Doubling Down On Growth: e360 Names Channel Superstar Rob Schaeffer As President
‘This is a case of one plus one equals 10,’ says e360 CEO Mike Strohl. ‘The key to doubling the revenue is the right leadership and representation for the people in this company. There’s no doubt in my mind that Rob is the right person to go execute and make it happen.’
e360, one of the most respected solution providers in the country, No. 120 on the 2023 CRN Solution Provider 500, has hired channel superstar Rob Schaeffer (pictured above right) as president and chief revenue officer in a breakout bid to double sales over the next three years.
The blockbuster hire brings together two of the best and brightest minds in the channel, e360 CEO Mike Strohl (pictured above left), and Schaeffer, a 25-year channel sales veteran who most recently was president and chief operating officer of CBT, No. 472 on the CRN SP500. Together the two channel veterans are forming a dynamic duo of sorts to shake up the market.
“This is a case of one plus one equals 10,” said Strohl. “The key to doubling the revenue is the right leadership and representation for the people in this company. There’s no doubt in my mind that Rob is the right person to go execute and make it happen. This is an investment to sustain the e360 culture for years to come.”
Strohl said he sees a big opportunity to drive dramatic sales growth at the 35-year-old company around managed services, cloud and security. “The capacity to drive growth and get excessively sticky with clients around managed services and subscriptions is greater than it has ever been before,” he said.
Besides nearly four years at CBT, Schaeffer spent seven years at Hewlett Packard Enterprise including three years as vice president of U.S. channel sales.
Strohl said he and Schaeffer are going to evaluate all areas of the business for growth but that AI, cybersecurity and cloud are at the top of the list.
“The market is evolving and clients have a lot of questions about what they should be doing to remain competitive,” he said. “We have the people and the resources to answer those questions and deliver the technology solutions that are going to allow these companies to thrive in the AI and digital transformation era.”
Strohl said he will remain highly active but is looking to Schaeffer to help pick up the pace of growth, with strong leadership both inside the organization, working with employees, and outside the organization, working with e360 partners.
“Rob’s integrity, leadership and reputation across the IT industry is unmatched,” said Strohl. “His values mirror my values so we can continue to grow and maintain and nourish the culture we have built here.”
Over the next several months, Strohl said he and Schaeffer will figure out where each one will focus to maximize the opportunity going forward. “I love the people in this organization, the customers, and our friends in the OEMs and the ISVs,” he said. “I’m not going anywhere.”
Jed Ayres, the CEO of ControlUp, who has worked with Strohl for a decade to drive big sales growth at three different companies, said he sees Schaeffer’s appointment as a pivotal moment to scale the e360 business.
“Rob Schaeffer’s experience on both the manufacturer side and the reseller side of the business gives him a unique perspective on the empathy that is required to create winning partnerships,” said Ayres. “Mike hires on values first and foremost. Rob is a really good cultural fit with a strong employee and customer-centric view of the world. That’s important for e360 where it is not uncommon to have sales reps that have been with the company for 25 years. The e360 team is incredibly trusted by customers. They put the trust in trusted advisor!”
One example of the unique e360 culture, said Ayres, is the company’s annual three-day InnerCircle event in Napa Valley where the solution provider gathers top vendor partners with top C-level executives to huddle on the secrets to solving pressing business problems with technology solutions. “That’s what it’s like partner with e360,” said Ayres. “You are part of this inner circle. It literally feels like you are part of his family. There is a level of trust, respect and responsibility that comes with it. It is a value-based organization. That provides e360 a lot of velocity.”
Ayres said he has little doubt that with Schaeffer coming aboard that e360 can double its sales, particularly given e360’s blue chip customer base in California’s technology rich market. “e360 has relationships with some of the most technology savvy companies in the world,” he said. “Having someone like Rob Schaeffer who has worked at larger organizations and understands how to scale a company that already has a strong foundation makes for a perfect storm for growth.”
Ayres said he is looking forward to working with Strohl and Schaeffer to help grow the ControlUp business as part of the e360 end user compute practice. “It’s going to be a lot of fun partnering with Mike and Rob,” he said.
Schaeffer, for his part, said he could not be more excited about joining the e360 team. “I have tremendous excitement and enthusiasm about the road ahead,” he said. “The timing is perfect and the future is really, really bright with Mike and I working together.”
Schaeffer said he was attracted to the “people first” culture of e360. “The strength of any organization is its people,” he said. “It’s the people that built the foundation and created the e360 brand. I’ve worked in lots of different cultures. The ones that succeed are the ones that first and foremost value their team!”
Schaeffer said he sees the sharing of responsibilities with Strohl as a “natural fit” given how well the two know each other.
Priority number one, said Schaeffer, is to spend time with e360 employees. “I work for them,” he said. "The idea is what can I do to help. To do that I need to be informed and educated. I’m looking forward to listening to employees”
After taking the time to meet with employees, Schaeffer said he will look at formulating plans on how to take the e360 story to a broader community. “We’ve got plenty of really good solution relationships,” he said. “We need to expand those to bigger and broader communities. We are going to work really diligently to make sure a broader community understands who we are, what we do and why the folks that are our customers like us so much.”
Given the market dynamics around AI, cloud and security, Schaeffer said the “timing” has never been better to drive huge growth.
“I think we’re going to see a rate of expansion that we haven’t seen in a long time in technology solution sales,” he said. “I see the customer base really needing to partner with companies like e360 to become the next best version of themselves by adopting new technology solutions.”