Former Cisco channel boss, Kip Cole, has re-emerged as vice-president of South Asia sales for networking rival Enterasys.
He said he had been given a number of opportunities to return to the IT industry but had been attracted to Enterasys because it had a start-up mentality.
"I looked really hard at what I wanted to do and realised some things are very important to me," he said. "I need to work for a company that has a clear goal of what it wants to achieve and have to feel that I can make a difference.
"Enterasys is the nearest thing to a start-up that just happens to have 20,000 customers. The decision-making process is very quick and larger organisations have lost that focus.
"If there are innovative ways of helping our partners to be more successful that, in turn, help us to be more successful then we will go for it. I can't tell you how refreshing that is."
Although acknowledging that his new role would often see him competing against former employer Cisco, he insisted this had not been a factor in his decision.
"I am sure the news of my new job will be a moment of amusement and interest for Cisco but my focus is not about joining a competitor," he said. "I have a long and varied history in the industry and there was every chance that I wouldn't end up back in networking."
Based in Singapore, Cole has been charged with increasing Enterasys' channel coverage across the region and growing its channel partner revenues as well as developing new partner solutions with other security and networking vendors.
While more obvious growth opportunities existed in emerging markets such as India, Cole said there were still parts of the Australian market that were under-serviced and customers that wanted choice.
Since leaving Cisco four months ago, Cole has been on a walking holiday in Norway with his wife and went backpacking in Egypt.
"I have worked hard all my life and thoroughly enjoyed it," he said. "I thought I would be a bit lost having an extended break but that wasn't the case and I can recommend it."