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Cisco Systems is reshuffling some of its channel executives. The networking giant has confirmed that Chuck Robbins, segment vice president for U.S. and Canada channels, has been promoted to senior vice president of commercial, Cisco’s SMB division that serves businesses with 1,500 or fewer employees.

Cisco is seeking a replacement for Robbins to run the North American channels operation, and the company is planning to announce the new chief in its fiscal third quarter, which starts on Feb. 1.

The company has been considering both internal and external candidates for the position. Meanwhile, Keith Goodwin, senior vice president of worldwide channels, will serve as acting channel chief in North America.

Among his responsibilities in his new role, Robbins will be in charge of Cisco’s Direct Touch salesforce, a business that is 100 percent channel, a Cisco spokesperson said, adding that this will allow Robbins to draw on his deep understanding of the channel.

Robbins is replacing Doug Dennerline in the senior vice president of U.S. commercial role. Dennerline is moving into the new, global role as senior vice president and general manager of the Collaboration Software Group, reporting to Don Proctor, senior vice president of The Software Group. That group includes Cisco’s recently acquired WebEx organization—one that has done most of its sales direct but that Cisco wants to make more available to the channel.

In his former role, Robbins had been leading Cisco’s efforts to help partners with what they say is one of their top challenges today—recruiting and retaining top technical talent.

In his previous role as segment vice president, Atlanta-based Robbins was responsible for driving the channel strategy and vision for Cisco’s sales organization. He has served in that role since 2002, driving Cisco partner profitability and an 86 percent increase in Cisco sales flow through the channel.

Under Robbins, 93 percent of Cisco’s overall U.S. business came through its channel community.

Prior to joining Cisco, Robbins spent six years in various sales and management positions at Bay Networks and Ascend Communications. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a computer science concentration from the University of North Carolina.