Mark Hurd, Chairman and CEO Hewlett-Packard12:00 PM EST Fri. Nov. 21, 2008
Sure, Hewlett-Packard's Chairman and CEO made major moves to shore up HP's services business with its $13.9 billion acquisition of Electronic Data Systems. And he plugged gaps in HP's storage business with his $360 million acquisition of iSCSI SAN vendor Lefthand Networks.
But its Hurd's work in cementing HP's relationships with its solution providers that's kept him at the top among the industry's channel-friendly CEOs. Hurd's private meetings with groups of solution providers became so frequent over the past year that HP formalized the process, now called Executive Connections, to set up face-to-face meetings between solution providers, their customers and top HP executives, including Hurd.
The strategy underscores Hurd's push to use the channel to extend HP's reach into the midmarket using solution providers as an extension of HP's sales force.
"For our loyal partners we want to create demand," Hurd told Everything Channel earlier this year. "Our people are creating demand for HP products; they are not out there trying to determine channel preference. We tell our partners all the time, if you can close that business and get it done right, we'd rather have you have the business than we have the business. Here's the economic problem: I've got to get that number [HP's share of the 2009 $1.2 trillion global IT market] as high as I possibly can get it and we can't do it alone. I can't hire enough humans. The only way I can get there is that I have to have friends."
And in this uncertain economic climate, Hurd seems bent on using the channel to extend HP's ever growing market reach.