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Google Taps GE Digital's Carolee Gearhart As New Channel Chief

Google filled its channel chief seat that has sat empty with Carolee Gearhart, a replacement for former Google channel chief Bertrand Yansouni.

Google has named Carolee Gearhart, a former GE Digital executive, as its new channel chief.

Gearhart was formally introduced this week at Google's third annual cloud conference, Google Next 2018. The tech giant's channel chief seat has sat empty for the past ten months since former channel chief Bertrand Yansouni stepped out of that role after only a brief tenure of less than one year.

According to Gearhart's LinkedIn profile, she is now responsible for Google Cloud Platform, G Suite, and the Chrome channel business globally.

[Related: Google Injects AI, Machine Learning Into G Suite Collaboration]

Gearhart is no stranger to the channel. Prior to her new position with Google, Gearhart served as chief ecosystem and channels officer for GE Digital for a year, and before that, the IT executive was senior vice president of customer success and global channels for Adaptive Insights.

Yansouni was recruited to the position of vice president for global partner sales and alliances in November of 2016 by his former boss at VMware and current Google Cloud leader Diane Greene.

In less than a year with Google, he implemented some major initiatives for the company that at the time had little in the way of channel heritage.

Partners credited Yansouni with breaking down silos in the program, encouraging them to represent the entire Google stack, from its G Suite productivity apps, to Maps, Chrome, Android, and especially Google Cloud Platform.

And even more popular a move with Google partners, Google -- under Yansouni -- finally eliminated an incentive for salespeople to take deals direct by compensating them on net bookings, which were less on channel deals after partners took their cut.

Executives for Dev9, a Kirkland, Wash.-based Premier Google partner, told CRN that Google's recent moves have shifted the company in a more channel-friendly direction.

After Yansouni cancelled the direct sales incentive, things changed on a dime, said Alain Dias, chief operating officer of Dev9.

"We saw things take off right after that because the pipeline had dried up before that," he said. "They're really, truly investing in partners."

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