Suggestions that Mitel UK sales director Enda Kenneallystepped down from her post after falling out with the firm over a move to takemore channel business direct are baseless but have served to deflect attention from cost cutsat the vendor.
One source close to the Mitel channel said: "Everybody elsehas been whinging about Mitel's financial status and how they can keep goinggiven the state of their balance sheet. The impression I got was that it wasnothing to do with a spat, it really was just aggressive cost-cutting."
Mitel specialist Andy Crawford, recently appointed asdevelopment manager for the Mitel line at growing networking reseller Intrinsic,said he was "disappointed to see Enda go" but believed that the channel shouldbe in safe hands.
One reseller added that the rumour had been "concerning, butappears to have no substance", and Mitel EMEA managing director Graham Bevingtonmoved swiftly to reassure those who were worried by the speculation.
He explained that while Mitel had been a direct business inthe '90s, the launch of its 50-100 port-centric 3300 line in 2000 had madechannel-building an imperative.
"We turned our UK business channel-focused first,and it's been very successful. The logic of us pressing the reset button isjust preposterous. Why would we ignore the last nine years of work?" he said.
Mitel confirmed Kenneally's departure late Friday after the unconfirmedrumours about the reasons for her exit surfaced.
The source of the speculationthat Mitel was preparing a direct assault has not been identified.
In a lengthy statement sent to MicroScope, Mitel saidKenneally's departure was due to a need to "streamline its organisation" andstressed it remained committed to the channel strategy championed by Kenneally.
Bevington, who is taking on additional responsibilities inthe UK,quashed talk of aggressive cost slashing and said the cuts had actually been "quitelight".
He pointed out that Mitel revenue growth had flatlinedduring the recession and said the firm had taken the view that recovery wasgoing to take some time.
Kenneally, meanwhile, has already been linked with severalother firms but as yet there is no indication of what her next move might be.