New CEO Matt Yorke Set To Lead The Channel Company Into The GenAI Era
“At The Channel Company, we are going to take a very strong position on Gen AI and its implications,” said incoming Channel Company CEO Matt Yorke. “We will really lean into that role with our domain expertise, end-user direct customer relationships, our channel expertise and content.”
Matt Yorke, a 31-year media veteran who will officially take the helm of The Channel Company on Jan. 16, said he is “super excited” to lead the global provider of news, information, events and marketing services into the GenAI era.
Yorke, a 17-year IDG veteran who was most recently the Global CRO of IDG’s Foundry B2B global marketing services platform, said he is looking forward to helping The Channel Company, the parent of CRN, drive a new era of products and services with GenAI capabilities.
“My career has been a journey of digital transformation, modernization and growth, whether it is launching new businesses or developing innovative new products and services or go-to-market models,” said Yorke. “It has always been about growth and that entrepreneurial spirit. One of the things I am really going to be pushing forward with The Channel Company is the potential of GenAI.”
Yorke said he sees GenAI reshaping the media and B2B marketing services landscape. “When I think about GenAI, it is akin to the Industrial Revolution or the printing press,” he said. “It is going to fundamentally change the way we work and the way we live. Over the coming years, this is going to be a massive driver of tech investment. At The Channel Company, we are going to take a very strong position on Gen AI and its implications. We will really lean into that role with our domain expertise, end-user direct customer relationships, our channel expertise and content. It’s a wonderful time for us to be in this business as we go into this new era. With our market-leading Channel Company brands, content and first-party data, this is a fantastic time to chart the next course of growth for The Channel Company. I’m really excited about the future.”
Yorke said even though the GenAI opportunity is still in its “early days,” there is an “amazing opportunity” for The Channel Company to “plant a flag” to help the channel ecosystem and end- user community drive GenAI adoption.
Yorke succeeds The Channel Company interim CEO Robert Gray, an operating partner at EagleTree Capital, The Channel Company’s primary investor.
“Matt is well known and highly respected across the IT industry,” said Gray, who made GenAI a top priority during his tenure as CEO. “He is an intellectual leader in the IT industry as well as having deep and successful experience in media transformation. Matt has an extraordinary confluence of the right skills and relationships to take The Channel Company to the next level. We feel fortunate to be able to bring him on board as CEO. He’s also a known quantity—Matt was an outstanding chief digital officer at Northstar Travel Media, and we’re happy to have him back in the EagleTree family.”
Gray said he is also excited about Yorke’s cultural fit with The Channel Company. “Matt is eager to roll up his sleeves and work closely with the team,” he said.
Yorke said he is particularly proud of the digital transformation that he undertook as CRO of Foundry, which led to the creation of a fast-growth global B2B market services platform. “We took a federation of businesses and created a modern data-driven sales and marketing organization,” he said. “When we were done, we had a single, very sophisticated sales and marketing stack with everyone on the same platform with the same KPIs [key performance indicators] and insights.”
Yorke said he is looking forward to continuing The Channel Company’s focus of ensuring that every part of the organization is customer-centric. “We serve our customers by creating content that helps them be more successful,” he said. “That content comes in all different forms. My message to customers is that at every level of The Channel Company, we are customer-centric. That is our mission statement. We are here to help our customers drive the adoption of technology solutions. The success of our customers is paramount in everything we do.”
Yorke said he sees The Channel Company as a “market maker” with a strong customer-centric, entrepreneurial culture.
“Culture is so important in this business,” he said. “That is why we’ve got many people at The Channel Company who are 20- and 30-year veterans.”
Among Yorke’s positions at IDG was as CEO of IDG Global Solutions overseeing global sales and marketing of all of IDG’s properties and services. That experience will be critical in helping The Channel Company drive global sales growth, said Yorke.
Yorke also said he is looking forward to getting on the road and meeting with customers.
“Having traveled the world several times, I can see that part of our growth opportunity at The Channel Company will be to look at new markets,” he said. “I’ve got experience operating in so many markets. That is a great asset I will bring to the business. The end customers we are serving are global. Our opportunity is to make it really easy for customers like Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Intel, AWS or Red Hat to consolidate their marketing and services spend with us. Our job is to make it easier for them to drive global success. That’s part of our opportunity at The Channel Company—to be not constrained by our current footprint. We need to make sure we give our customers the right products and the right services in the most important markets. We need to make it super easy for those customers to do business with us.”
Yorke said he jumped at the chance to take the CEO job at what he called a “storied” 40-year-plus company. “This was one of those opportunities where I knew I had to go do this,” he said. “There are very few companies where you can trace your roots back to the beginning of the PC business. The combination of brands, market, domain expertise and technology is unmatched.”
Yorke said he can’t wait to get started to drive a new era of growth at The Channel Company. “I feel like a child before Christmas,” he said. “I have been excited since I first took the phone call from EagleTree about the opportunity. What the company and the market can expect from me is a massive amount of commitment. I don’t do anything halfway. You can expect a lot of enthusiasm with high-velocity communications and a fast pace. I like to move quickly. I want us as an organization operating at a fast pace. I want us to act as a startup inside a 40-year-old company.”