You can learn a lot about which companies are setting the pace for the industry from CRN's annual top 100 executive list. The big take away from this year's list is that no has climbed farther up the technology solutions and channel stack and is poised for more robust channel growth than Dell. That's why we have selected Dell Founder, Chairman and CEO Michael Dell as the number one most influential technology executive on the planet.
A lot has been written about Michael as an industry icon who pioneered and popularized the direct sales PC model starting out as a 19-year-old entrepreneur 27 years ago selling PCs from his University of Texas at Austin dorm room. Less has been written about Michael's ability as a world class CEO with the vision, courage, mettle and management skills to reinvent Dell from one treacherous technology era to the next.
Michael Dell's biggest accomplishment may well be taking his company from a PC maker that relied on supply chain excellence and low prices to a technology firm with a strong product portfolio from the desktop to the data center. At the same time, he has taken Dell from a Walmart-like direct sales supplier of PCs to a technology solutions power with a fast growing army of solution providers and consultants.
What's exciting about Dell's accomplishments in 2011 is just how far he has come in building out the company's enterprise data center solutions portfolio. Dell's acquisitions of networking power Force10 and storage high-flyer Compellent this year have given the company and its partners a world class data center solutions portfolio.
Of course, our top 100 list also measures channel progress and no company has made more channel progress this year than Dell. Once again, that is due to Michael Dell's passion to make big channel sales gains working hard in the sales trenches to recruit and sell with partners.
Channel programs thrive or die based on CEO channel commitment. Michael Dell's channel commitment is without question. The technology business is unforgiving to those that refuse to change and adapt to a market that moves at blinding speed. Dell has shown an uncanny ability to reinvent his company with compelling products, solutions, and services that ring the bell for customers.
Of course, no CEO goes it alone. Dell is not the only executive on our top 100 list. Dell Vice President and General Manager Global Commercial Chanels Greg Davis is number one on our Top 10 Channel Sales leader list and Bob Skelley, global certified partner program channel executive, is on our Top 10 Next-Gen Channel Leaders list.
Davis started the Dell channel program five years ago and has steadily climbed higher and higher up the channel ladder each and every year. Davis' choice as number one channel sales leader is a testamement to his drive and tenacity as a channel sales executive.
As for Skelley, who came to Dell from the company's Equallogic acquisition, his success is a classic case of Dell bringing channel DNA into the company and having the wisdom to leverage that channel expertise.
Other executives that deserve a shout out for number one spots on our ten top 10 lists:
Oracle President Mark Hurd, number one on our Channel Advocates list, for driving a remarkable channel sales transformation at the company with clear compelling economics and support for Oracle channel partners.
Herve Tardy, the vice president and general manager of the distributed power quality business unit at Eaton, number one on our channel strategists list. Tardy's unwavering channel commitment and willingness to invest in partners has put Eaton at the forefront of the cloud computing power management revolution.
Michael and Dan Schwab, copresidents of D&H Distributing, number one on our SMB Superstars list. There simply is no one that has done a better job delivering higher levels of services and support year in and year out for small medium business (SMB) focused solution providers.
Jeremy Burton, the outspoken chief marketing officer for EMC, number one on our Mavericks list. Burton is a true original that always delivers compelling strategy/sales weapons that are used to great advantage by partners.
Craig West, the vice president of chanel sales for NetSuite, number one on our Next-Gen Channel Leaders list who has pushed his company higher and higher into the cloud computing channel sales clouds with programs and support that are second to none.
Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff, number one on our Top 10 Innovators list who continues to drive the industry further and further into the cloud stratosphere with innovative products and services.
Ingram Micro CEO Greg Spierkel, number one on our 10 Channel Services Leaders list, who has charted a next generation course for the world's largest information technology distributor with the Ingram Micro Cloud.
Apple CEO Tim Cook, number one on our Up and Comers List. Cook has big shoes to fill with the passing of Apple cofounder and visionary Steve Jobs, but no one is better suited to carry the Apple torch forward than Cook.
Congratulations to each and every one of the executives on our top 100 list. Your technology and sales passion, intensity and indefatigable spirit is what makes this business so much fun.