Cisco is looking for a new local channel director after Jeff Sheard announced plans to leave the networking vendor and start his own company. His last day is August 1.
Sheard started at Cisco in 2000, just as the dotcom bubble burst, and went on to run its enterprise sales for A/NZ before taking the channel reins in August 2006.
"I've been at Cisco for a long time and my next step would have been overseas in an Asia-Pacific or US role," he said. "With my family situation and lifestyle that wasn't an option so it's time for something new."
That something new will see Sheard making the most of his Cisco experience by setting up a business that trains companies to take advantage of possibilities opened up by unified communications and, in particular, video.
"I worked as a sales director within learning and development before joining Cisco and now I'm going back into that field," he said. "There's a lot of rich unified communications technology that can be used to sell, negotiate and win business but I don't think a lot of companies have mastered the technology side of it yet."
Cisco's channel sales manager, Claudia McIntosh, will assume responsibility for Sheard's duties while the company goes through the process of recruiting a successor. While most of his time with Cisco was in a direct sales capacity, Sheard said he "loved" the channel role.
"It's very diverse, fast-changing and challenging so you genuinely feel right at the cutting edge - especially within an organisation like Cisco," he said. "It's been a very difficult decision to leave."