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This year's list of CRN's Top 25 executives takes a step in a new and bold direction focusing on innovation. Not technical innovation alone, of which volumes are written each year, but true business innovation. Since its inception, CRN's list of the Top 25 executives assessed those in power, executives with influence who worked out front or behind the scenes to shape their company's future or exerted broad impact on the industry. While that remains true, the most influential executives today are those who innovate and whose business innovation affects the lives of today's solution providers. For instance, an executive can spearhead the development of a new product but its potential will never be reached unless he can find an innovative way of bringing that product to market and, in doing so, have legions of solution providers line up waiting to sell it. So, this year's list, and future ones, will focus on executives who are true innovators, those with mastery over the technology as well as business. On the following pages you will find such individuals from the ranks of solution providers, distributors, vendors and other organizations.
CHAIRMAN, PRESIDENT & CEO, HEWLETT-PACKARD
Mark Hurd gets the channel. He seeks input from solution providers and works with them to grow their businesses together. And his efforts are paying off.
MANAGING DIRECTOR, MADISON DEARBORN PARTNERS
As the mastermind behind Madison Dearborn Partners' $7.3 billion purchase of CDW, Chereskin sparked a resurgence of private equity involvement in the channel.
EXECUTIVE VP WORLDWIDE FIELD OPERATIONS, VMWARE
VMware is currently at the top of the virtualization game, but with Microsoft and Citrix entering the fray, who knows how long that will last? To keep VMware growing, Eschenbach is taking the company down -- into the SMB market.
CHAIRMAN AND CEO, NEWEGG.COM
By sticking to basics, Newegg is blazing a trail in distribution that VARs are following. Thanks to Chang's strategies, Newegg is now seen as a viable sourcing alternative to the likes of Synnex, Ingram Micro and Tech Data.
Tasked with taking Microsoft into the software-as-a-service era without leaving partners behind, Turner is not afraid to experiment. Will the resulting "software-plus-services" strategy stand the test of time?
Next: Hector Ruiz
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