8. Stephen DiFranco Named HP Americas Channel Chief
Stephen DiFranco, a 23-year channel veteran whose resume includes stints at AMD and Lenovo, took over the role of vice president and general manager of Hewlett-Packard's Americas Solution Partners Organization (SPO) in April, replacing the reassigned Adrian Jones. DiFranco's role includes stewardship of the PartnerONE program, and he's spent much of the year getting up to speed with one of the massive channels organizations in IT today.
At HP's Americas Partner Conference in April, DiFranco presided over the launch of an all-out SMB channel offensive aimed at building HP's partner ranks in this segment.
Later on in the wake of the Mark Hurd scandal, DiFranco emphatically reassured HP partners that its channel focus and plans wouldn't change under new leadership, and that went a long way toward quelling the uneasiness that has been simmering within the partner ranks.