IBM Names New Channel Chief From Down Under

David La Rose, who previously led IBM sales in Australia, takes over channel leadership from John Teltsch.


David La Rose, the leader of IBM's business in Australia, is taking over the helm of Big Blue’s entire channel organization.

La Rose (pictured) replaces John Teltsch as general manager of the IBM Partner Ecosystem. Teltsch will transition to a new position as general manager for IBM Systems Sales, where he will lead go-to-market efforts across IBM's portfolio of storage products, cognitive systems, and System Z mainframes, an IBM spokesperson told CRN.

La Rose, a seasoned sales executive at IBM, has been a global traveler since joining Big Blue some 26 years ago.

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The Australian started his career at IBM in 1993 in the Australian sales unit for its x86 business. He followed that up with multi-year assignments in Tokyo, China and the Czech Republic.

In 2016, La Rose took over IBM's channel leadership in the whole of Europe as a vice president in the Global Business Partner Organization. He then led enterprise sales in Asia before returning to his home country as managing director for Australia and New Zealand.

“I am honored to take on this new role and build on the strong momentum that John and team have created with IBM’s diverse global ecosystem of Business Partners,” La Rose said in a statement. “We will continue our focus on helping partners build new skills, realize new business opportunities and capitalize on growth areas like AI and hybrid multicloud, including Red Hat. As you’ve heard my predecessor say, ‘there’s never been a better time to be in the IBM partner ecosystem.’”

La Rose’s appointment comes just over two weeks after IBM closed its $34 billion acquisition of open-source software vendor Red Hat on July 9.

Teltsch took over IBM's channel leadership from Marc Dupaquier in 2017 after many top sales jobs in years past. The 38-year IBM veteran immediately set to work implementing an ambitious revamp of IBM's channel program.

“It has been an enormous privilege to lead the IBM Partner Ecosystem team, and I look forward to staying completely engaged with them in my new role,” Teltsch said in a a statement. “I’m not going too far, and I will continue to be an advocate for our partners. I am proud of the progress we've made within the Ecosystem, and I continue to be inspired by our partners’ enthusiasm and commitment to their clients as they grow and transform their businesses with IBM.”

The strategy Teltsch implemented reorganized the partner program in a way intended to mirror the larger transformation across the company while remedying some problems that irked partners.

Teltsch changed how partners were incentivized to embed advanced solutions like cloud and artificial intelligence and simplified the reselling of IBM's Software-as-a-Service portfolio.

"We spent a lot of time listening to top partners, distributors. We needed to continue to transform the organization, as the IBM company has been transforming itself the last three, four years," Teltsch told CRN at the time.