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Originally posted by Gina Narcisi on March 22, 2016 on crn.com

Verizon Enterprise Solutions’ Channel Chief Adam Famularo is leaving the company effective April 1 to become the CEO of a software company, fulfilling a longtime personal goal.

Famularo, who has headed up the global channel organization for the past 18 months, will be succeeded by Verizon Vice President Janet Schijns, a five-year Verizon channel veteran who is highly regarded by partners.

“Verizon’s channel partners are in good hands,” said Verizon Senior Vice President of Global Sales George Fischer in a prepared statement. “Janet is well suited to lead the channel sales group. Her strong background in this arena, proven track record of excellence and close work with the channel sales team will further the strategy and drive expansion of our program.”

Famularo said he will formally hand over the reins as vice president of global channels to Schijns on April 1 and announce his next opportunity in early April. He told CRN that leaving the carrier was one of the hardest decisions he ever had to make.

“This was a very hard move for me because Verizon is so dedicated to the channel with such a great leadership team. Me leaving at this time is in no way a reflection on Verizon,” he said.

[highlight type=”one”]Famularo has left the carrier in good hands by passing the channel baton to Schijns, said Bob Venero, CEO of Holbrook, N.Y.-based solution provider Future Tech, No. 232 on the CRN 2015 Solution Provider 500. “Janet knows the channel well and is very driven and motivated,” he said. “There is no doubt that Adam’s exit is is not going to hurt them in any way. In fact, he has set up Janet to continue to drive sales growth in the channel.”[/highlight]

Andrew Pryfogle, senior vice president of cloud transformation for Petaluma, Calif.-based Intelisys, a Verizon master agent that has experienced significant sales growth Verizon, said it has been “refreshing” to see the “enormous commitment” Verizon has made to the channel under Famularo.

“We have been big fans of Adam,” he said. “A lot of the credit for the channel gains at Verizon are a result of Adam’s leadership. Janet Schijns is a respected and experienced leader in the channel and we are confident she can build on the success we are experiencing. We had a monster 2015 with Verizon and we are forecasting even bigger growth in 2016. We are confident that Verizon will stay the course on their commitment to the channel and we are bullish on our future together.”

Under Famularo, the Basking Ridge New Jersey based Verizon’s partner program has flourished. Famularo has helped drive channel business and grow its agent channel by ten times alongside his team. The carrier also developed and introduced a resale channel model, a full public sector channel organization, as well as a distributor program under Famularo’s command.

“The leadership in Verizon are all strong believers in building out the channel business – it was never just me,” Famularo said. “By me jumping out and Janet jumping in, it won’t change whatsoever.”

Schijns has been closely involved with the channel in her previous role with Verizon, so the transition between channel chiefs will be seamless, Verizon said.

As vice president of enterprise marketing, Schijns worked on channel marketing, including marketing for Verizon’s partner program. Schijns has been working directly with channel partners in helping to grow their business by selling Verizon’s vast portfolio of services and products, the carrier said.

Famularo has been working with Schijns for years on channel marketing. She also helped to build Verizon’s initial agent program, he said.

“[Schijns] is first and foremost a channel advocate,” Famularo said. “Her team has always been my team that helped us build and develop the channel business the way it is today. She will be able to bring over her leadership attributes and pick up exactly where I left off.”

Verizon’s message to partners during the transition is that the carrier doesn’t plan on missing a beat, Famularo said.

“Everything we are doing now in the channel, we expect it to go even faster under [Schijn’s] leadership,” he said.

Steve Burke contributed to this story.