Cisco Canada makes a switch in channel leadership

Donna Wittmann, the highly respected Canadian channel chief for Cisco Canada, will become a member of Keith Goodwin’s Global Partner Organization. Replacing her as Canadian channel chief is the unheralded Mike Ansley.

Wittmann’s new role is leader of Worldwide Partner Led Named. She will be responsible for Cisco’s efforts to accelerate sales to mid-sized customers through channel partners. Donna will report to Andrew Sage, vice-president of Worldwide Partner-Led. Wittmann became Cisco Canada channel chief in 2009 and from there dramatically expanded the subsidiary’s channel business.

As for Ansley, he was previously in the role of vice president of solutions sales for Cisco Canada. Ansley actually rejoined Cisco Canada last year. He first worked at Cisco Canada in 1996 and left the organization in 2004. During that eight year period he held many international senior management positions.

Here are my thoughts on this move. It was bound to happen. Every time I spoke to Goodwin and Wittmann's name came up he only had great things to say about her. Last month when Goodwin announced the changes he made to the Partner Organization I noticed a pause in his voice when it came to discussing the Canadian operation and Wittmann. To me it signaled that Goodwin wasn't quite finished with is streamlining of Worldwide Partner Organization. Let’s face it, Cisco needs the help stateside and by plucking a valuable piece from the Canadian operation will help and Cisco Canada is not facing the same problems as its American parent.

As for Ansley he gets handed the keys to a well-run channel business at Cisco Canada. Being the Canadian channel chief for Cisco is a plum job in the Canadian IT industry. It will now be up to him to make sure it doesn't skip a beat. The job does come with some challenges such as the SMB market, which still needs to be bolstered. We shall see what his plan is there.

As for Wittmann I wish her only the best. She made a lot of time for me and the team at CDN and I do appreciate it. She is also a great channel advocate and the partners here will surely miss her.

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