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Channel Shakeup: Global Channel Chief George Hope, VP Ecosystem Maurice Martin Are Leaving HPE

Steven Burke

The two top HPE channel leaders are leaving to pursue new opportunities, setting the stage for HPE to name a new worldwide channels and ecosystems leader in the next several months.

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George Hope

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Global Channel Chief George Hope and Vice President of Partner Ecosystem Maurice Martin are leaving HPE to “pursue” new opportunities, setting the stage for the appointment of a new worldwide channels and ecosystems leader in the next several months.

The change comes with HPE moving aggressively to grow its partner ecosystem by combining the Worldwide Channels & Ecosystem and HPE GreenLake Partner Ecoystems Teams under one leader “to strengthen” its core business, while at the same time accelerating its GreenLake edge-to-cloud strategy, said HPE Senior Vice President Gilles Thiebaut, who oversees the global sales partner ecosystem for HPE.

“Our company transformation is about driving toward one integrated platform, one customer experience, and a portfolio of products and offers under one brand―HPE GreenLake,” said Thiebaut, who took over as head of the global ecosystem two months ago. “We have the right strategy and go-to-market motions that support customers and partners through high velocity and solution-based opportunities. Now is the time to accelerate. And to do that, the way we engage and grow our partner ecosystem must continue to evolve at a rapid pace.”

HPE Vice President of Worldwide Distribution Simon Ewington, a 27-year veteran of HPE and HP, will become interim head of the combined HPE Partner Ecosystem as of February 1, said Thiebaut.

[Related: HPE North America Restructures To Drive GreenLake Sales]

HPE is expected to name the new head of the combined Worldwide Channels & Ecosystem and HPE GreenLake teams in the next several months.

Hope, who was named by CRN the number one most influential sales leader of 2021 and No. 2 in 2022, and Martin, a 16-year Microsoft veteran who joined HPE in 2020, will leave the company effective January 31. Hope and Martin were not available for comment

Thiebaut thanked Hope and Martin, who both reported to him, for their contributions to the partner ecosystem.

Thiebaut singled out Hope for making “great progress” driving HPE’s channel business, while helping partners navigated the “unprecedented disruption” from the global pandemic and supply chain constraints along with navigating a “changing geopolitical landscape.” Furthermore, he praised Hope for simplifying the HPE GreenLake sales model and for unveiling HPE’s landmark Partner Ready Vantage ecosystem program last June.

As for Martin, Thiebaut said he championed key projects including Integrated Quoter, which made it easier for partners to provide GreenLake pricing. “Historically, this work helped support 22 consecutive quarters of YoY (year over year) order growth, across all partner types, including triple-digit growth with global systems integrators in Q4 FY22,” he said.

Thiebaut, who spent four years as head of channels for Europe and nearly two and half years as managing director of HPE France, said combining the two channel roles into one will help accelerate partner sales growth.

“This is all about making things simpler for our partners,” he said in an interview with CRN. “We have reached that level where GreenLake is so embedded in everything we do that it makes perfect sense.”

Thiebaut said the new head of the Worldwide Channels and GreenLake Ecosystems teams will take on a “very important” role given HPE’s long history of channel commitment and its leadership in the everything as a service channel transition with HPE GreenLake.

“With GreenLake we are the leader in the as-a-service transformation in the partner ecosystem and the channel,” he said. “With the announcement of the Partner Ready Vantage ecosystem program at Discover in Las Vegas last June, we took the lead in defining a channel program to help our partners transform. We want to continue that.”

Thiebaut said he sees the charter for the yet-to-be named head of the channels and GreenLake teams to continue the “great work” that was done by Hope.

“George has done an amazing job over the last three years,” he said. “We have made a lot of progress with GreenLake in the channel. George managed the channel community during one of the toughest periods we have ever been through with COVID, the lockdowns and the supply chain disruptions. We are very thankful for what George has been doing. We are looking for someone to take over for him and write the next chapter in that journey.”

Thiebaut praised Ewington as a “strong interim” leader who will be a good temporary steward of the HPE partner ecosystem. “Simon is very well known in the channel, he has 27 years of experience in the business,” he said. “He knows how to get things done. He is a very strong leader.”

Thiebaut urged partners to continue to engage with HPE to transform at their own pace. “Partners need to be clear about their business model,’ he said. “That is going to be critical in the future. That is why we are driving not only the as a service transformation, but also a focus on solutions and outcomes. That is the critical byword when talking about as a service. It is not only about consumption. It is about the outcome you deliver to clients.”

Steven Burke

Steve Burke has been reporting on the technology industry and sales channel for over 30 years. He is passionate about the role of partners using technology to solve business problems and has spoken at conferences on channel sales issues. He can be reached at sburke@thechannelcompany.com.

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