After less than two years at accounting and business solutions giant Sage North America, Business Solutions Division president Jodi Uecker-Rust will depart the company at the end of this week due to “personal reasons.”

Uecker-Rust explained her departure this morning in a note to Sage VARs and partners, with follow-up statements from executive vice president of sales Paul Johnson and vice president of channel management Tom Miller.

A Sage spokesperson confirmed that Uecker-Rust will be with the company until the end of this week and a search is underway for her replacement. Meanwhile, Sage chief executive Sue Swenson will lead the Sage Business Solutions Division in the interim.

Uecker-Rust’s letter to partners stated, “This week I will be departing Sage continuing to believe in you and your entrepreneurial spirit. Please know it is a bittersweet decision for me to leave Sage at this time when the momentum is clearly positive; but for personal reasons, it is the right time.”

In a follow-up letter to partners, entitled Sage Business Solutions Organizational Announcement, Johnson and Miller stated, “One of our steps in this new year will be a change to the overall leadership of Sage Business Solutions as Jodi Uecker-Rust has decided to leave Sage for personal reasons. We know we speak for the entire Sage leadership team in thanking Jodi for the work she has done to propel the SBS business and build a leadership team that is even more strongly committed to partner advocacy.”

Uecker-Rust served as chief operating officer of Great Plains until it was acquired by Microsoft in 2001. At Microsoft, she became a corporate vice president in charge of integration, the Navision acquisition and international strategy.

She left the company in 2004 to spend time with her children, but returned to the industry in February 2009 to serve as president of Sage Business Solutions following the departure of Nina Smith in January 2009.

The move is being met with mixed feelings from top channel partners, some surprised yet supportive and confident in the company’s direction.

“I was surprised to hear that Jodi has resigned from her position at Sage,” said Jeffrey Roth, CEO of Livingston, N.J.-based SWK Technologies Inc. “Her arrival was met with great anticipation, and in large part, she was able to make significant, positive improvements to the Sage SBS leadership team. While we are sad to see her go, we are confident that the vision that Jodi had will continue to be implemented by Paul Johnson and the rest of the executives.”

Major Sage reseller Net@Work was also confident that Sage overall was moving in the right direction and that Uecker-Rust’s departure, while significant, should not have a major impact on most partners or the company in general.

“Our partnership with Sage is a strong one that is much deeper than any one individual,” said Net@Work co-founder Alex Solomon. “I think the rest of the executive team at Sage is very focused on the channel and are making certain that the publisher-reseller bond is stronger than ever before. Jody was a big part of that, but at this point…. I believe that it is deeply embedded into the culture of the executive team. Sage long ago realized that much of their success as an organization in the SME space is reliant upon the success of the channel that services our mutual customers.”

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