The Most Powerful Women Of The Channel


There's Strength In Numbers
Words To Live By

Collectively, they have a voice that resonates throughout the industry. Individually, their roles run the gamut from distribution executives to vendor channel leaders to CEOs of solution provider organizations. Meet the 2008 VARBusiness Most Powerful Women Of The Channel.

On the following pages, you'll find the highlights of what each woman has accomplished over the past year and whom they've chosen as their female role models. This year, there are more than 50 women on our list as a trio of channel directors from VMware chose to share their honor.

The women of years past paved the way for those who came after them. Today's Women Of The Channel will do the same for the generations to come.

 

SUE ALEXANDER
Vice President, EMEA Consumer and Channels

McAfee Inc.

Santa Clara, Calif.
Years In Position: 2
Years In Channel: 16
www.mcafee.com

Hope To Accomplish: Hope To Accomplish: Alexander hopes this year to enable each Authorized Partner to fully utilize McAfee's own resources--both personnel and through improved systems. Taking advantage of these resources will enable partners to respond more effectively to customer-s needs.

 

Mentor: Alexander says she's learned a lot from many bosses over the years, both men and women. She also says it's important to be self-motivated and to absorb the best of each corporate culture and not expect any one person to help you on your career path.

Executives You Admire: Diane Green (formerly of VMware) and Meg Whitman (formerly of eBay)

 

CELINE AZIZKHAN
Channel Chief

ATandamp;T Corp.

Philadelphia
Years In Position: 4
Years In Channel: 4
www.att.com

Hope To Accomplish: Customers today are more demanding, more knowledgeable and have more choices, Azizkhan says. They do business with those who understand their needs and deliver on their promises. To deliver the service that customers demand, she says, her plan is to continue to take a leadership role in making sure that the full breadth of ATandT's portfolio is positioned with the solution provider and agent base. In addition, ATandT's focus is around solution provider satisfaction, to be easy to do business with and to deliver on overall customer satisfaction, according to Azizkhan. To that end, her goal is to fully support AtandT in leading the industry and speeding the convergence of new voice, video and data services.

Mentor: Azizkhan has learned much from so many mentors throughout her 28-year career, adding that she has had the pleasure of working with some of the most influential leaders in the business. She has learned discipline, good salesmanship, strong communications, coaching and the willingness to take on the tough decisions from these mentors, who have enabled her to succeed in each of the changes she has made in her career, Azizkhan notes. She has also learned that enjoying the people you work with makes any job that much more fun and helps her focus on creating a life/career balance.

Executives You Admire: Those Azizkhan admires most are ones who can articulate the strategy and direction to their customers, shareholders and employees and then get out the way to let them deliver on it.

 

WENDY BAHR
Vice President, U.S. and Canada Channels

Cisco Systems Inc.

San Jose, Calif.
Years In Position: 6 months
Years In Channel: 3
www.cisco.com

Hope To Accomplish: Bahr this year aims to continue Cisco's success with collaborative Web 2.0 tools and programs that will enable partners to more easily access the support tools and resources available. These tools will accelerate sales cycles and increase profitability, she says.

Mentor: Bahr says she is fortunate to have many mentors during the course of her career, both professionally and personally. She says she relies on a core group of advisers with whom she has built a strong relationship to give her honest feedback and advice.

Executives You Admire: Bahr says she's a big fan of Xerox's Anne Mulcahy, noting that her leadership during a difficult period in the company's history was impressive.

 

JULIE BENNANI
GM, Partner Program, Worldwide Partner Group

Microsoft Corp.

Redmond, Wash.
Years In Position: 1
Years In Channel: 10
www.microsoft.com

Hope To Accomplish: Bennani says her goal is to complete the three-year strategy and road map for the partner-led, customer-centric evolution of the Microsoft partner program.

Mentor: For Bennani, her father was her first and one of her best mentors, someone who manages to blend business savvy with relationship building and personal drive--all while not taking work too seriously.

Executives You Admire: Those individuals who think about the 'long haul' vs. the near term and drive alignment and decision making for the best interests of their company as opposed to themselves, Bennani says. Jeffrey Immelt has done a 'fabulous' job taking over for Jack Welch at GE, she says, and the tandem of Anne Mulcahy and Ursula Burns at Xerox is also 'inspiring.'

 

LAURIE BENSON
CEO

Inacom Information Systems.

Madison, Wis.
Years In Position: 24
Years In Channel: 24
www.inacom.com

Hope To Accomplish: Benson wants to have a significant impact on workforce development efforts in IT in Wisconsin and nationally. Personally, she says, she wants to learn new skill sets to thrive in a global society.

Mentor: Loren Morenson, Inacom's chairman of the board, and several key board members, customers, employees and friend.

Executives You Admire: Frank Vitagliano of Juniper and Greg Spierkel of Ingram Micro.

 

JOHNNA BOWLEY
Senior Director, Channel and Partner Marketing

Riverbed technology Inc.

San Francisco
Years In Position: 1
Years In Channel: 16
www.riverbed.com

Hope To Accomplish: This year Bowley says she aims to further globalize the Riverbed channel evolution initiative, building programs that leverage its VAD community as a key extension of its channel sales strategy, and expand the Riverbed service provider program.

Mentor: One of the most influential was the first boss Bowley had she came into the channel. Bowley began her career in the channel as a marketing manager inside a distributor. This individual 'showed her the ropes' around different vendors' channel programs--lessons she still remembers today in building out channel programs and strategies. He has continued to be a coach and a friend, Bowley says, and keeps her grounded in 'focusing on what matters, rather than what's popular.'

Executives You Admire: Jack Welch because of his 'maniacal focus on quality, process improvement and belief in hiring the right people for the job and then letting them do it. Lee Iacocca: One of Bowley's professors in her MBA program was on Iacocca's leadership staff and she learned about many of his practices. One that resonates was his concept of 'bet your check.' In desperate times he wasn't afraid to take a risk and his leadership team was every bit a part of the decision. The team would discuss different ways of doing things, then decide which option to take, and before making a decision Iacoca would always ask, 'Will you bet your check on it?' Carly Fiorina--she took a stand, made some tough decisions and did something that no one before her had the courage to do: she bought Compaq. You may agree or disagree with her, Bowley says, but she personifies an executive who thinks outside the box.

