VARs Question New HP CEO's Channel Credibility

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HP's top partners are questioning the channel street credibility of new HP CEO Leo Apotheker.

HP Thursday named Apotheker, former CEO of German ERP software giant SAP, as CEO, president and a member of HP's board of directors.

Several top HP partners said they were disappointed that Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP chose to hire an outsider with little channel experience rather than channel-savvy insiders such as HP Personal Systems Group Executive Vice President Todd Bradley or HP Enterprise Servers Storage and Networking Executive Vice President David Donatelli.

What's more, they said, Apotheker has big channel shoes to fill given former HP CEO Mark Hurd's tight relationship with the vendor's partners. They said Hurd's willingness to get in the sales trenches to help partners close deals with hundreds of CIO Roundtables that were held in conjunction with solution providers was a big differentiator. They question whether Apotheker will have that same channel sales drive.

One of HP's top partners, who did not want to be identified, said the news that HP had chosen Apotheker was like a punch to the gut.


Next: A Punch In The Gut?

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