Rhody Burton has resigned from her role as director of global business partners at IBM, with plans in place to exit the vendor after almost two years.
Sources close to ARN can confirm that Burton announced her intention to depart internally on 15 May, with no indications yet as to a replacement.
Since joining Big Blue in September 2015, Burton has been responsible for the growth and enablement of IBM’s partner ecosystem across Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ), through the vendor’s ‘One Channel Team’ push locally.
During her tenure, Burton has led the channel through a period of sizeable industry change, as the tech giant sheds its traditional image in favour of a cloud-focused approach.
Following her appointment, Burton outlined and acted on her vision for a unified IBM in the channel, pursuing simplified strategies for both partners and customers.
In taking the channel reins at a 100-year-old plus organisation, Burton was essentially tasked with dragging IBM into the new world, with the remit of becoming disrupters both internally and externally.
“We want to think like a start-up,” Burton told partners at the IBM Business Partner Symposium in 2015.
“We want to cover the market through a healthy, vibrant eco-system where we are the trusted strategic vendor of choice going to market as One Channel.”
Specifically, Burton has helped create channel capabilities across cloud, analytics, mobile, social and security solutions, targeting a new breed of partner across the industry.
Prior to joining IBM, Burton ran the local channel for SAP, restructuring the vendor’s partner ecosystem in favour of a more channel-centric approach.
Before SAP, Burton held a variety of channel facing roles at VMware, alongside partner positions at Business Objects, Crystal Decisions and Seagate Software.
During her time at VMware, Burton took out the Rising Star award at the 2012 Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA), in recognition of her “dedication and passion” to career advancement, alongside her ongoing work within the channel.
Burton’s departure comes as the channel responds to a host of personnel changes at tier-1 vendors during 2017.
As reported by ARN, Phil Goldie exited his role at Microsoft to run the New Zealand channel, Margrith Appleby stepped down after over a year at Lenovo, while Leo Lynch swapped Huawei for Storagecraft.
ARN reached out to Rhody Burton for comment but did not receive a response at the time of publication.