Next: SHARON BRINDLEY

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SHARON BRINDLEY
Vice President, U.S. Business Channels, SMB

Lexmark International Inc.

Lexington, Ky.
Years In Position: 3
Years In Channel: 12
www.lexmark.com

Hope To Accomplish: Brindley over the past year was instrumental in introducing the industry's first vertical multi-function printing (MFP) devices, including the education Station, Clinical Assistant and Legal Partner -- all of which give the company's channel partners solutions to sell, not just a andquot;boxandquot;.

Mentor: Laurie Benson, CEO of Inacom Information Systems

 

LINDA BROTHERTON
Chief Technology Officer

ConnectWise

Tampa, Fla.
Years In Position: 10
Years In Channel: 10
www.connectwise.com

Hope To Accomplish: This year Brotherton will be adding distribution modules to manage purchasing, inventory and RMA functions within its product. This is going to help ConnectWise's telephony customers who require more in-depth inventory functionality.

Mentor: Her father. He worked 37 years for the power company and put three children through college. He almost never missed a day of work, Brotherton says, and showed her what you can accomplish through hard work.

 

JANE CAGE
COO

Heartland Technology Solutions

Joplin, Mo.
Years In Position: 5
Years In Channel: 23
www.heartlandtechnologies.com

Hope To Accomplish: Establish standard HR procedures within Heartland Technology Solutions as the company has grown. In addition, Cage wants to automate KPI reporting for more realtime information throughout the organization. Also, she will provide input on the success and growth of Everything Channel events.

 

Mentor: Although she and Laurie Benson, CEO of Inacom Information Systems, are close in age, Cage says, she has learned so much from her approach to her business and her involvement on advisory boards.

Executives You Admire: Frank Vitagliano (Juniper), Justin Crotty (Ingram Micro), Shirley Turner (formerly of Intel) and Laurie Benson

 

LINDA CONNLY
Vice President of Strategic Alliances, Americas

EMC Corp..

Hopkinton, Mass.
Years In Position: 3
Years In Channel: 6
www.emc.com

Hope To Accomplish: Connly says she aims to continue to grow the business and go deeper with partners to help them win more business with EMC.

Mentor: Within EMC, Connly says he mentors have been Bill Teuber, vice chairman, and Paul Dacier, executive vice president and general counsel.

Executives You Admire: John Chambers, CEO of Cisco

 

LESLIE S. CONWAY
Vice President, Marketing

Digium Inc.

Huntsville, Ala.
Years In Position: Since June 30
Years In Channel: 17
www.digium.com

Hope To Accomplish: Since this is a new position for channel veteran Conway (formerly of Adtran), the focus is on what she hopes to accomplish in her new role. Her goal is to bring to bear her marketing and channel expertise to get Digium's products, including the Switchvox line, into the hands of the company's resellers. Conway also plans to build out Digium's channel, both in North America and abroad, and will be part of the team responsible for identifying strategic partners. These partners will substantially broaden Digium's ability to address a particular market segment.

Mentor: Mark Smith, founder and former CEO of Adtran. Conway says Smith taught her that you 'learn the most through discovery.' He mentored by example--if you were facing an issue he would discuss it and the options but leave the course of action up to you. He reinforced independent thinking and let Conway think outside the box, she says.

Executives You Admire: Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric. Conway says she was fortunate to be part of the Edison Engineering program at GE when he was there. His innovative management strategies left a lasting impression and influenced her throughout the years.

 

MICHELLE DROLET
CEO

TOWERwall.

Framingham, Mass.
Years In Position: 15
Years In Channel: 15
www.towerwall.com

Hope To Accomplish: Drolet's goal is to increase revenue by 15 percent to 20 percent over last year. She hopes to continue increasing revenue while providing her customers with Raving Fan Service. The company is weighing the feasibility of providing managed security services. Drolet wants to help customers stay ahead of the curve by investigating new services and technologies on the market.

 

Mentor: Her mother, who is a general contractor in Texas.

Executives You Admire: Nancy Reynolds of Trend Micro and Terri Curran, SCO of Bose.

Next: KATIE DUMALA

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KATIE DUMALA
Vice President, Marketing Services

Tech Data Corp.

Clearwater, Fla.
Years In Position: 2
Years In Channel: 10
www.techdata.com

Hope To Accomplish: Dumala's main goal this year is to continue driving targeted demand connection between reseller customers and vendor partners. Through advanced data mining capabilities the distributor has developed, Tech Data can uncover new and more targeted opportunities to connect resellers and vendors. In addition, Tech Data will continue to expand services through TDAgency, its in-house marketing agency for resellers. She finds that resellers still need a lot of support to market their own business, and Tech Data has the expertise to help them generate demand.

Mentor: Dumala's channel mentor was Tech Data's president, Europe, Nestor Cano. While heading up Tech Data's U.S. operations, Cano taught her all about distribution and how to look for and realize new levels of operational excellence. Former Senior Vice President of Operations Lisa Thibodeau was also a strong mentor, Dumala says, and gave her incredible guidance on leadership.

Executives You Admire: Xerox CEO Anne Mulcahy, a strong female executive in a male-dominated field, Dumala says. Mulchay rose through the ranks from sales rep to CEO and guided Xerox through hard times all while raising a family.

 

DAWN DUROSS
Operations Director, Federal Channels andamp; Government Systems Integrator

Cisco Systems Inc.

Herndon, Va.
Years In Position: 6
Years In Channel: 6
www.cisco.com

Hope To Accomplish: Duross' primary focus is on solutions. Cisco is combining the State, Local and Education business unit with the federal team to form one unified public sector organization. As a result, she says, Cisco will focus with its partners on solutions for areas such as public safety and security, force protection and cyber operations.

Mentor: Duross says she had many excellent mentors although most probably didn't recognize their own influence at the time. It's important, she says, to gain advice from people you respect and who will tell you the truth.

Executives You Admire: John Chambers, chairman and CEO of Cisco, for his passion and leadership and Jack Welch, former chairman and CEO of General Electric, for his longstanding track record of success and straight talk.

 

JULIE EADES
Director, Channel Marketing

VMware Corp.

