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Key Avaya role goes to Shorten

Alex Scroxton

Avaya has confirmed mounting speculation among its channel partners after appointing its EMEA vertical marketing manager, Lee Shorten, to the post of UK and Ireland managing director.

Shorten's swift elevation comes barely a fortnight after Buddy Ceronie, formerly vice president of the UK, Ireland and South Africa, quietly left the company to pursue other interests after barely a year in the post.

According to Avaya management of its South African business will now be handed over to its Middle East and North Africa unit, now renamed Emerging Markets.

Avaya EMEA president of field operations Michael Bayer, himself one of a new crop of top-level execs in the region claimed that feedback from customers and partners had told Avaya "increased and singular focus on the specific needs of UK and Ireland customers will help us gain momentum in these key markets".

However it has since emerged that Ceronie's split from Avaya was not entirely amicable. A source familiar with the situation who declined to be named said Ceronie had been pushed because he was perceived as "out of tune" with Avaya's new Cisco-heavy management team.

"They wanted someone who was younger and hungrier; Buddy is absolutely gutted," he remarked.

It is not known yet whether or not Ceronie plans to remain in the industry.

The role of Martyn Lambert - who has also left the company - as vice president of EMEA marketing, also remains up for grabs. Avaya told MicroScope today that his responsibilities are being handled by EMEA marketing head Jirina Yates in an interim capacity.

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