Juniper Networks Down Another Top Channel Exec


Hojin Kim, vice president, Americas partner development and operations at Juniper Networks, is the latest channel executive to leave the company, CRN has learned.

Sources said Kim, who has headed up the division since January 2011, is leaving Juniper for a role at Hewlett-Packard.

Juniper confirmed Kim's departure but declined to comment further. HP did not confirm Kim's hiring by press time.

[Related: Juniper VP Takes Top Distribution Job At HP]

Prior to his role as vice president of Americas partner development and operations, Kim was director of channel operations at Juniper. Before joining Juniper in 2007, Kim oversaw SMB business partner sales at IBM, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Kim's exit is the latest in a series of channel executive departures from Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Juniper. CRN last week reported that Donna Grothjan, vice president of worldwide distribution for Juniper, is leaving the company to take a top distribution role at HP.

In November, Juniper's vice president of Americas partner sales, Chris Jones, left Juniper for rival Avaya, where he is now vice president, worldwide commercial and distribution.

In addition, Juniper in October confirmed the upcoming departure of Emilio Umeoka, senior vice president of worldwide partners. Juniper has since tapped David Helfer, previously Juniper's vice president of channels, distribution and alliances for Europe, Middle East and Africa, as Umeoka's replacement.

Mark Robinson, president of CentraComm, a Findlay, Ohio-based solution provider and Elite Juniper partner, said that while CentraComm is "still bullish" on Juniper, losing some of the company's top channel talent has been disappointing.

"I have been working with Juniper for a long time, so any time these guys leave, when I've gotten to know them personally, it's hard not to be disappointed," Robinson told CRN. "Hojin [Kim] wasn't as visible to VARs because of his role … but, from my personal experience and from what I hear from other Juniper folks, he was an exceptionally talented guy."

The latest shake-up to Juniper's channel team comes just one month after the company named former Verizon CTO Shaygan Kheradpir its new CEO. The appointment of Kheradpir, a 10-year Verizon veteran, prompted Juniper partners to question whether Juniper will be placing a bigger bet on the service provider market moving forward.

"Certainly, there has been a wave the last year or so with Juniper, but I don't think that's abnormal, necessarily. I think it's cyclical," Robinson told CRN. "I think the most important thing is that their products are getting better and that they continue to have a good story there. I just wish they could do both, and have the stability on the executive side and the product side. But, at the end of the day, we are still moving forward."

PUBLISHED DEC. 11, 2013