Palo Alto, Calif.
Years In Position: 3
Years In Channel: 20
www.vmware.com

Hope To Accomplish: Eades' goal this year is to help the VMware partner community understand the full benefits of what the company has to offer. She aims to make sure that partner communication, sales, marketing and rewards programs are easy to understand and that partners feel their relationship with VMware is the best of any vendor they work with,

 

Mentor: Eades remembers the first manager she worked with at Intel, who really showed her that if you put your mind to it, anything is possible. He pushed her outside of her comfort zone, Eades says, every day. It was through her experience at Intel and working with him in a high-growth culture that Eades realized she enjoyed working in high-tech and that her passion was the partner community.

Executives You Admire: When Eades lived in Europe and worked for Intel she always admired Andy Grove. She still remembers his motto and ultimately the title of his book 'Only The Paranoid Survive.' She also remembers his 'competition is good for us' mantra, teaching her to respect competitors as they will push you to be the best you can be. Eades also highlights Diane Greene (formerly of VMware) and Carl Eschenbach of VMware. Eades says it is truly amazing how Green started the company 10 years ago and seen the growth VMware has enjoyed yet, before she was let go was still close to the technology, customers, partners and employees. And Eschenbach, she says, is down to earth, remembers everybody's name and is truly interested in all the individuals he interacts with at VMware and elsewhere yet oversees a sales and partner organization that is achieving incredible sales growth.

 

MARY GILBERT
Vice President, Marketing

Mindjet Corp.

San Francisco
Years In Position: 6 months
Years In Channel: 15
www.mindjet.com

Hope To Accomplish: Gilbert is aiming for several hundred VARs, globally, actively engaged with customers adopting mind mapping technology, which lets people achieve insight by visually tying together their ideas and information as opposed to tying them together linearly.

Mentor: At the top of the list would be Patricia Burns, chief client officer of McCann Group; Floyd Miller, former president of Lowe Live; and Bill Carper, who heads up integrated marketing at Microsoft.

Executives You Admire: Meg Whitman for the eBay phenomenon and Eric Schmidt for his 70/20/10 business model vision.

 

CATHERINE H. GIORDANO
President and CEO

Knowledge Information Solutions Inc..

Virginia Beach, Va.
Years In Position: 7
Years In Channel: 7
www.kisinc.net

Hope To Accomplish: Expanding VAR relationships. Giordano also aims to grow the government/commercial/SMB market share by 20 percent.

Mentor: Virginia Gov. Mark Warner; former president of SAIC NETS Carl M. Albero; current partner of Knowledge Information Solutions Augustine Riolo

Carly Fiorina (HP), Michael Dell (Dell), Jack Welch (GE) Carly Fiorina (HP), Michael Dell (Dell), Jack Welch (GE)

 

TONIA GONSALVES
Sr. Director, Global Partner Enablement

Hitachi Data Systems

Santa Clara, Calif.
Years In Position: 4
Years In Channel: 20
www.hitachidatasystems.com

Hope To Accomplish: Under Gonsalves' leadership, Hitachi's TrueNorth partner program received the highest rankings possible in the industry, Gonsalves says. This year she aims to continue the evolution of the program with enhancements to create greater intimacy with the strategies of partners, with greater assurance of success and profitability.

Mentor: Numerous executives have inspired Gonsalves, but she says that those having the most impact stressed the principles of integrity, teamwork and the opportunity to excel.

Executives you admire: Jack Domme, HDS COO--his leadership has driven the greatest success the company has recognized, she says, and his strategy has brought the channel into top-level discussions at the company. Minoru Kosuge, HDS CEO, inspires through 'unassuming visionary strength." His style and direction, she says, inspire innovation and excellence and the highest level of integrity.

Next: DONNA GROTHJAN

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DONNA GROTHJAN
Vice President, Channel Strategy and Operations

Juniper Networks Inc.

Sunnyvale, Calif.
Years In Position: 3.5
Years In Channel: 20.5
www.juniper.net

Hope To Accomplish: Hope to accomplish: Grothjan aims to continue the development of partner tools, a configuration/quoter and solutions builder and and integrated lead management system and continue to roll out tools on a worldwide level. She also aims to implement a channel compliance structure and to develop an even stronger J-partner community that is trained to cross-sell across the portfolio.

Mentor: There was no one single mentor, but Grothjan says she has always looked to individuals with these qualities: strong leaders in tough environments, those who do a great job at work/life balance and those with a strong work ethic but who also know how to have fun.

Executives You Admire: Those who stay true to their beliefs and their actions clearly demonstrate that. Two executives that Grothjan says she truly admires for that reason are Mike Grainger and Frank Vitagliano.

 

HOPE HAYES
CEO

Alliance Technology Group LLC

Baltimore
Years In Position: 12
Years In Channel: 20
http://www.alliancestorage.com

Hope To Accomplish: Alliance has had a great start to the year, Hayes says, and the success is due to the great people in her organization. Every member understands that his or her job is to ensure that the client's needs are not just met but exceeded. With the company's growth, Alliance quickly learned the importance of having the right systems in place to support the expansion. This year Hayes is investing in new support systems, expanding the operational staff, expanding sales coverage as well as technical support.

Mentor: Hayes says she has never had one person as a mentor but has had individuals give her advice at different times in her career on different topics. This, she says, has enabled her to be mentored by many people with different views.

 

JULIE CRISCENTI HECK
Director, Channel Segment

VMware Corp.

Palo Alto, Calif.
Years In Position: 1
Years In Channel: 15
www.vmware.com

Hope To Accomplish: Heck's goal this year is to increase the success and penetration of VMware's channel in small and medium business, commercial and enterprise segments by giving partners first-rate programs, consistent two-way communication and opportunities to growth their virtualization practice. Heck says the key to growing and sustaining a loyal channel is to provide the best mix of programs and products.

Mentor: Her sister-in-law, Janet Heck, who excelled at a prestigious Wall Street financial investment firm and has helped her maneuver through sensitive situations with her experience as one of the few female executives in a company.

Executives You Admire: Besides the women who have been mentors, Heck says, she has worked with many male executives she admires: Larry Zulch, founder of Dantz and later president of the EMC Insignia product line. Zulch genuinely cared equally about his staff and doing the right thing for them as he did for his own personal success, Heck says. Steve Houck, Heck's current manager, not only andquot;talks on integrity, but walks the walk as someone who honors their word and strives to be the best leader he can be.andquot; And finally, Carl Eschenbach, executive vice president of worldwide field operations. Heck says she always applies the saying andquot;Fish rots from the headandquot; to what she thinks makes a good company culture. If the executive team holds themselves accountable to employees, customers and partners and shareholders, then each employee will do the same. Eschenbach has a balanced perspective on what is important to the company, but not at the expense of all else, she adds. andquot;He inspires me to believe that we only get one shot on this earth, so let's make our contribution something we can be proud of.andquot;

 

NANCY KAY HEDRICK
President and CEO

Computer Software Innovations Inc.

