1. Keith Goodwin, Senior Vice President Of Worldwide Channels, Cisco Systems
Sales leaders rise to the occasion in tough times. That's what Cisco's Keith Goodwin did this year, which is why he was named the 2009 Channel Executive of the Year by Everything Channel, the parent company of CRN.com. Goodwin invested heavily in partner profitability in a year that tested Cisco's 60 percent-plus gross margins. Among his accomplishments were a "stimulus package" that included extending channel financing terms through Cisco Capital from 60 days to 90 days, the launch of a managed services program and a bevy of financial incentives and rebates on networking gear. All the while, Goodwin made sure Cisco continued to maintain high levels of partner satisfaction, as the vendor won 2009 Annual Report Card awards for enterprise networking, unified communications and wireless infrastructure.