In a nod to the importance of partner marketing to the organization at large, Cisco Systems Inc. has promoted one of their top marketing execs to take the spot vacated last summer by popular global channel marketing chief Amanda Jobbins.
The networking vendor on Friday named Sherri Liebo to the top global channel marketing post, filling a six-month void that saw Karen Walker, senior vice president of segment, services and partner marketing doing double duty leading the global partner marketing team in the interim.
Liebo, a 16-year veteran of Hewlett-Packard Co.’s U.S. partner marketing team with a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Florida and an MBA from UC Berkeley, started her tenure at Cisco in 2005 working mainly with the services marketing team in support of Cisco’s Smart Services.
That experience with Cisco’s $10 billion-a-year services business gave her much first-hand experience with the needs and desires of channel partners who play a major role “in our ability to scale,” she said. Liebo was the driving force behind the formation of Smart Care, a Cisco Smart Service aimed at services attachment opportunities for SMB customers.
“Our services strategy is to rely on our partners and … to building a healthy partner organization,” Liebo tells Channelnomics. “I’ve been immersed in how we go to market with our partners. I am full of passion for this.”
In a blog post announcing the promotion, Bruce Klein, senior vice president of Cisco’s worldwide partner organization said Liebo’s leadership of global partner marketing “will cover our strategic partner marketing, channel programs, services partner marketing and strategic partner communications teams, all of which will work closely with the Cisco Worldwide Partner Organization, sales organizations, and regional marketing teams to help drive growth and profitability for our entire partner ecosystem.”
Liebo is set to have her coming-out party with the Cisco channel crowd at the vendor’s Velocity partner marketing confab in Cannes, France in mid-April. She said she’s particularly looking to put her stamp on Cisco’s partner efforts by evangelizing on next-generation branding and marketing utilizing social media and other forms of pull- and content- marketing to attract the growing number of customers of all sizes who are making purchasing decisions with such tools.
“One thing Cisco is very good at is recognizing these marketing inflection points,” Liebo said. “The question is now: How do we synchronize our efforts on this?”
As the new vice president of global partner marketing, Liebo steps in to fill the shoes of Jobbins, who left the company in Setember to return to her native United Kingdom. Jobbins has since landed a job as chief marketing officer for U.K.-based software and services firm Sage Group plc.
Jobbins herself spent a relatively short term in the position, having been promoted to the global marketing job in July 2011 after serving as Cisco’s vice president of technology and corporate marketing for Europe. Jobbins was hand-picked by former global channel chief Keith Goodwin to replace Luanne Tierney, who left Cisco in early 2011 to take a similar job at Juniper Networks Inc.
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