Brocade has new EMEA sales head

IP and SAN solutions vendor Brocade has appointed long-time networking executive, Alberto Soto, to lead the sales organisation for its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) geography effective July 1, 2010. Soto will replace Ulrich Plechschmidt, who will be moving to Brocade’s corporate headquarters in San Jose to lead the Global Sales Enablement and the OEM Marketing departments.

Previous to Brocade, Soto was VP and GM of HP ProCurve EMEA, a position he assumed in late 2006. At Brocade, Soto will report to Ian Whiting, senior VP of Worldwide Sales while Plechschmidt will report to John McHugh, vice president and chief marketing officer.

Soto’s appointment is another key step in Brocade executing on its business initiatives to grow its Ethernet business worldwide. Brocade first outlined these initiatives in Q1 FY 2010 and provided a number of significant updates as part of the Q2 financial results that it announced last month.

Soto’s extensive networking industry expertise will help Brocade expand its footprint in the EMEA market, in particular by bolstering relationships with essential channel partners and distributors. According to Forrester Research, the EMEA IT segment will be an almost US$500 billion market opportunity in US dollars.

“As we outlined at our recently held Technology Day, we see opportunities abound across the networking industry, which we believe is undergoing another major innovation cycle,” said Whiting. “Veteran leadership like the kind Alberto brings to Brocade is crucial for our company to separate from the pack in a hyper-competitive yet strategically important market that EMEA is.”

Soto has a long and distinguished career in IT, predominantly at networking companies. Before joining HP ProCurve, he was the country manager for the Iberian Peninsula for 3Com where he grew the business to more than US$200 million per year. Before that, he was the country manager for Iberia at Madge Networks and helped established a 1-tier channel program for that region. Garcia’s previous experience also includes stints at Digital Equipment Corporation, Bull and Sener.

Soto’s educational background is also extensive. He holds an executive MBA from the IESE Business School in Madrid as well as a Masters in Computer Science and a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering both from the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey.