PAETEC Holding Corp. (PAET) told PHONE+ Monday it has named a new channel chief. Donna Wenk, who serves as senior vice president of sales operations and customer care, will add overall national responsibility for the CLEC’s agent channel, effective Jan. 1, 2010.
The role was left open in mid-September when John Leach, who was the company’s South Region president, left PAETEC for a new post as senior vice president of business sales and support at Windstream Corp.
PAETEC also announced that Dan Reinbold will replace Leach as South region president. Reinbold, a senior vice president for PAETEC, has been serving as Central region president. Jeff Howe, in turn, will replace Reinbold as Central region president. Howe had been serving as president of IP PBX maker Allworx, a subsidiary of PAETEC Holding Corp., since October 2008. Howe’s replacement has not been announced.
Wenk will help coordinate the agent channel program in addition to her current responsibilities overseeing PAETEC’s call centers, account development and sales operations.
PAETEC Chairman and CEO Arunas Chesonis explained each of PAETEC’s four regional presidents take on additional companywide responsibilities, such as for the software business or training or, in Wenk’s case, channels. However, each region has a vice president of channels. The regional vice presidents of channels include Jerry Tedino, East region; Ron Beer and Richard Stalder, South region; Mark Denney, Central region; and Dan Harper, West region.
“There is not one channel chief; it’s a lot of chiefs,” he said, explaining the unique structure.
The regional presidents, channel vice presidents and Wenk collaborate on channel strategy, with Wenk being responsible for coordinating national issues such as the equity program, changes to the Web portal and normalizing commissions, Chesonis said, noting that since she is based in the headquarters office, liaisons with other departments will be easier for her than it would be for those in the regional offices.
Wenk already has a deep knowledge of the channel’s requirements in her sales operations role where she oversees the commission system and the agent support work group that processes agents’ orders. For 2010, she said her goals are to make sure the program has competitive incentives and consistent front-end sales tools and implementation across its footprint.
“Some of the challenges vary from region to region, and I will collect that information from our partners and try to improve the overall program,” she said. “Whatever the issues are, I’ll try to get those fixed so the folks in the region can continue focusing on selling and finding new partners. I’ll run the operational issues.”
A chief with operational background and authority may be just what PAETEC needs coming off of two mergers – US LEC in 2006 and McLeod in 2007. “What we found is the biggest opportunity we have with the channel is to make sure they have consistency with front-end process, back-office installation, network operation issues,” said Chesonis. “Donna is the perfect person to do that.”
Wenk has more of an operational background than previous channel chiefs, but she noted that her career also includes direct sales. In addition, she has run the account development department for eight of her 11 years with the company. Wenk was an original founder of PAETEC, starting in 1998 and has more than 20 years of experience in the telecom industry.
PAETEC’s agent channel currently generates approximately 40 percent of PAETEC’s overall revenue.
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