Zaffire Zaps Marketing VP

Company replaces Rob Keil, vice president of marketing with business development VP

January 26, 2001

1 Min Read
Zaffire Zaps Marketing VP

Rob Keil, VP of marketing for Zaffire Inc., a metro area DWDM startup, packed his bags this week and left the San Jose headquarters for good. According to sources close to the company, Keil wasn't seeing eye to eye with CEO Jim Fultz, and he was asked to leave.

Zaffire says that Keil left for personal reasons.

According sources who asked to remain unnamed, tensions between the sales force and the marketing team had been mounting for some time.

“Friction between sales and marketing at Zaffire? That’s an understatement,” says one former salesman who left the company earlier this month.

The problems stems from unfilled expectations on both ends, according to the source. The marketing people were said to be upset with the sales team for not following through on their requests to gather information from customers, said the former employee. And members of the sales team felt that the marketing team didn’t respond quickly enough when sales people needed support for request for proposals (RFPs).

Zaffire refused to comment on the nature of Keil's departure.

Today the company announced that Alan Hellawell will replace Keil as VP of strategic marketing. Hellawell, who had served as the director of business development at Zaffire, will wear three hats at the company. He will continue to handle business development as well as investor relations and marketing for the company.

This scuttlebutt follows several shifts in the company’s management (see Zaffire Keeps It in the Family ). Earlier this month the company also laid-off about 20 percent of its sales force (see Zaffire Fires 20% of Sales Team).

--Marguerite Reardon, senior editor, Light Reading,

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