Dell's Cook replaces Global Channel Chief Greg Davis, who started the official Dell channel program nearly seven years ago and helped build it into a $15 billion business and is moving to a new role as vice president of software and peripherals at Dell.
Michael Gavaghen, vice president of sales at SL Powers, a Boca Raton, Fla., said he was unfamiliar with either Dell's Rodrigues or Cook. "There is always uncertainty in a change of leadership," he said. "Both are unknown quantities in my book. If they're both new blood with fresh ideas for the channel -- all the better."
Gavaghen praised Dell's former channel chief Davis for building strong relationships with channel partners. "Under Greg's watch, our Dell partnership has flourished," said Gavaghen. "He's been good for our business, and I'm sorry to hear he is no longer running the channel. Management shakeup is the next logical step in Dell's commitment to the channel. If this is truly a move to bring direct and indirect closer together, than this is a win-win for SL Powers and the channel."
Bruce Freshwater, CEO of Sierra w/o Wires, a Pittsburgh-based Dell partner, said he is encouraged by the management shakeup.
"Up until today, there hasn't been any indication that a private Dell would do business any differently than a public Dell," Freshwater said. "Now I'm encouraged that there has been a changing of the guard. My fingers are crossed that it also means a change in culture and I won't have to battle against Dell's direct sales team for business."
Freshwater said there had been indications leading up to Monday that changes were in the works. Less than two weeks ago, Freshwater said, Dell streamlined his channel points of contact bringing it from a "Gold Pod Team" of multiple contacts to a single Dell point person.
"I think it's good," he said. "I don't know the specifics, but anything has to be better than what exists now."
PUBLISHED NOV. 18, 2013