team has played a key role in CEO John Chambers’ reorganization plan. The reason: Roughly 80 percent or more of Cisco’s revenues comes from partners.

Notes one source close to Cisco, “Expect simplified systems, a simplified Cisco and stronger partner-focused marketing going forward. But the fundamentals of the partner organization don’t change.”

The VAR Guy will be back later today with more insights about the Cisco channel changes.

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