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Callahan Out as Channel VP at Global Crossing

Jeff Callahan has left his post as vice president of indirect channels at Global Crossing Ltd., the carrier confirmed Thursday. Jeremy Jones, director of sales for the channel, said a replacement would be named in short order – within a day or two.

Jones did not elaborate on the circumstances of Callahan’s departure from Global Crossing, which reportedly was announced internally Wednesday, but sources close to the organization said Callahan left on his own accord. Some Global Crossing agents who spoke to PHONE+ said they hadn’t yet been informed of the change as of Thursday morning. Brad Miehl, president and CEO of master agency MicroCorp, said he has heard from the carrier and already is making plans for a trip to Global Crossing’s headquarters in Rochester, N.Y., as a result.

This is the second leadership change in just less than a year for the Global Crossing partner program, raising concerns over its stability.

Callahan, a longtime employee of Global Crossing and once the CEO’s right hand, took control of the indirect channel in mid-April 2007. Subsequent restructuring caused some concern for agents as PHONE+ reported in mid-May.

Callahan’s appointment was the first time a channel executive had held a vice presidential title at Global Crossing, and was seen by PHONE+ sources as an indication of the company’s commitment to the channel as a means to scale its sales force in North America.

Prior to heading the channel, Callahan oversaw the office of the CEO, working side by side with Global Crossing’s chief executive, John Legere, as well as other executives on strategy, business planning, finance, sales initiatives and more. As one of the first 30 employees of the company, Callahan served in many capacities over the years, including management roles in systems development, program management and sales operations. Prior to joining Global Crossing, Callahan was a business consultant for Price Waterhouse.

In a conversation with PHONE+ in October 2007, Callahan said his goal was to regroup, and put Global Crossing back on track with the channel, which he said the company had not managed as well as it could.

Agents were mixed in their views of the progress the program had made under Callahan. One agent, who agreed to talk on background, said “it’s improving every day.” Another agent, also anonymously, said getting response and attention remains difficult.

How much impact Callahan’s leaving will have is unclear. At a minimum, it may affect some agents’ day-to-day dealings with the carrier.

“Building a relationship is paramount to our success and driving success to Global Crossing. When there are changes, we have to take several steps back before we can move forward,” said Bill Power, CEO of the Agent Alliance, a buying consortium representing 17 agencies that has had a contract with Global Crossing for the past two to three years.

MicroCorp’s Miehl said he doubted that his company’s agreement with Global Crossing would change in light of Callahan’s departure. In addition to being an agent for the carrier, MicroCorp has a contract to provide Global Crossing with its partner relationship management (PRM) software, Nautilus, to support the reorganized partner program. The agreement was forged by Callahan’s predecessor and was supported by Callahan.


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