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The top five leadership changes of 2017


2017 was no stranger to leadership changes amongst the Canadian channel community. Almost every major company saw a top executive leave or be replaced, so here are the top five Canadian leadership changes of the past year.

  1. Cisco Canada makes major presidential switch

This was huge news for the channel in the first half of the year. Cisco Canada president Bernadette Wightman was the first woman leader of Cisco’s Canadian branch and had been with the company since 2014. The well respected and experienced Rola Dagher left her position as vice president and GM of Dell EMC, which was a big blow to the company but a major win for Cisco.

  1. Familiar face takes over Microsoft Canada

Former Dell EMC Canada president Kevin Peesker moved on to be the new Microsoft Canada president this fall, becoming the first Canadian-born president of the company in more than a decade. He famously wore angel wings and a halo at the 2008 CDN Top 100 Solution Providers Gala to signal Dell’s commitment to the channel community in Canada, so we’re hoping for something similar to show off his commitment to Microsoft at the upcoming 2018 Top 100 gala.

  1. Dell EMC Canada president steps down

After Peesker stepped down from Dell EMC, it was announced that EMC veteran Kevin Connolly would be taking over the reins. While the Chicago native is still getting used to the different Canadian culture, he’s placed a special emphasis on growing the channel in the great white north. He also attended CDN’s Women of the IT Channel recognition luncheon, where he sat down to discuss why diversity in the workplace is so important.

  1. New leadership team named at Tech Data Canada

One of the biggest announcements of the year was the retirement of Canadian channel veteran Rick Reid after leading Tech Data Canada for almost two decades. But since the news broke in late 2016, the company spent 2017 changing its management structure to focus on five key areas with each one having a dedicated vice president after retiring the president title.

  1. Former Veritas Canada boss gets chance to run VMware Canada

Rounding out 2017’s most read leadership change stories is a piece on the new vice president and country manager of VMware Canada, Sean Forkan. The former Veritas Canada leader brought some much needed stability to the company, and has meshed well with VMware Canada’s fairly new channel chief, Tara Fine, as he committed to expanding the company’s channel presence in the country.