Cochran out, Eldh in as Symantec channel chief

New Symantec Americas channel chief John Eldh

New Symantec Americas channel chief John Eldh

Symantec has announced that Randy Cochran, its longtime Americas channel chief, is leaving the company, and has appointed John Eldh as its new vice president of channel sales for the Americas.

Rich Spring, senior vice president of Americas sales for Symantec, and Cochran’s heretofore boss, announced the executive change in a letter to channel partners Friday.

“I’d like to thank Randy for his eight years of leadership in Symantec’s channel organization and wish him the best in the next phase of his career,” Spring writes in his letter to partners. “Under his direction, Symantec has achieved many milestones with you, our valued partners..”

While Eldh will hold the same title as Cochran, could his role (or his priorities) be different from those of his predecessor? Some thoughts after the jump.

Eldh is a seven-year Symantec veteran on the sales side, having headed up the company’s business in the UK, Ireland and the Nordic nations at one point. But it’s his most recent post that piques some interest: prior to getting the channel chief role, Eldh served as vice president of sales for the company’s cloud-based services division. While there, he was responsible for the go-to-market strategy for in the Americas, but Spring notes that he also “built a partner distribution team and extended the reach of services in the market.”

There’s no doubt that cloud-based services are an increasingly important part of the mix for Symantec, and that the company has been ramping up its channel in that direction.

Does promoting the cloud-savvy Eldh to head up head up the company’s channel efforts in the America signal an increased focus on the cloud in its channel program to come? It’s far too early to tell, but it’s an area we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on in the weeks and months to come.

“Under John’s leadership in FY13, we will put a relentless focus on driving growth in the Americas by leveraging the strength of our partner ecosystem,” Spring writes in his letter to partners. ”We are excited about the new opportunities and leadership strength that John brings to this role. Our goal is to build on the foundation of our partnership with you. Symantec continues to be a channel-led company, with the majority of our business flowing through you—our partners.”

And what of the departing Cochran? In his letter to partners, Spring writes that Cochran is leaving Symantec to pursue other opportunities.” No further details were available as of press time, but one has to wonder if, after eight years as Symantec channel leader for the Americas, the executive was looking to move up to a global role. Cochran has been a very active face-of-the-company kind of channel chief, especially since former worldwide channel chief Julie Parrish left for NetApp and the company opted to phase out the worldwide channel leadership position.