Easley, S.C.
Years In Position: 19
Years In Channel: 19
www.csioutfitters.com

Hope To Accomplish: Hedrick says she aims to continue to improve profitability and seek additional acquisitions. She also looks forward to continuing to inspire her team to excel.

Mentor: Her parents and former CFO

Executives You Admire: Hedrick says that anyone who is able to inspire positive, go-to attitudes among their employees and management teams is someone to admire.

 

JULIE HENS
Vice President, Channels, U.S. Canada Distribution

Cisco Systems Inc.

San Jose, Calif.
Years In Position: 3
Years In Channel: 3
www.cisco.com

Hope To Accomplish: Hens wants to increase Cisco's value-add into the SMB segment by creating an advisory board of the company's SMB partners. She wants to reach and empower the SMB channel; these partners are critical to Cisco's success, she says.

Mentor: Wendy Bahr, vice president, channels, U.S./Canada at Cisco, is definitely a mentor, Hens says, and one who exemplifies poise and leadership in everything she does. Hens also tries to leverage several colleagues and trusted advisers, as she believes it is important to get different viewpoints when faced with business challenges. This, she finds, gives her a different perspective and sometimes sends her in a direction she wouldn't have thought to go.

Executives You Admire: Executives you admire: Hens truly admires Colin Powell and his leadership philosophies. She was very impressed when Powell spoke at Cisco and said, andquot;Only by attracting the best people will you accomplish great deeds.andquot; Hens is focused on creating such an environment; it's fundamental to achieving amazing results, she believes.

 

MICHELLE JOHNSTON HOLTHAUS
General Manager, Channel Mobile Platforms Group

Intel Corp.

Hillsboro, Ore.
Years In Position: 8 months
Years In Channel: 10
www.intel.com

Hope To Accomplish: Holthaus aims to help channel partners establish a stronger footing in the mobility market. Her immediate goal this year is to see partners lead technology transitions as they launch new Intel-branded mobile motherboards in time with the launch of the Montevina platform. Other milestones she has her eye on are the expansion of Intel's ecosystem standards through more Common Building Blocks initiatives and helping partners gain more industry matchmaking opportunities through worldwide channel events.

Mentor: Robert B. Crooke, vice president and general manager of the Business Client Group, had a andquot;profoundandquot; effect on Holthaus' career. From the start of her time at Intel, Crooke inspired her with his vision of the development of motherboard products, microprocessor and chipset-enabling technology and electrical and thermal mechanical solutions. He encouraged her ideas, she says, challenged her strategic thinking and helped make her a well-rounded leader.

Executives You Admire: Anne Mulcahy, chairman and CEO of Xerox, for her andquot;ambition and drive that took her from a copy salesman to CEO and for her incredible leadership in returning Xerox to profitability.andquot;

Next: MARIE HUWE

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MARIE HUWE
General Manager, Worldwide Partner Marketing Group

Microsoft Corp.

Redmond, Wash.
Years In Position: 2.5
Years In Channel: 2.5
www.microsoft.com

Hope To Accomplish: Huwe aims to publish a prescriptive Software + Services Channel Evolution Guide to help partners understand how they can transform their business models; take a partner-led customer-centric approach to evolving the Microsoft Partner Program brand; establish a new digital marketing initiative to help partners take advantage of search engine optimization to increase their leads, revenue and accelerate growth; launch the Digital Worldwide Partner Conference initiative to continue the outreach and community aspects of the conference year-round; launch the Microsoft Partner Program Labs to let partners get involved early and create ongoing conversations with them as the company develops new resources.

Mentor: Mich Mathews, senior vice president of marketing at Microsoft, sponsored Huwe in the Unlimited Potential training organization for women and the Senior Women's Networking at Microsoft.

Executives You Admire: Bill Gates, for his andquot;amazing vision, incredible long-term approach, his perseverance, his genius and his passion, faith and commitment that he can make a difference changing the world from a health and education perspective in the same way he has changed the world with software;andquot; Mich Mathews, for her andquot;perspicacity, brilliant marketing acumen, her ability to rise to a senior leadership position in a company where leadership has traditionally been male dominated, her mentoring of women at Microsoft and championship of women's career developmentandquot; Allison Watson, corporate vice president for the Worldwide Partner Group and her andquot;fearless leader. Over the past six years, Watson has transformed the Microsoft Partner Program and ecosystem into the largest, most committed, most highly capable channel ecosystem in the industry,andquot; Huwe says.

 

LILA IBRAHIM
General Manager, Emerging Markets Platform Group

Intel Corp.

Shanghai, China
Years In Position: 6 months
Years In Channel: 6 months
www.intel.com

Hope To Accomplish: Ibrahim firmly believes that access to technology improves economic and social conditions around the world. By partnering with the channel, she says we can make a sustainable difference. This year Intel will continue to make technology a key tool for education in both emerging and mature markets while offering channel customers continued opportunities to differentiate their products. Intel will also introduce new products that enable PC accessibility and skills to new users.

Mentor: For almost four years Ibrahim served as Chief of Staff to Intel Chairman Craig Barrett, a man she says is a andquot;tireless advocate for improving education worldwide and facilitating access to technology for all people.andquot; Ibrahim calls him a andquot;mentor and a role model--a man who is able to weather both the worst and best of times with humor and grace.andquot;

Executives You Admire: Ibrahim looks up to those with backbone and those who do what's right even when it's not popular. She says she has been fortunate to work for many who are role models in ethics and value, and who listen, learn and grow as leaders no matter how many years of experience they have.

 

COLLEEN KAPASE
Director, Global Partner Programs

VMware Corp.

Palo Alto, Calif.
Years In Position: 2
Years In Channel: 12
www.vmware.com

Hope To Accomplish: To Accomplish: Kapase's goal is to have more than 80 percent of VMware partners rate their satisfaction with VMware programs at a 4 or higher (on a scale of 5). Statistically, this is very hard, she says. However, she believes that VMware as an organizationis focused on every partner and giving them the opportunity to share in VMware's continued revenue, profitability and customer satisfaction achievements.

