Leonard Iventosch, the popular head of storage vendor NetApp’s global channel sales operation, left his post suddenly on Tuesday, company officials have confirmed. No reason for the resignation was given.

In a statement, a NetApp spokesman said that, effective immediately, Iventosch’s boss, Pat Linehan, senior vice president of worldwide sales and Eric Mann, senior vice president of NetApp’s Americas sales will jointly lead the vendor’s channel efforts in the interim while the
company searches for Iventosch’s replacement.

"NetApp of course wishes Leonard the best, and NetApp will remain committed to building upon and maintaining our already strong relationships with partners that we have built as a company," Linehan tells Channel Insider. "We will continue to focus on expanding our channel strategy, programs, and best practices globally in a consistent manner.

"In our previous fiscal quarter, our partners accounted for 64 percent of total revenue, a number we are proud of and one that demonstrates our commitment to a successful execution of our VIP Program around the world," Linehan says.

NetApp is still very committed to the company’s channel strategy, programs, and best practices focusing on partner coverage, leverage, and loyalty, a spokesman added.

Iventosch was vice president of Americas channel sales at NetApp in February 2007 when the company tapped him to lead global channel sales. He’s garnered recognition in the industry, including being named a 2008 Channel Chief by CMP Channel’s CRN earlier this year. He was perhaps best known for creating NetApp’s VIP
(Very Important Partner) Program to augment  to the company’s direct sales force. The program saw the vendor drive a significant amount of revenue and leads through the channel.

"At NetApp we believe in long-term partner relationships based on trust and integrity, and to be recognized for our commitment to our partner community is a great honor," Iventosch said in a statement earlier this year. "By investing in our channel program and, more importantly, in our partners, we are creating additional opportunities for our most trusted partners to effectively be more engaged with customers to solve their data center needs."

Iventosch has also help raised the profile of the channel within
NetApp’s services business, helping to emphasize the services offered
by the channel over NetApp’s own services to end users.

Iventosch could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Ed. Note: Story updated to include comment from NetApp executives.