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June 28, 2011
By Khali Henderson
XO Communications Inc. announced Tuesday that it has hired Shane McNamara, general manager of carrier services for value-added reseller CDW, as its channel chief, effective July 11. He replaces Brian Law, who resigned in April to become an entrepreneur.
Despite efforts to keep the information under wraps, news of McNamaras appointment as vice president of indirect sales leaked Monday after the internal announcement. XO sent an official release to press and the channel Tuesday. A conference call is scheduled with XOs top agents Tuesday afternoon.
The top spot at the XO channel has turned over twice in just more than a year. Law was named national vice president of indirect services in February 2010. He filled a post vacated by the resignation of Jim Delis, who ran the channel since 2005 as its vice president of business operations. Both leaders were praised by XOs Business Partners for their performance in their respective roles.
McNamara, however, brings a different perspective, having been both a channel partner and a channel executive during his career. Prior to heading up the carrier services division at CDW for the last four years, McNamara was director of indirect channels for Global Crossing Ltd.
Being [at CDW] almost four years has given me a different perspective because now I see it from the partners view,” McNamara said. I think it will be a significant advantage for XO as well as for the partners because I have both views of the position and the overall indirect channel. I think that experience will take our XO partnerships to another level.”
Partners also recognize McNamara as one of their own. Shane has a track record of being very successful at what he does but he’s also uniquely qualified for this position as he’s worked for a large agency and for a carrier which gives him a perspective and experience that few in the industry posses. We think this a big win for the XO channel,” said Patrick Oborn, VP of Marketing, Telarus Inc.
XOs Chief Marketing Officer, Mike Toplisek, agreed. I think the past four years at CDW and what he has been able to accomplish there just gives him that much more of a perspective. We are excited about what he can do for us to keep the momentum going in the channel as it is today,” he said.
At CDW, McNamara grew the carrier services group 40 percent over the last three years. In addition, he said, CDW grew its business with XO significantly. CDW was No. 7 among the top XO partners in 2010. It also was part of the new Platinum Partner Program begun in March 2010 to provide upgraded support to 11 of the CLECs top indirect sales partners.
Partners also have given the hire a thumbs up.
We at X4 are ecstatic at the decision to bring Shane in to run the channel at XO,” said Curt Allen, president of X4 Solutions Inc. We have known and worked with Shane for years and respect him tremendously. The addition of Shane, to the already strong leadership team at XO, brings a fresh new leadership vision from someone who understands all aspects of the channel, and has played a big part as a leader of a large XO supplier in helping bring the XO channel program to where it is today. This is a home-run hire for XO.”
Brad Miehl, president and CEO of master agency MicroCorp Inc., said: We have worked with Shane in the past and he really understands the channel. I think it is a great hire.”
Ken Mercer, senior vice president at master agency Telecom Brokerage Inc., pointed to McNamaras experience at CDW working with vendors and service on agent advisory boards as positives. He has always been loyal, honest and fair. That is a good recipe for a channel chief in my opinion,” Mercer added.
Besides being at home with the XO Business Partner Program, McNamara also is experiencing a reunion of sorts with Global Crossing alumni, including Toplisek, to whom McNamara will report. At Global Crossing, McNamara also reported to Toplisek, who was then senior vice president of global enterprise business services. Other former Global Crossing employees now at XO include Dan Wagner, president of XO Business Services, and Maria Funkhouser, vice president of customer experience.
Part of the reason I decided to take this position and work for Mike was because of the people,” McNamara said. They are very talented and I know a lot of them from being [a partner] and some of them were from Global Crossing.”
McNamara said he doesnt have immediate plans to make changes to the program, calling his predecessors plan solid.”
Toplisek added: We had our best year ever in the channel last year and we arent looking to make wholesale changes to the strategy we have in place, but to keep it going. Of course, you always are looking to do better and enhance and make changes where you can.”
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