Veteran Hewlett-Packard sales executive Jim McDonnell has left HP for Intermec, a publicly traded manufacturer of automated identification and data capture (AIDC) equipment.
McDonnell, a former vice president in HP's Solution Partners Organization (SPO) who most recently served as vice president of global sales in the computing giant's Enterprise Storage, Servers and Networking (ESSN) Group, joined Intermec Tuesday as a senior vice president of global sales, according to the Everett, Wash.-based AIDC vendor.
Intermec, it turns out, is becoming quite the destination for veteran channel executives with roots at Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP. The smaller company already has Scott Anderson, another ex-SPO stalwart, on board -- and one source with knowledge of Intermec's channel efforts said former HP channel chief Kevin Gilroy is consulting for the company.
McDonnell, who had a 26-year career at HP, reports directly to Intermec CEO Pat Byrne, according to a Tuesday statement by the company.
"I am delighted to welcome Jim to Intermec to lead our global sales organization. His extensive experience in building sales organizations, winning in the marketplace, and working with channel partners for mutual success will make a significant contribution to the company's long-term growth," Byrne said in the statement.
For McDonnell, the move to Intermec means he'll be leaving technology's largest global vendor for an IT channel up-and-comer whose revenue is dwarfed by the HP juggernaut. Intermec reported profit of $35.7 million on sales of $890.9 million in 2008, the last fiscal year for which the company's earnings are available. That's in contrast to the $10.5 billion in net income HP cleared on $118.4 billion in revenue over the same period.
Intermec began life in 1966 as Interface Mechanisms, shortening that to its current name in 2006. And in recent months, with the infusion of HP-tempered channel expertise, the company has kicked off a strong effort to recruit VAR partners, according to John Convery, executive vice president of vendor relations and marketing at Redmond, Wash.-based system integrator Denali Advanced Integration.
"This is a winner for Intermec," he said of the McDonnell hire. Convery, whose company is also an HP Elite Partner, said Denali is hoping for strong growth in its mobility practice in 2010 through its partnerships with Intermec and Motorola.
"I have known Jim McDonnell for a long time. He's a man of considerable integrity, talent, experience and knowledge of the importance of the channel expanding its reach," Convery said. "I see Intermec really kicking it up a notch in their overall partner program."
McDonnell served as general manager of the SPO's worldwide organization until late 2007, when he took a position as vice president of global sales for what HP until very recently called its Enterprise Storage and Servers (ESS) Group.
The addition of "networking" to what is now the ESSN Group reflects HP's integration of its ProCurve -- and newly acquired 3Com -- product lines into an aggressive new effort to offer end-to-end data center products and services in direct competition with networking giant Cisco.
HP had no comment on McDonnell's departure. But HP watchers will note that the newly minted ESSN unit under ex-EMC executive Dave Donatelli has delivered some of the most newsworthy action to come out of HP in recent months -- the 3Com acquisition being the biggest.
Donatelli is seen by sources as the main architect of HP's no-holds-barred challenge to San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco's Unified Computing System. According to one solution provider, since arriving at HP, the ESSN boss has demanded "a new take-no-prisoners attitude" from his team -- which Donatelli has been busy loading with hard-charging types like Randy Seidl, his handpicked head of sales in the U.S.
That ongoing battle of IT giants promises "interesting times" in the coming year, said Sam Haffar, president and co-CEO of Houston-based Computex, an HP Platinum Business Partner. Like many of its VAR peers, Computex also partners with Cisco, leading Haffar to comment wryly about the building tensions in the channel caused by the two vendors' battle.
"It is what it is," he said.
But if the fallout from the HP-Cisco war is still undetermined, one positive Haffar sees is a newfound toughness on the part of HP's sales leadership.
"They are very focused, becoming a very sales-driven company; that's what we need in a vendor partner," he said.