Citrix Channel Chief Leaves for Carbonite, Ex-SAP VP Named Interim Boss

His interim replacement has been with Citrix since April.

Jeffrey Schwartz

July 2, 2019

5 Min Read

Citrix channel chief Craig Stilwell has left the company to become chief revenue officer at data protection provider Carbonite. Stilwell’s departure from Citrix comes after nearly 20 years with the company.


Carbonite’s Craig Stilwell

The move appears to have caught Citrix off-guard, as the company was yet to communicate the news to partners as of Tuesday morning, a day after Carbonite announced appointing Stilwell to the CRO slot. A Citrix spokeswoman said the company will search both within the company and externally for an executive to replace Stilwell.

In the interim, Diane Fanelli will lead Citrix’s global channel sales organization, while maintaining her current VP of global systems integrators role. Fanelli is relatively new to Citrix, having joined the company in April. However, she’s not new to the channel, having worked for SAP for 25 years in various indirect go-to-market roles, most recently as senior VP and general manager of platform channels.

Citrix declined to make her available for comment; however, Kevin Gilroy, co-founder of Gilroy Associates, a consultancy that specializes in indirect sales and marketing, worked closely with Fanelli when he was SAP’s channel chief. Likewise, Gilroy worked closely with Citrix current executive VP and chief revenue officer Mark Ferrer.


Gilroy Associates’ Kevin Gilroy

“Diane Fanelli and I worked real closely together, and she knows channels really well, she’s the consummate professional,” Gilroy said. “Mark has the highest respect level for her, so she has influence inside Citrix. “She’s going to be a defender of the channel. And she’ll have a voice at the table based on her expertise and her extensive association with Mark.”

Paul Stansel, director of the national end-user computing practice at Citrix Platinum partner Presidio, said he wasn’t familiar with Fanelli. But Stansel indicated that he hopes Citrix will address channel conflict that exists between it and its partners. For example, at the recent Citrix Synergy conference in Atlanta back in May, the company announced Citrix Managed Desktops, a desktop as a service (DaaS) offering that will deliver Windows desktops and apps via Microsoft Azure and the forthcoming Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) service.

“Citrix is now becoming a Microsoft CSP, so if you are a Microsoft CSP partner and you sell Office 365, and Citrix is now offering a managed desktop and reselling Office 365, that is part of that — as a part of my business that’s now in competition with Citrix,” Stansel said during an interview at Synergy. “So, there’s a little hesitation, I’m not going to lie.”

With regard to Stilwell’s departure, Stansel said he looks forward to seeing what Citrix does.

“Craig has been a huge piece of the partner ecosystem for so many years and I know he will be missed,” Stansel said. “I do hope Citrix uses the opportunity to eliminate some of the competitive friction that seemed to be deliberately cultivated between their partner [Citrix Solution Advisor] CSA and [Citrix Service Provider] CSP teams. As a partner who is both, we sometimes get caught in the middle when we position one over the other.


Citrix’s Diane Fanelli

Bob Egan, chief research officer and founder of Sepharim Group, said Citrix needs to address such issues.

“The thing I hear most are twofold: pricing issues and getting the core training and strategic messages from the company embedded consistently in the channel,” Egan said.

During an interview at the most recent Citrix Synergy conference, Stilwell acknowledged the changes partners are going through, a year after revamping the program that shifted benefits and incentives from on-premises solutions to its new cloud and SaaS offerings, including its new “intelligent” Workspace Cloud app.

“Citrix is almost synonymous with app and desktop virtualization,” Stilwell had said. “And so, we need to …

… do a lot of marketing, we need to do a lot of enablement and, we need to do a lot of training.”

Among other things, partners need to become more comfortable selling to customers outside the IT organization, such as stakeholders in the lines of business.

Stilwell is on vacation and was unavailable for an interview, but said in response to an email from Channel Futures: “I will continue to look back fondly on my Citrix experience, but I’m really excited about this new opportunity at Carbonite. They have a fantastic leadership team and board of directors, as well as a very strong product portfolio.”

A spokeswoman at Carbonite said Stilwell will officially come on board next week. The chief revenue officer role is a newly created position at Carbonite, which has expanded its core backup and recovery lines with last year’s acquisition of Mozy from Dell Technologies. And in March it acquired endpoint security provider Webroot for $619 million. Stilwell will report to Carbonite president and CEO Mohamad Ali.

Forrester principal analyst Jay McBain said hiring Stilwell is a coup for Carbonite.

“Craig is regarded very highly by partners, colleagues and industry alliances over his [almost] 20-year journey at Citrix,” McBain said. “With over 10,000 partners in his previous role, Craig will bring much-needed channel religion into Carbonite and expand their aperture to global SI’s, ISVs, VADs, and other types of partner firms that can drive enterprise and SMB indirect growth for the firm.”

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About the Author(s)

Jeffrey Schwartz

Jeffrey Schwartz has covered the IT industry for nearly three decades, most recently as editor-in-chief of Redmond magazine and executive editor of Redmond Channel Partner. Prior to that, he held various editing and writing roles at CommunicationsWeek, InternetWeek and VARBusiness (now CRN) magazines, among other publications.

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