Why Symantec and Julie Parrish Had to Part Ways
When The VAR Guy last month noticed Julie Parrish wasn’t scheduled to speak at Symantec Partner Engage, he started asking hard questions: Was Parrish — Symantec’s global channel chief — still with the company? Would she be at the event? At first, Symantec PR said all was well and Parrish would be present. But then the story changed dramatically.
Here’s the blow-by-blow:
- Sept. 29: The VAR Guy reports Julie Parrish is missing from the Symantec Partner Engage agenda.
- Sept. 29: Later that day, Symantec PR assures The VAR Guy that Parrish will attend the event, even though she isn’t scheduled to speak.
- Oct. 6: Anonymous tipsters post comments on TheVARguy.com, indicating that Parrish resigned Oct. 5.
- Oct. 10: Symantec says Parrish has resigned to pursue a new opportunity.
In the October 10 email to The VAR Guy, Symantec PR wrote:
I wanted to let you know that Julie Parrish announced yesterday afternoon to her internal team that she will be leaving Symantec, based on her personal career aspirations. We wanted to give Julie time to connect with all of her team members personally before reaching out to you.
The Global Channel Office will function as it has in the past to continue its positive momentum. During the transition period, we will rely upon the Global Channel team and our strong bench of regional channel leaders – Randy Cochran (NAM), Jason Ellis (EMEA), Cath Hodgson (APJ) and Paulo Renato (LAM) – to work closely with our partners to continue to drive success. Julie will remain with Symantec through the end of October to help ensure a smooth transition.
We will keep you posted as decisions are made about the new organizational structure.
Hmmm. The Symantec email arrived less than one week before Symantec Partner Engage is scheduled to kick off Oct. 15 in Washington D.C.
More Spin From Symantec?
The VAR Guy wants to give Symantec the benefit of the doubt. He truly wants to believe that Parrish was scheduled to attend Partner Engage, but her plans changed last week based on an 11th hour career move.
Still, The VAR Guy is getting dizzy from all the PR spin he’s received from Symantec this year.
Fact is, Parrish in July did her best to apply damage control following some controvercial comments from Symantec Chief Operating Officer Enrique Salem.
Fast forward to this week’s Partner Engage event — where Salem is scheduled to speak — and the press would have spent considerable time asking Salem and Parrish if they were working from the same playbook.
It was a distraction Symantec couldn’t afford. Parrish was in a no-win situation: As hard as she worked to assure partners that Symantec was committed to the channel, her credibility was hurt earlier this year by Salem’s direct sales statements to Wall Street.
Now, it’s up to Salem and the remaining Symantec team to articulate the company’s channel progress — and challenges — at Partner Engage.
And Parrish, to her credit, apparently gains a fresh start at NetApp. Her timing for an exit was wise. The VAR Guy just wishes Symantec had addressed the rumors about her status sooner.