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Julie Parrish leaving Symantec

Julie Parrish, leader of the Symantec partner program for the past three years, is leaving the company.

The news comes just five days before the start of Partner Engage, Symantec’s annual partner conference. Rumors about Parrish’s departure began swirling in August, when Symantec released the conference agenda and her name wasn’t on it. A top Symantec partner told this morning that Symantec confirmed Parrish’s departure to him.

Parrish is a 23-year industry veteran who came to Symantec in 2002 and has spent the last three years as vice president of its global channel office. She was also a channel executive with Veritas, Nokia and 3Com, as well as a marketing manager with Unisys and Hewlett-Packard.

During Parrish’s tenure, Symantec has enjoyed a channel-friendly reputation, despite some well-publicized problems. After acquiring Veritas in 2006, Symantec merged the two companies’ channel programs and overhauled its ERP system — drawing a storm of complaints from partners about the confusing and time-consuming ordering process. And this summer, Parrish was tasked with defending Symantec after published reports suggested the company was taking its largest customers direct. could not reach Symantec for comment this morning, but stay tuned for the latest developments as they come in.

UPDATE (12:13 p.m. ET): Symantec has confirmed the news. I just received this note from a Symantec spokesperson:

I wanted to let you know that Julie Parrish announced yesterday afternoon to her internal team that she will be leaving Symantec, based on her personal career aspirations.  We wanted to give Julie time to connect with all of her team members personally before reaching out to you.

The Global Channel Office will function as it has in the past to continue its positive momentum.  During the transition period, we will rely upon the Global Channel team and our strong bench of regional channel leaders – Randy Cochran (NAM), Jason Ellis (EMEA), Cath Hodgson (APJ) and Paulo Renato (LAM) – to work closely with our partners to continue to drive success.  Julie will remain with Symantec through the end of October to help ensure a smooth transition. 

We will keep you posted as decisions are made about the new organizational structure.

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