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April 15, 1997

SARA PADOB, Plaintiff, against ENTEX INFORMATION SERVICE, Defendant.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: SCHEINDLIN


 Plaintiff Sara Padob alleges that her former employer, Defendant Entex Information Service ("Entex"), discharged her from her position of Corporate Sales Manager on account of her gender and in violation of Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., the New York State Human Rights Law, N.Y. Exec. Law § 290 et seq., and the New York City Human Rights Law, Admin. Code of City of N.Y., § 8-101 et seq. Plaintiff also claims that she was terminated in retaliation for filing a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") prior to her termination from Entex. Defendant now moves for summary judgment pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). For the reasons stated below, Defendant's motion is granted.


 Entex, a computer reseller and systems integrator, sells computer hardware and software and provides maintenance, support and network integration and other professional services to its customers throughout the United States. Affidavit of: Dennis Kanegaye, former Manager of Entex's New York City branch ("Kanegaye Aff."), dated January 30, 1997, P 2. Entex is headquartered in Rye Brook, New York and has over 60 branch offices, including a New York City branch. Deposition of Dennis Kanegaye ("Kanegaye Dep.") at 9. At the time of her termination, Plaintiff was employed at the New York City branch as a Corporate Sales Manager.

 Plaintiff was employed at Entex more than nine years. She was first hired by Businessland, a predecessor of Entex, as an Account Manager in August 1986. Deposition of Sara Padob ("Padob Dep.") at 12-13. In August 1991, Businessland was purchased by the Information Services Division of JWP, Inc., and two years later, Entex was formed through the acquisition and privatization of JWP, Inc.'s Information Services Division. Kanegaye Aff. PP 2-3. Throughout these years of corporate change, Plaintiff received steady promotions, from Account Manager to Senior Marketing Consultant, to National Account Manager, to her final position as Corporate Sales Manager. See Padob Dep. at 30-47. She was promoted to Corporate Sales Manager in April 1994 by John McDowell, Branch Manager of Entex's Philadelphia office, who had been acting as branch manager in New York on an interim basis since August 1993. See id. at 44; Kanegaye Aff. P 5.

 As a Corporate Sales Manager, Plaintiff was responsible for directing, managing, and leading a team of Account Managers. Padob Dep. at 53, 274-76. Her duties included meeting assigned revenue, gross profit and operating contribution goals; attracting and hiring a productive sales team; keeping abreast of current and future trends in the computer industry; guiding the sales strategy and positioning within new and existing accounts; and assisting with Entex's transition from a highly transactional hardware and product business to a firm specializing in the technology services business. See Defendant's Local 3(g) Statement ("Def's 3(g)") at P 25; Plaintiff's Response to Defendant's 3(g) Statement ("Pl's 3(g)") at P 25.

 At the time of her termination, Plaintiff was one of three Corporate Sales Managers, and the only female of the three. Kanegaye Aff. P 9. One of the other two, Seth Frank, had been hired as a Corporate Sales Manager by John McDowell in August 1993. Id. at P 10. The other, Rob Mariani, had been promoted to the position at the same time as Plaintiff. Id. at P 13. Although Plaintiff was the only female Corporate Sales Manager, she was one of six females in a departmental management position; both the Operations Manager and the Advanced Client Services Manager positions were held by women. Id. at P 9. All departmental managers reported directly to the Branch Manager.

 In January 1995, Dennis Kanegaye was hired as Branch Manager of the New York City branch and John McDowell returned to the Philadelphia office. Padob Dep. at 142. It is at this point that Plaintiff alleges she became subjected to discrimination. Specifically, she claims that Mr. Kanegaye treated her differently than the two male managers because she is a woman.

 As soon as he became Branch Manager, Mr. Kanegaye was displeased with Plaintiff's performance. Shortly after taking over the New York City branch, he met with each Corporate Sales Manager and his or her sales team. Kanegaye Dep. at 36-38. Mr. Kanegaye testified that Plaintiff lacked knowledge of and involvement with her team's largest and most important accounts. Id. at 36-38. He met with Plaintiff in late January to discuss his concerns, and to suggest ways in which she might step up her involvement in her team's accounts. Def's 3(g) P 38; Pl's 3(g) P 38. He discussed performance issues with Plaintiff on a regular basis for the next seven months. See Padob Dep. at 304, 483-92.

 In April 1995, Mr. Kanegaye prepared written performance appraisals for the three Corporate Sales Managers. Def's 3(g) P 41; Pl's 3(g) P 41. In measuring the performance of each, Mr. Kanegaye took eight objectives and nine performance characteristics into account. See Padob Dep. 628-630; Kanegaye Aff., Exs. A (Padob Appraisal) B (Mariani Appraisal), and C (Frank Appraisal). Plaintiff received an overall rating of "Partially Achieves", while Mr. Frank and Mr. Mariani received ratings of "Meets Expectations ".

 Mr. Kanegaye found Plaintiff's performance deficient in several areas. He noted that she was not sufficiently involved with her team's accounts, did not adequately understand Entex's service capabilities and direction, was not viewed by her team as an effective manager, and had not effectively attracted or retained staff. See Kanegaye Aff., Ex. A. Mr. Kanegaye did not view Plaintiff's performance as entirely problematic, however. She had met or nearly met expectations in the areas of fostering teamwork within her sales team, creating and implementing management procedures, effectively administering her existing accounts, submitting administrative reports, and possessing good written and verbal communications skills. Id. Most significantly, Plaintiff had attained her quarterly sales quota each quarter, which her fellow Corporate Sales Managers had not, and her team was number one in sales. Id.

 Although she submitted a written response to her appraisal shortly after her review, in which she disagreed with some of Mr. Kanegaye's comments, see Padob Aff., Ex. 6, Plaintiff testified that she did not disagree then or now with his assessment of her performance. Padob Dep. at 580-81, 583, 594. She also testified that it was not improper for Mr. Kanegaye to take factors other than sales quota achievement into account in assessing Corporate Sales Managers' performance, and that Mr. Kanegaye did not do so in an effort to discriminate against her because of her gender. Id. at 629-30.

 The performance appraisal set out numerous objectives for Plaintiff. These included going on a minimum of six sales calls per week with her team members, holding weekly planning sessions with her sales team, expanding her knowledge of hardware technology and trends to better work with computer vendors, expanding her knowledge of Entex's services and capabilities, and interviewing a minimum of two new Account Manager candidates per week. Kanegaye Aff., Ex. A. While Plaintiff stated that she did not disagree with these objectives, see Padob ...

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