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Nick Tidd, senior managers exit D-Link North America

The networking vendor promises its commitment to the channel remains firm as Tidd tells CDN the company is looking to go in a new direction

Networking vendor D-Link will have a new team to take it into the new year with the departure of North American president Nick Tidd and two of his senior sales executives. The vendor stressed its commitment to the channel route to market remains strong, but Tidd indicated the company is looking to go in a new direction.

The decision for Tidd and D-Link to part ways was mutual said Dan Kelley, associate vice-president of marketing for D-Link North America. Also departing are Pat Piwowarczyk, vice-president of U.S. enterprise and channel sales and Rod St. Michael, D-Link’s vice-president of consumer sales. Mark Ciprietti continues in his role as vice-president and general manager of the business solutions division at D-Link Canada, and D-Link CTO A.J. Wang will take over as North American channel chief and fill Tidd’s shoes as president while a permanent replacement is sought.

Kelley emphasized to CDN that D-Link is a 100 per cent channel-focused vendor and that commitment to the channel will not be changing. He added partners can expect “some really great enhancements” to the company’s Value in Partnership (VIP) program to be announced in January.

“Our commitment to the channel has not wavered at all, and whether partners have been doing business with us for two to three years or for a decade they should expect the same level of service and support they’ve gotten in the past, with the same robust program they’ve come to rely on,” said Kelley.

In an interview with CDN, Tidd confirmed the departure was mutual and that Kelley’s comments about a continued channel commitment are accurate. Still, he hinted at differences of opinion around the go-forward strategy between his team and senior managers at the Taiwanese networking vendor.

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“Sometimes a company looks for different ways and different directions to go to market, and sometimes it necessitates a change,” said Tidd. “Myself and several of my key folks have decided to part ways, but we’ve positioned them well for success.”

Tidd said specifically in Canada, D-Link has always been very strong on the consumer side and has been successful winning service provider contracts, and the reseller community should expect for that to continue to be the direction.

“From a corporate perspective there will continue to be investment in programs and marketing dollars,” said Tidd. “But I think you’ll see a different leadership team taking it beyond where we’ve positioned the company to the end of the calendar year.”

While he’s not in a position to say what new direction D-Link may have in mind, Tidd said he “trusts the new team will do its best to support the Canadian team and do its best to see Canada is unique, and shouldn’t be treated as part of the U.S. That’s a trap companies often fall into. Successful vendors have always recognized Canada is a unique market with its own nuance.”

Tidd joined D-Link in 2008 as the general manager for Canada, later becoming the North American channel chief before being promoted to North American president in January of 2010. At the time he said many saw D-Link as just a consumer router company, and he takes personal satisfaction in having helped grow the company to one with a strong, lucrative channel program that’s also closing multi-million dollar service provider deals.

“We leave the organization with our heads held high. We created a pathway that can be continued and invested in, and I hope the team that takes over sees value in it,” said Tidd.

To D-Link partners, Tidd suggests they should continue to consider D-Link as a viable partner going forward and evaluate them on their merits, adding they shouldn’t abandon the work that has been done.

As for Tidd, he said he has no firm future plans in mind besides working on his golf game in the California sun, possibly sitting on a few boards, and helping some friends with their planning for 2012.

“Anyone who knows me knows I don’t do anything half-hearted. I’m going to take some time to recharge my batteries, but I’ll be active,” said Tidd.

Follow Jeff Jedras on Twitter: @JeffJedrasCDN.