Cisco Shakes Up Channel Leadership

By Doug Allen Comments
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Cisco channel chief Keith Goodwin announced several major changes to its channel partner leadership structure by blog yesterday. Citing shifting business needs as Cisco tries to position itself for several key markets that fall under its Borderless Networks initiative, these include a broader focus on architectures, verticals/solutions, emerging countries and new consumption models like XaaS (anything/everything as a service).

To address these opportunities, Goodwin is reshaping its Worldwide Partner Organization (WWPO) program to pursue three strategic goals: innovate and invest in its channel model; build new global “transformational” partnerships; and drive SMB and small business growth with new partner-led models.

Going forward, the WWPO will establish an organization for resale partners and distributors, to be led by Edison Peres, senior vice president of Worldwide Channels at Cisco. As the new channel chief, Edison is tasked with coordinating all tracks of Cisco’s global channel-management tracks, including Segment and Architecture Go-to-Market, Distribution, Channel Programs, Marketing, Business Management & 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 wrote.

Edison will be joined by Wendy Bahr, who will head a new organization under the title of senior vice president, Global and Transformational Partnerships, where she will focus on “increasing global, cross-functional alignment and communications around our go-to-market strategy with this very strategic and diverse group of Partners.” She will oversee the Strategic Partner Organization and the Technology Alliances team, as well as all global partner relationships. Previously, Bahr led the Partner organization for the U.S. and Canada after a successful stint with Cisco Service Provider sales.

Finally, to build growth in the SMB market, the WWPO will assemble a dedicated Worldwide Commercial Sales team, headed by Dave O’Callaghan as vice president.

“In this new role, Dave will build a focused, worldwide team and will lead a cross-functional team responsible for channels and sales overage, filed engineering, demand generation, partner programs, and enablement, as well as collaborative relationship management,” Goodwin concluded. “Ultimately, Dave will be responsible for accelerating the growth of Cisco’s global SMB/Commercial business.”

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