**Editor's Note: Click here to see which channel people were on the move from November through January.**
Communication Management Services (CMS) announced Wednesday that it has tapped Mike Saxby as its new president charged with strategic growth as well as operational and financial management for the master agency.
Channel veteran Gene Foster will remain CEO, focusing on strategic opportunities, such as wireless, but he will relinquish much of the day-to-day oversight of the company and its 13 employees to Saxby, who comes to the company after two years as chief strategy officer with Telecom Brokerage Inc. (TBI) and five years as publisher of Channel Partners.
"I am very excited to offload many of the responsibilities that I've held since the inception of CMS," Foster told Channel Partners. "I've never been able to say that ... ever. I've never had the faith that someone else could (or would) put the same amount of passion and energy into CMS that I have over the years."
Foster founded CMS in 1991. Since then, it has grown to be one of the nation’s largest master agencies, offering voice, data, Internet, wireless and mobility solutions, cloud, managed services, customer premise equipment and conferencing solutions from more than 45 suppliers through its network of more than 500 subagents. It also is a member of the Agent Alliance, a buying consortium of telecom agencies.
Foster said he wasn't actively recruiting a president, but that he had been considering such a move for a few years and has been vigilant about looking for someone that would be the right fit.
Saxby has 15 years of experience at VIRGO Publishing, most recently as publisher of Channel Partners and a number of other publications. His responsibilities included competitive analysis, financial analysis and budgeting, operations, mergers and acquisition, management, product development and implementation. He also spent two years at TBI where he was responsible for business development, strategy, process improvements and marketing initiatives as well as vendor management. While his practical agency experience is limited, Foster said Saxby has shown that he has the vision and enthusiasm needed for the next phase of the channel business.
"In my opinion, his knowledge of the industry and the direction it is moving is miles ahead of many who may have more direct and long term day-to-day experience," Foster said. "In addition, he has a very strong commitment to excellence, he has a desire and a plan to bring a significant value add to the channel through CMS, and just as importantly, we share a strong synergy in our personal and professional goals for the future."
Saxby also gets nods from CMS supporters, including Blake Wetzel, vice president of the CenturyLink Channel Alliance.