HP Taps Storage Exec Richardson As U.S. Enterprise Channel Chief

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Hewlett-Packard confirmed Friday that Terry Richardson, vice president of U.S. storage channel sales, is taking over as U.S. enterprise channel chief, filling a position that has been vacant since June when longtime HP executive Frank Rauch left for a position at VMware.

Richardson, whose new title is vice president of U.S. channel sales for HP's Enterprise Group, will be responsible for sales of HP's converged infrastructure, cloud computing, servers, storage and networking product lines. He will also handle all of the other business unit duties that previously belonged to Rauch, Randy Seidl, senior vice president and general manager of HP's U.S. Enterprise Group, told CRN Friday.

"HP commends Frank Rauch's efforts. With Terry, we are positioned to take this [business] to the next level," Seidl said in an interview.

[Related: HP Channel Exodus Continues As Rauch, Kelly Head For Exits]

Richardson, a 27 year industry veteran, joined HP in 2010 as director of OEM sales, and last November he was named vice president of HP's Americas storage business unit. In May of this year, Richardson was moved to vice president of U.S. storage channel sales.

Previously, Richardson spent five years at Sepaton and 10 years at Data General Corporation until it was acquired in 1999 by EMC, where he then spent the next five years in sales management, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Richardson's deep background in channel sales and his overall sales experience were key determining factors in HP's decision, according to Seidl. Richardson's current storage channel efforts are closely tied with HP's cloud business, and his background also extends to HP's Industry Standard Servers business, he added.

Fred Traversi, CEO of AdvizeX Technologies, an Independence, Ohio-based solution provider, worked with Richardson during his time at EMC and said he helped improve that company's channel program. "He has a very strong understanding of the business model of major VARs and of the issues that are important to us," Traversi said in an interview.

At HP, Richardson has helped drive enterprise storage business through the channel, according to Traversi. "Terry knows partners and people trust him. He has been an executive that delivers on his promises. Most important, he is very clear about communicating what is and is not going to happen," he said.

Seidl said HP chose Richardson as part of its ongoing effort to promote more from within the company, which CEO Meg Whitman has earmarked as one of her goals. However, he acknowledged that the position attracted significant interest both from internal and external candidates.

Before choosing Richardson, HP had been considering David Twohy, vice president of global channel services at HP, and a channel executive from an outside vendor, sources told CRN.

It may be a while before Richardson makes his first public appearance in his new role. Sources told CRN HP is not holding its annual national sales kickoff meeting this year, though Seidl declined to comment. HP is planning to hold its annual Global Partner Conference next Feb. 19-21 in Las Vegas.

Richardson's appointment comes during a period of turbulence in the HP channel, which is undergoing consolidation from the merging of its PC and printer businesses in March. In June, Meaghan Kelly, former vice president of channel strategy at HP, left to take a position at SAP.


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