All change at NetApp: One veep joins as another goes fishing

A whopping five senior sales peeps leave all at once

Five sales people have left NetApp simultaneously, including VP Americas channels sales Regina Kunkle. What gives?

The background is one of exec changes. Bill Lipsin became NetApp's VP for worldwide channels in May this year, coming to NetApp from Brocade where he was VP for global channels and system integrators from August 2013.

Before Lipsin, Peter Howard was NetApp's VP for global channel sales. He joined in 2012 and quit in June 2014 to go to Cleversafe as its VP for channels and alliances. It's taken a year to replace him.

Shortly after Lipsin joined, and due to a string of poor quarterly results, NetApp's CEO Tom Georgens summarily went at the beginning of June, with George Kurian taking the top slot at Sunnyvale.

We hear Kunkle and four other NetApp sales people left at the same time in July:

  • Matt Valentine, a National Partner Manager, went to Nutanix
  • Paul Thelan, District Manager Virginia, went to Nutanix
  • Frank Taubenkraut, a National Partner Manager, joined Violin
  • Tom Franco, an Account Manager who just won NetApp rep of the year, went to Palo Alto

Before being VP Americas Channels, Kunkle ran a team of 100-plus sales, SEs, and channel managers selling into the State and Local/Higher Education. At SAP she's got a similar role; VP for State and Local/Higher Education.

We have been in contact with NetApp about these departures and it told The Register: "In the IT industry, employee turnover is normal in the course of business and NetApp is no exception. NetApp’s percentage remains lower than the industry average. With top new talent such as Scott Strubel, vice president, Americas Channel Sales and Bill Lipsin, vice president, Worldwide Channel Sales, NetApp remains committed to delivering a world-class channel experience and driving profitable growth for NetApp and its channel partners.”

Currently NetApp is in a quiet period before announcing its latest quarterly results, expected August 19. We wonder what thy will be like. ®

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