Channel News

Here’s How 20 Channel Chiefs Describe Their Personal Channel Philosophy

Rick Whiting

Channel executives on the CRN 2023 Channel Chiefs list were asked to describe their personal channel philosophy. From what they see as the channel’s role to how best to work with partners, here’s what 20 channel chiefs had to say.

Deep Channel Thoughts

Channel executives are charged with managing a company’s relationships with its channel partners, both on a day-to-day basis and for the strategic long term. But truly effective channel chiefs go beyond “channel management” and think more deeply about vendor-channel partner relationships and what makes them successful.

As part of the CRN Channel Chiefs 2023 project, we asked the nearly 600 channel executives that made the list to describe their personal channel philosophy. Here’s what 20 had to say.

11:11 Systems

Koorosh Khashayar

VP, Global Channel

Regardless of what designation a seller has or how they describe themselves, whether it’s VAR, MSP, TSB or TA, a seller is a partner first and foremost. A partnership is a two-way street and many partner programs fail to understand how they can help a partner grow. ‘Your success is my success’ is what [my] personal philosophy is based on.  

Donna Grothjan

VP, Worldwide Channels

Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company

Partners are the at the heart of enabling customers, whether through providing technology or services. No single company can meet 100 percent of customers’ needs and so partners are absolutely essential. In my view, partners are not an extension of our sales force; instead, we are part of their ecosystems. We must provide and enable value creation for partners every day in order to earn and maintain our position with them.


Rick Whiting

Rick Whiting has been with CRN since 2006 and is currently a feature/special projects editor. Whiting manages a number of CRN’s signature annual editorial projects including Channel Chiefs, Partner Program Guide, Big Data 100, Emerging Vendors, Tech Innovators and Products of the Year. He also covers the Big Data beat for CRN. He can be reached at

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