Mentor: Ross Brown, former Citrix channel chief and now vice president of partners at Microsoft, was Kapase's mentor from the start of her channel career and throughout different channel roles at various companies. Brown put in the time to teach her the underpinnings of channel dynamics and how programs work on a large scale, she says. The best way to educate yourself about the channel is to actively listen to partners themselves and ask questions that get to the root cause of their concern or success, Kapase says was something he taught hr. Brown was responsible to sending Kapase to Europe for a year to better understand the uniqueness and similarities of the European channel and then a year in Asia to study differences. andquot;I'm forever grateful for all he guidance and development Ross has provided me throughout my career,andquot; she says.

 

FELISE KATZ
CEO

PKA Technologies Inc..

Suffern, N.Y.
Years In Position: 7
Years In Channel: 12
www.pkatech.com

Hope To Accomplish: Katz aims to continue the mentoring program with several women on her team and encourage other peers to do the same.

Mentor: Jack Novia

Executives You Admire: Anne Livermore

 

CHOO KIM-ISGITT
Senior Director, Americas Marketing

Websense Inc.

San Diego
Years In Position: 1.8
Years In Channel: 7
www.websense.com

Hope To Accomplish: Kim-Isgitt says that with companies being more open to an andquot;employee 2.0andquot; environment' and more reliance on salespeople to be anywhere at anytime, she hopes to create a more interactive model for Websense partners to access and manage training, programs and marketing. Ease of doing business, she says, should be provided and it is governed by which medium resonates the most. Kim-Isgitt hopes to simplify the channel portal but allow more dynamic content and archiving for partners to access information.

Mentor: Kim-Isgitt says her mentor is her mother, who along with her father moved to the U.S. in 1970 with only $100. They established the first Korean market in Houston and parlayed this experience into a successful marine supply business with very little knowledge of U.S. culture and language. Her mother's work ethic, passion and andquot;refusal to allow barriers to arrest her progress has been the backbone of my career motivation.andquot;

Executives You Admire: Hillary Clinton, for her tenacity in the recent 2008 primaries, she says, along with Meg Whitman, the former CEO of eBay for her 10 years of success in an untapped, unknown market; Gail Berman, former CEO of Paramount Pictures, for andquot;breaking the glass ceiling.andquot;

 

KENDRA KRAUSE
Director, Channel Sales

Fortinet Inc.

Sunnyvale, Calif.
Years In Position: 1
Years In Channel: 10
www.fortinet.com

Hope To Accomplish: Krause wants to build upon what she has achieved so far to become more tuned to the needs of the channel so that she can continue to drive channel growth for Fortinet, which she says today outpaces the annual growth rate of the network security market. Krause would like to broaden the programs created over the past year to maximize their benefits. She also plans to put a lot of effort into improving Fortinet's VARBusiness Annual Report Card (ARC) score following its premiere on the survey this year. In addition, Krause plans to launch new VAR-facing tools to help enhance partners' revenue streams.

Mentor: Krause credits two individuals for her personal and professional development: her father, David Benni, and her current manager, Mike Valentine, vice president of Americas channel sales. She says both have the qualities she admires--tenacity, innovative spirit, compassion and passion--and have helped make her the person she is today. Krause's father attained an executive-level position in the retirement-home business by building from the ground up and, she says, has shown her that determination, a strong work ethic and compassion are the keys to success. andquot;He also has a strong sense of fairness, was infinitely patient and was unflappable, which led to an innate ability for how to effectively deal with people. Among other things, I believe I inherited my good organizational skills and people management skills today from my father.andquot; Krause also says she has worked under Mike Valentine for the past seven years of her career and that she has gained an immense amount of knowledge and a true understanding of the channel from him. andquot;As a 25-year veteran of the channel, I consider Mike to be the 'consummate partner,'andquot; she says. andquot;I believe he embodies the best attributes of a good business partner, leader and friend. He is a man of great passion and conviction; he operates on instinct and is true to his word.andquot;

Executives You Admire: Michael Krasny, who founded CDW 24 years ago. He started his computer sales business with just a few people on the phone, Krause says, and today it's a $7 billion company. Krause says Krasny's courage and vision in breaking the traditional reseller model is be very inspiring. She also admires Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay, and says Whitman has been described as a leader who andquot;leads by not leading, bosses by not bossing and manages by not managingandquot;--something Krause tries to emulate every day.

Next: CAROL KURIMSKY

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CAROL KURIMSKY
Vice President, Marketing

Ingram Micro North America

Santa Ana, Calif.
Years In Position: 2.5
Years In Channel: 10.5
www.ingrammicro.com

Hope To Accomplish: This year, Kurimsky aims to further expand Ingram Micro's business intelligence and data analytics expertise to solution providers, helping them to grasp the best business opportunities in their specific markets. She also wants to generate more leads to more partners and boost partner-to-partner networking through enhancements to The Zone, its social networking sites, and partner events such as VTN, Partner Connections and the first SMBA Invitational.

Mentor: Kurimsky says there are no particular mentors, andquot;just some good advice along the way.andquot;

Executives You Admire: Saying he's visionary and has accomplished so much, Kurimsky gives kudos to John Chambers, chairman and CEO of Cisco.

 

JANE LINDER
Principal

NWN Corp.

Waltham, Mass.
Years In Position: 4
Years In Channel: 12
www.nwnit.com

Hope To Accomplish: Linder's focus this year is on helping to establish an advantaged strategic position and on driving growth in NWN's Connected Health and Human Services businesses. She will also continue to contribute to NWN's marketing and strategic vendor relationship initiatives.

Mentor: Linder says many people helped her in her life and career, and Carole Sharpazian, Tom Davenport, Bob Eccles, Dwight Crane and Tom Hennigan stand out.

Executives You Admire: Linder says the list can go on and on, but... Skip Tappen of NWN for his "unparalleled ability to collaborate;" Frank Rauch of HP "for his candor;" Keith Bradley of Ingram Micro for his "giving heart;" Laurie Benson of Inacom for her "open arms;" Carol Kurimsky of Ingram Micro for her "quiet brilliance;" Bill O'Leary of Microsoft for his 'boundless energy and uncanny instincts;" Wendy Bahr of Cisco for her "expansive thinking."

