Juniper partner conference kicks off with news of new channel chief

Following more than 6 months of channel exec changeover, Juniper Networks is expected to announce Jonathan Belcher as new channel chief.

As Juniper Networks Inc. prepares to kick off its 2014 Global Partner Conference – set to run Jan. 14-15 at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas -- word on the street is that there’s a good chance the company will formally announce that Jonathan Belcher will take the helm as the company’s new channel chief for the Americas. Belcher’s current title is vice president of partner sales, Asia-Pacific, Greater China and Japan, a post he’s held...

since January 2012. He joined Juniper in January 2010.

Belcher will fill a position that’s gone cold since Chris M. Jones, Juniper’s former vice president of Americas partner sales, announced his departure for Avaya in November 2013, just five short months after filling the slot. Jones took over the U.S. channel chief job when channel industry veteran Frank Vitagliano left Juniper after a seven-year stint to become Dell’s vice president of channel sales in April 2013.

There’s been no shortage of comings and goings in Juniper’s executive channel suite these past several months. In October 2013, David Helfer became the vice president of worldwide channels and commercial, a newly created position, and Doug Erickson was appointed vice president of worldwide partner programs and development. Emilio Umeoka had recently stepped down as senior vice president of worldwide partners at Juniper.

Juniper’s CEO since September 2008, Kevin Johnson, also announced his retirement last year and Shaygan Kheradpir took over the position on Jan. 1, 2014.

According to the Juniper Partner Watch blog, almost 900 attendees are expected at the 2014 Global Partner Conference. For partners not planning to attend the live event, Juniper is offering registration for virtual coverage of everything that takes place on the main stage.

As Juniper gears up for its big partner event, hedge fund investor Elliott Management Corp., which recently took a 6.2% stake in the company, is actively seeking to cut costs and trim Juniper’s product line, seeking greater value for company shareholders, according to news reports.

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