Cisco Restructures Worldwide Channel Operation, Taps Key Execs for New Roles

Vendor names Peres, Bahr, O’Callaghan to lead channels, partnerships, commercial sales efforts, pledges to invest in channel, build transformational relationships, drive SMB business through partners.

Cisco Systems Inc. said that it has restructured its worldwide channel operation and named a trio of executives to spearhead the effort, elevating Edison Peres (pictured) to senior vice president, worldwide channels, Wendy Bahr to senior vice president, global and transformational partnerships, and Dave O’Callaghan to vice president, worldwide commercial sales.

The changes become effective as of August 1, the start of Cisco’s fiscal year 2011.

The vendor said that it is actively searching for replacements to fill both Bahr’s former slot as head of Cisco’s U.S. and Canada partner organization and O’Callaghan’s position as head of worldwide distribution.

Keith Goodwin, Cisco senior vice president, worldwide partner organization, disclosed the executive changes in a blog post.

“In January, the Cisco Worldwide Partner Organization (WWPO) embarked on a journey to develop a three-to-five year strategic plan, designing the future direction for all of Cisco’s partnerships,” Goodwin said.

Goodwin said that the executive changes map to Cisco’s strategy to invest in its channel model, build significant global partnerships and push sales to SMBs through channel partners.

Peres, who previously served as the company’s senior vice president, worldwide channels, go-to-market, in effect becomes Cisco’s new channel chief, responsible for segment and architecture go-to-market, distribution, channel programs, marketing, business management and operations and learning partners.

“I can’t emphasize enough how important it is for us to continue to invest in and innovate with our current partners, and there’s no more qualified leader than Edison to take our channel relationships to the next level,” Goodwin said.

Bahr to oversee key, global partnerships

Bahr will be tasked with tightening Cisco’s go-to-market strategies across geographic regions and market segments. The vendor’s Strategic Partner Organization, the Technology Alliances group and global partner relationships all will report to her.

“Wendy brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this new role, having successfully led the partner organization for [the] U.S. and Canada, our largest theater,” Goodwin said.

O’Callaghan will drive a dedicated worldwide commercial sales team housed in the vendor’s worldwide partner organization, charged with stepping up the growth of Cisco’s global SMB/commercial business.

He will be charged with building a global SMB-specific team, responsible for channels and sales coverage, field engineering, demand generation, partner programs, enablement and collaborative relationship management.

“As vice president of worldwide distribution over the past four-plus years, Dave successfully grew our distribution business by working cross-functionally to launch several successful distribution programs such as Lean Forward, which created a new global supply chain behind our distributors,” Goodwin said.

“The SMB market is a tremendous growth opportunity for Cisco,” he said. “We are confident that together with our partners we can accelerate growth thanks to the creation of a focused worldwide commercial sales team.”

Other theater leaders in Cisco’s worldwide partner organization include Mike Allen, managing director, Asia Pacific; Thierry Drilhon, vice president, European market; Sabrina Lin, managing director, Greater China, Milo Schacher, vice president, emerging markets; and, Makato Yasuda, vice president, Japan.

TAGS: SMB,Cisco,partner,channel,Peres



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