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VMware Canada hires former Cisco Canada channel chief

Channel StrategySoftware

It did not take long for Donna Wittmann to find gainful employment in the Canadian IT industry.

Wittmann today was named VMware Canada’s new channel chief. Officially her title is director of partner and commercial sales for the Canadian operation. Wittmann will begin her new job either on Nov. 4th or the 11th.

The Pittsburgh, Penn.-born Wittmann left high tech for about 18 months to work at Tennis Canada. As the  chief marketing officer of Tennis Canada, she was credited for growing corporate sponsorships for the Rogers Cup held at the Rexall Centre in Toronto and the UniPrix Stadium in Montreal to new levels.

She left what she called her dream job at Tennis Canada just after the Rogers Cup. According to one source Wittmann was interested in the open channel chief position at Microsoft Canada. That job has been filled by Rob Stevens, Microsoft Canada’s Office 365 sales leader.

Then Eric Gales, the country manager at VMware Canada, came calling. VMware Canada has been without a channel chief since February of this year. The defacto channel chief of the Canadian subsidiary at the time Jas Sahota left the company at that time. In a previous interview with CDN, Gales said he wanted to evolve the role and was going to work closely with Frank Rauch, vice president, Americas Partner Organization for VMware, to define the role and what that person has to do in terms of the size of the geography.

The goal for Gales in the channel is to expand the channel organization in Canada and bring in more partners.

This past May VMware Canada did manage to fill a portion of Sahota’s duties by promoting Bruce Trotman to the role of national account manager – distribution. In the old system, the channel chief of VMware Canada had responsibility for distribution, solution providers, OEM partners and alliances.

Possibly linked to Wittmann’s appointment is the fact that VMware appointed former Cisco vice-president of worldwide commercial sales Dave O’Callaghan to the worldwide channel chief job on May 20th. Wittmann and O’Callaghan worked together on a new go-to-market model for the 100-to-1,000 seat segment for Cisco in 2010.

Wittmann had a meteoric while at Cisco. She was named channel chief back in 2009 and from there got picked to join Keith Goodwin’s Global Partner Organization where she would lead the Worldwide Partner Led Named initiative.

Previous to joining Cisco Canada, Wittmann was the vice president of global software at Dell Inc. Wittmann also held a senior leadership position at Xerox.