 

SELINA LO
President and CEO

Ruckus Wireless

Sunnyvale, Calif.
Years In Position: 4
Years In Channel: 10
www.ruckuswireless.com

Hope To Accomplish: Lo hopes to sign another 200 solution providers over the next 12 months and quadruple Ruckus' wireless LAN revenue using a complete channel model.

Mentor: Karyn Mashima, CTO of Avaya

Executives You Admire: Steven Jobs, CEO of Apple; Dominic Orr; John Chambers, chairman and CEO of Cisco

 

ERIN MALONE
Director, Channel Enablement

Websense Inc..

San Diego
Years In Position: 2.5
Years In Channel: 11
www.websense.com

Hope To Accomplish: Malone aims to grow Websense's partner base by 30-plus percent. She also plans to launch a Websense Rewards Program that's designed to motivate partner reps through debit card rewards and launch an advanced partner finder on Websense's Web site to help customers find partners that can best meet their needs. In addition, Malone wants to create a Web 2.0 experience among partners to make it easier to find content and connect with other partners; she also aims to garner partner feedback to make the necessary tweaks to boost their profitability.

Mentor: David Roberts, senior vice president, Americas sales, at Websense. Malone says Roberts has brought her understanding of the channel to an executive level.

Executives You Admire: Brenda Barnes, CEO of Sara Lee. Her ability to balance family life with aggressive career growth is remarkable, Malone says.

 

KATIE MCAULIFF
Vice President, Channels Americas

Novell Inc.

Waltham, Mass.
Years In Position: 1
Years In Channel: 19
www.novell.com

Hope To Accomplish: McAuliff aims to increase partners' profitability, create best-in-class enablement of Novell's channel certification and benefits for the increased specialization of partners, which will lead to partners' ability to differentiate and make more money.

Mentor: William and Joan Bright, and many others each and every year of her career, McAuliff notes. Her mentors andquot;have always taught me both what to do and what not to do.andquot;

Executives You Admire: Ron Hovsepian, Eric Schmidt, Jack Welch, Colin Powell

 

BONNIE MCMENOMY
Channel Marketing Manager

ESET

San Diego
Years In Position: 2
Years In Channel: 10
www.eset.com

Hope To Accomplish: McMenomy says she hopes to fill the ecosystem and competitive gaps through recruitment and by taking market share from competitors. And to have a andquot;balanced lifestyle and sleep.andquot;

Mentor: Toni Clayton-Hine with Everything Channel gave her the strength to take on the challenge of building a channel program for ESET, McMenomy says. Mary Fogerty, formerly with Gartner and now with Everything Channel, is andquot;on my speed dial.andquot;

Executives You Admire: Allison Watson, vice president of Microsoft Worldwide Partner Sales and Marketing Group

Next: M. CATHY MORRIS

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M. CATHY MORRIS
Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer

Arrow Electronics Inc.

Melville, N.Y.
Years In Position: 1
Years In Channel: 19
www.arrow.com

Hope To Accomplish: Morris' goals for this year are to focus on Arrow's long-term value proposition to partners, better leverage best practices across the Enterprise Computing Solutions and Global Components segments. She will also focus on positioning Arrow at the forefront of industry trends by shifting the focus from daily operations or the andquot;deal of the yearandquot; to long-term leadership, she says.

Mentor: Morris says there have been many mentors over the years and they all showed andquot;patience, listening and counseling.andquot; She also says she learned from them that andquot;you make your own career; no one else will do it for you.andquot;

Executives You Admire: Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, is impacting many fronts. Morris says she admires her andquot;vision, views on corporate responsibility and confidence.andquot;

 

ANN ELIZABETH MOSER
Senior Vice President

Ricoh Americas Corp.

West Caldwell, N.J.
Years In Position: 7
Years In Channel: 25
www.ricoh-usa.com

Hope To Accomplish: Moser aims to continue to build on Ricoh's foundations of partner support and service, invest in infrastructure and enhance the company's Partner Relationship Management Systems.

Mentor: Moser says she's been fortunate to have many mentors, beginning with her father. Many of the managers and executives she has worked for became advisors and mentors, she says.

Executives You Admire: Many of those whom Moser admires many not have widely known names but they accomplish great things within their own companies, she says.

 

CAROL GILES NESLUND
Exec. Director, Americas Distribution Channel

Seagate Technology Inc.

Longmont, Colo.
Years In Position: 1.5
Years In Channel: 4
www.seagate.com

Hope To Accomplish: Seagate's biggest focus will be on helping partners capitalize on the digital content explosion, Neslund says. By working with the new Consumer Solutions Division, she aims to help partners develop and sell solutions that simplify the management of digital content that's being created by consumers and businesses. She'll also focus on improving the partner experience with Seagate.

Mentor: Two who have influenced her the most: Dave O'Callaghan, worldwide distribution at Cisco, who is an andquot;inspirational leader, great resource--and he keeps the customer, his people and ethics/integrity front and center.andquot; Neslund also notes Caroline Turner, former General Counsel at Coors, who she says helped her learn how the andquot;create healthy cultures by valuing diversity and inclusivity.andquot;

Executives You Admire: Bill George, former CEO of Medtronic

 

LESLEY D. NORRIS
Vice President, Global Distributor and Reseller Channel Management

IBM Corp.

Armonk, N.Y.
Years In Position: 3
Years In Channel: 25
www.ibm.com

Hope To Accomplish: Norris aims to continue to invest in building more solution capabilities with partners and to recognize those investments with rewards. She also aims to drive IBM's programs and marketing to benefit non only the company's large partners, but midsize and smaller partners who are critical to IBM's success, especially in the midmarket, she says.

Mentor: Norris says she's been lucky to have many mentors, some men, some women, and not all in the industry. She says it's important to look for andquot;situational mentors,andquot; someone who may have experience in an area of interest, however formal or informal the relationship.

Executives You Admire: Norris says she admires people who may not have the resume one would expect but have used andquot;intelligence, heart, fine-tuned instincts and hard work to get where they are.andquot; She also looks up to those who create new approaches and are open to others' ideas no matter their position in the company.

