Symantec has named John Eldh (pictured) VP of channel sales for the Americas, succeeding Randy Cochran, who has left the security and storage software company to pursue other opportunities.

Eldh most recently was VP of sales for, which includes extensive channel partner components and familiar brands (such as Backup Exec) available on-demand. Eldh will oversee relationships with VARs, MSPs and other channel partners.

Rich Strong, senior VP for Symantec Americas sales, announced the channel chief change in an email to partners. In addition to thanking Cochran for his leadership, Strong pointed to Symantec's continued focus on partners:

"Under John's leadership in FY13, we will put a relentless focus on driving growth in the Americas by leveraging the strength of our partner ecosystem. We are excited about the new opportunities and leadership that John brings to this role. Our goal is to build on the foundation of our partnership with you. Symantec continues to be a channel-led company, with the majority of our business flowing through you, our partners."

Cochran, meanwhile, provided a steadying hand during some challenging times for Symantec in the channel. Back in 2008, Symantec suffered a mind share setback with some channel partners, who were upset by direct sales comments attributed to Enrique Salem (COO at the time). Julie Parrish, Symantec's channel chief at the time, resigned and joined NetApp.

Cochran was one of the key executives who remained focused on rebuilding Symantec's channel credibility, and in recent years the Symantec channel has returned to normalcy, backed by well-received products like Symantec Endpoint Protection 12.