Channel boss Ross Pellizzari leaves Cisco Canada

Cisco Canada will soon be presenting a new face to its channel partners, with Ross Pellizzari resigning this week as vice-president of channel operations after nine years with the company.

Pellizzari’s departure as Cisco Canada’s channel chief was announced internally to Cisco employees on Monday. In a statement Nitin Kawale, president, Cisco Canada, indicated Pellizzari was leaving the company to pursue other opportunities.

“Ross joined Cisco in 1999 and over the years made many contributions to the company and the development and refinement of our channels strategy and operations in Canada. We thank him for his dedication and wish him all the best in his next step,” said Kawale in the statement. “At this time, Ross is in the process of exploring other opportunities and has not made any commitments.”

Named one of CDN‘s Top Newsmakers of 2007, Pellizzari presided over a period of strong channel growth for Cisco in Canada, and pushed for greater investment by the vendor in its channel partners. He has more than 20 years of sales and marketing experience with national and global technology organizations, and was vice-president of sales, central region for Cisco Canada before taking on the channel role.

Cisco Canada declined to comment on Pellizzari’s departure beyond its statement. In the statement, the vendor indicated it is in the process of launching an executive search that will look both internally and externally for his successor, with the hope of filling the position within 60 days.

According to the vendor, key channel partners have been informed of Pellizzari’s departure, adding it’s business as usual for the channel and no impact on partner programs or ongoing channel business and relationships is anticipated.

The statement also stressed that Pellizzari’s departure is not related to any restructuring of the Cisco Canada executive by Kawale, another Cisco veteran that was promoted to the president’s role this spring.

“While Nitin and Cisco Canada’s senior leadership team are in the process of defining Cisco Canada’s sales strategy for fiscal 2009, Ross’ departure is not indicative of any broader scale changes at this time,” said the statement.

Ken Presti, a long-time Cisco follower and president of Presti Research & Consulting in Sunnyvale, Calif., says Pellizzari is a nice guy that was instrumental in both representing the channel partners from Canada to Cisco, as well as helping to shape the development of Cisco’s channel programs and policies.

“It was important to the Cisco channel to have somebody that had that kind of credibility within Cisco to represent them to upper management, and I think Ross did a great job of that,” said Presti.

When searching for a successor for Pellizzari, Presti says Cisco will need to find someone that’s very in touch with the business dynamics in Canada, and that has the credibility within the Cisco organization to be a strong channel advocate.

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*More at CDN VARbose: Ross Pellizzari leaves Cisco Canada.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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