 

AMY O'NEILL
Director Of Marketing

GreenPages Technology Solutions

Kittery, Maine
Years In Position: 1
Years In Channel: 10
www.greenpages.com

Hope To Accomplish: O'Neill hopes to continue developing GreenPages' marketing and demand-generation programs, expanding the team to include resources focused on vertical markets and the commercial space. She would also like to bring more partners into this program to complement its top-tier strategic partners and build plans that incorporate multiple vendors touching several technologies. Now that the fundamentals are in place, O'Neill says, it is time to raise the bar.andquot; The opportunities are endless: If you can show the ROI to the partner, the funding continues as does the growth for the partner and for GreenPages.andquot;

Mentor: O'Neill gives the nod to her mother, saying she taught her so many things while she was growing up. It wasn't what her mother learned working for a big corporation, it was what she lived every day that were the lessons. Here's a few of the values she says she learned: andquot;Cherish every moment. Be beautiful. Take care of yourself. Never underestimate the power of trust. Be open, be honest. There is almost nothing that communication can't solve. Believe in yourself and learn from your mistakes. Respect those around you, they may be able to teach you something. Ask for help. You can't always be a yes girl and expect to live a balanced life.andquot; To this day, O'Neill says, her mother is still a best friend.

Executives You Admire: Meg Whitman, former president and CEO of eBay, who leveraged the power of technology changed the landscape of how we market and purchase over the Internet; David Meerman Scott, former vice president of marketing and Newsedge Corp. and now an online thought leadership and viral marketing strategist; Debra Condren, Ph.D., author of am*BITCH*ous, a psychologist, business and executive coach and career adviser and the founder and director of the Women-s Business Alliance; Michael Haines, director of worldwide channels for Microsoft and formerly a Gartner analyst--andquot;a coach, mentor and dear friend.andquot;

 

SHEILA O'NEIL
Vice President, Channel

Panasonic Corp.

Denver
Years In Position: 4
Years In Channel: 4
www.panasonic.com/toughbook

Hope To Accomplish: Panasonic is currently enhancing its channel program, adding more automation and boosting online training and support, O'Neil says. Panasonic will also be unveiling new products this year so she will be working closely with partners to help support adding the models to their product lines.

Mentor: Tom Gammon, MicroAge and Mike Wlotzko, Panasonic

Executives You Admire: O'Neil says she admires all the women executives who manage to do a great job, have a family and a home life. andquot;I'm still working on it,andquot; she says.

Next: JULIE PARRISH

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JULIE PARRISH
Vice President, Global Channel Office

Symantec Corp.

Cupertino, Calif.
Years In Position: 9
Years In Channel: 24
www.symantec.com

Hope To Accomplish: Parrish has three main goals for this year. First is to continue to improve partners' experience with Symantec by leveraging their suggestions and advice to enhance channel offerings. Second is to emphasize winning back the confidence of those partners who have left for one reason or another, which will be a continued focus moving forward. Third is to drive partner enablement to a whole new level by establishing collaborative programs that will enable partners to find new customers and build their business.

Mentor: Parrish has had a number of informal mentors throughout her career who have given her knowledge and guidance. She continues to align with peers and manager from whom she can grow and learn.

Executives You Admire: The key to Parrish is the ability to make touch choices that will lead a company through tough times. Symantec's John Thompson is someone she admires because he has had the courage to make difficult choices to do what is best for the company. Companies are now emulating his leadership style, she adds.

 

WENDY M. PETTY
Vice President Of Sales

FalconStor

Melville, N.Y.
Years In Position: 8
Years In Channel: 18
www.falconstor.com

Hope To Accomplish: This year Petty is focused on implementing a different approach to sales training for partners--instead of focusing on product sales, FalconStor has created a sales education Webinar series that is more business-, solution-oriented than product-oriented. The program is called andquot;Earn As You Learn And Sellandquot; and aims to put extra cash and prizes in partners' pockets as they educate themselves. She also is focused on joint marketing opportunities that leverage industry analyst and industry publications; lead generation and management; and educating partners on how to differentiate their business by leveraging software and creating solutions that add value.

Mentor: Petty says she has multiple mentors, the key ones are executives of her top channel partners and other vice presidents of sales.

Executives You Admire: Steve Jobs, Apple CEO, who rebuilt a company and andquot;changed the way people lead their lives, especially mine.andquot;

 

MARY PIEHLER
Vice President, Operations

Systems Management Planning Inc.

Rochester, N.Y.
Years In Position: 6.5
Years In Channel: 29
www.smp-corp.com

Hope To Accomplish: Piehler says she hopes to engage more with local universities and encourage women to follow careers in technology. The channel, she says, offers an excellent path for growth and one in which there are so many roles to choose from. She would also like to continue to grow the business and get better at andquot;defining the andquot;value addandquot; that is essential in retaining customer satisfaction.andquot;

Mentor: Her previous manager at Digital Equipment Corp., Dick Rapach, who is now vice president, general manager for Concentrix, a division of Synnex. Rapach encouraged her to pursue a andquot;careerandquot; in technology, and not just a andquot;job.andquot; He helped her see her own potential and offered guidance throughout the years. 'He still is the person I go to for sanity checks,' Piehler says.

Executives You Admire: Tom Iannotti, senior vice president at Hewlett-Packard. He was a former manager at Digital Equipment Corp. and his 'do the right thing' attitude is to be admired by anyone who seeks respect in a leadership role. Also, Steve Mahoney, vice president at BEA Systems, also a former manager at Digital. Mahoney was key in guiding her through learning how to manage a larger geographic territory and work with channels and software companies to build relationships. He taught her the 'value in trying new roles and constantly learning new skills, even when it meant leaving my comfort zone.'

 

NANCY D. REYNOLDS
Vice President, SMB and Channel Sales, N.A.

Trend Micro Inc.

Cupertino, Calif.
Years In Position: 5
Years In Channel: 20
www.trendmicro.com

Hope To Accomplish: Reynolds aims to enhance Trend Micro's position in the vertical market arena and software-as-a-service. Both should result in new customers for the company.

Mentor: Reynolds names her parents and a few key individuals with whom she keeps in contact today.

Executives You Admire: andquot;Ones that truly listen,andquot; Reynolds says. She admires executives who surround themselves with talented, experienced people and reward those who contribute.

 

KAREN SIGMAN
Vice President, Worldwide Channels

Data Domain Inc.

