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By | Paul Kunert 19th June 2012 15:23

Departing Cisco overlord moulded partners from Channel clay

Can public-sector Klein fill his boots?

Industry veteran and Cisco channel chief Keith Goodwin is hanging up his boots, the networking kingpin confirmed in a blog post.

After 38 years in IT – with the last 13 at Cisco – the senior veep of the worldwide partner organisation is set to retire, with one Bruce Klein waiting in the wings as a replacement from 1 August.

In the posting late last night, Robert Lloyd, Cisco exec veep of worldwide operations, described Goodwin's exit as a "loss".

During his tenure at Cisco, Goodwin led the global sales team, the Americas International Theatre – Cisco-ese for the business on the other side of the pond – and spent the last seven as boss of channels.

Goodwin oversaw the shake-up of the channel organisation last year, amid wider mass redundancies at the firm, and if anything he increased the vendor's reliance on partners in the Partner Led organ.

The Partner Led business was a direct sales engagement by Cisco that involved resellers or the other partner variants established by the vendor.

Goodwin's successor - 30-year IT old-timer Klein - was most recently senior veep for the US public sector and will take charge of the partner organisation from Cisco's new fiscal year.

Lloyd said of Klein:

"Now is the time to break new ground and really push how we engage with all of our Cisco partners."

Alastair Edwards, principal analyst at Canalys, said Goodwin had helped transform Cisco's channel from a reseller organisation to one that also included systems integrators and service providers.

"He started with a worldwide channel organisation and left with a worldwide partner organisation," Edwards told The Channel.

But he questioned how the appointment of Klein would play out with resellers across the globe.

"The challenge for Cisco is how to remain relevant to partners and customers. A big question is whether someone with a background in US public sector can step up to take on the global channel organisation." ®

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