Santa Clara, Calif.
Years In Position: 1
Years In Channel: 9
www.datadomain.com

Hope To Accomplish: Sigman aims to expand Data Domain's channel program with additional profit-making opportunities.

Mentor: Sigman says she has been lucky to have many mentors in her career, but feels she should really give credit to the women in her family, who have all been amazing mentors. For instance: andquot;My great aunt, Louise Jud, came from Switzerland, ran her own business, traveled the world, and lived independently until she was 98 years old. All of the women in my family encouraged me to be independent and to learn from everything I do.andquot;

Executives You Admire: Sigman says she's learned a lot from leaders of her partner companies; many of these andquot;quiet leadersandquot; act as advisors to the vendor channel leadership while growing their business in a constantly evolving technological and competitive arena.

 

RAMONA THIBEAULT
VP, SMB Sales, Solution Partners Organization, Americas

Hewlett-Packard

Palo Alto, Calif.
Years In Position: 1
Years In Channel: 9
www.hp.com

Hope To Accomplish: Thibeault says HP is focused on raising the bar in terms of what resellers should expect from their vendor partners HP SPO is focused on providing more simplicity in its products, services and communications and she hopes to use her newly created position as a springboard to further improve cross-HP communication on how to best serve SMB partners. HP is also committed to maintaining stability in all it does with partners, from sales forecasting and reporting to partner program development guidelines.

Mentor: Thibeault worked for a gentleman named Manuel Parra, who was vice president and general manager in Latin America. Parra always provided a well-rounded perspective on issues. Although he is retired from the industry, but not business, she tries to meet him for lunch or dinner at least once a year.

Executives You Admire: Thibeault says she's always admired Warren Buffett for his down-to-earth style. HP Chairman and CEO Mark Hurd is another executive who has done a phenomenal job, she says. andquot;I admire his tenacity and eagerness to meet with partners and customers monthly.andquot;

Next: LUANNE TIERNEY

 

 

 

 

 

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LUANNE TIERNEY
Director, U.S. Channel Marketing

Cisco Systems Inc.

San Jose, Calif.
Years In Position: 5
Years In Channel: 12
www.cisco.com

Hope To Accomplish: Tierney hopes to encourage partners to marry new media and social/viral marketing with traditional methods. New avenues and tools are having a larger impact on sales, partner and customer communities, and she wants to put the andquot;power of Ciscoandquot; behind partners and educate them on how to take advantage of these offerings. In addition, Cisco will be hosting its second annual Partner Velocity event to further educate partners on the latest best practices around new media and Web 2.0 marketing, she says.

Mentor: Chuck Robbins, senior vice president of Cisco. Robbins gave her the andquot;freedom to do what was needed to change the way we approach marketing with our partners.andquot; Tierney also gives kudos to Loraine Antrim, CEO of Smart Mouths, who helped her andquot;craft my brand and my communications style.andquot;

Executives You Admire: Melody Hobson, Lana Corbi, Genieveve Bos, Nora Denzel, Robin Meade, Sue Bostrom, Barbara Ashkin, Gia McNutt, Brenda Stallings

 

CHERYL A. TURJA
Director, U.S. Partner Programs

Sun Microsystems Inc.

Menlo Park, Calif.
Years In Position: 1
Years In Channel: 6
www.sun.com

Hope To Accomplish: Turja is committed to leading and participating on the team that is building a competitive business proposition for Sun partners by creating programs that reward for value and investment. She also aims to capture and retain partner mind share predisposing partners to sell Sun first. In addition, Turja aims to drive partners to engage and align with Sun's offerings.

Mentor: Turja says there are many individuals she admires but she is most motivated by those who go after their personal and professional dreams with andquot;vigor and balanceandquot; and see the andquot;preparation and adventure of pursuing the course to be just as exciting and important as the end result.andquot;

Executives You Admire: Tom Wagner, vice president Americas, channel sales, because of his commitment and loyalty to those on the channel team. She also admires Tim Lieto, who once led Sun's Americas sales organization, because of his commitment to always do the right thing and not be afraid to andquot;march to the beat of a different drummer.andquot;

 

ALLISON WATSON
Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Partner Group

Microsoft Corp.

Redmond, Wash.
Years In Position: 6
Years In Channel: 20
www.microsoft.com

Hope To Accomplish: One of Microsoft's greatest challenges, Watson says, is to build and foster an ecosystem that includes a wide array of traditional and nontraditional partners. Microsoft recently introduced new competencies around search, unified communications and hosting--each represents a growth opportunity for partners. As customers, partners and the industry evolves, she says, Microsoft will continue to evolve to make sure partners get the training, support and marketing and sales tools they need to win new customers and drive great profitability.

Mentor: One of Microsoft's greatest challenges, Watson says, is to build and foster an ecosystem that includes a wide array of traditional and nontraditional partners. Microsoft recently introduced new competencies around search, unified communications and hosting--each represents a growth opportunity for partners. As customers, partners and the industry evolves, she says, Microsoft will continue to evolve to make sure partners get the training, support and marketing and sales tools they need to win new customers and drive great profitability.

Executives You Admire: The CEO of Pepsi, Indra Nooyi, who has a different approach to collaboration and leadership, Watson says. andquot;She looks at the world of opportunity in a new and different way.andquot;

 

SHARON WOOLLEY
Channel Sales Director

SpectorSoft Corp.

Vero Beach, Fla.
Years In Position: 2
Years In Channel: 27
www.spectorsoft.com

Hope To Accomplish: SpectorSoft is getting ready to roll out a Partner Portal that will make it easy to get marketing, sales, training and support with the click of a mouse, Woolley says. She also is involved in fine-tuning the company's Passport Program to make it even more meaningful to solution providers. Most importantly, Woolley says, she's totally committed to making partners even more successful by giving them the tools to close business quickly, as well as proficiently and knowledgeably install and offer support for their clients. "Our goal is to be considered an outstanding vendor to our partners--not just a good one--and we'll do what it takes to achieve that goal.

Mentor: A gentleman name Glen Harmon, who pushed her "kicking and screaming" into sales and then the channel. Woolley first starting working with him at Wangco in the 1970s, a company that made reel-to-reel tape transports for mini and mainframe computers. "He was my friend and trusted mentor up until his death a few years ago. There is hardly a day that goes by that I don't think of him and his sage advice."

Executives You Admire: Symantec's John Thompson, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, Cisco's John Chambers and Warren Buffett