Dell Ups Data Center IQ With New Hotshot Executive Hires

Dell signaled Monday it's not messing around when it comes to accelerating its data center charge, announcing that two industry veterans, Rory Read and Paul Perez, would be joining its executive lineup.

Dell said Read, former CEO of AMD, will become chief operating officer and president of Worldwide Commercial Sales, overseeing Dell’s omnichannel sales planning and enablement strategy.

Dell also said that former Cisco Systems wunderkind Perez is now chief technology officer for its Enterprise Solutions Group. CRN first reported Perez's appointment as Dell's enterprise CTO last week.

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Dell channel partners said Perez brings rock-solid enterprise credentials that will enable Dell to streamline the company's data center strategy and supercharge it for success.

"Perez is coming from a channel-focused company, and what that tells me is he is going to bring a lot of that know-how to Dell," said Stephen Monteros, vice president of business development and strategic initiatives at SigmaNet, an Ontario, Calif.-based solution provider in an interview last week.

Other Dell partners said they were unaware of both Perez and Read's channel chops, and would reserve judgment until they heard more on how either approached the channel.

"It's too early to tell how these new executives help the Dell channel. We need to hear what their vision is," said one Dell partner that asked not to be identified. "Dell's channel leadership, including Jim Defoe [vice president of Dell North America channel sales], is doing a great job. If these new executives can build off of that as it relates to Dell's channel strategy -- that's great."

Read, who left the CEO spot at AMD in October, will lead Dell’s cross-business unit and is charged with running global systems integrator relationships, and "enhancing the company’s direct selling capabilities and further accelerating our momentum in the channel," according to Dell.

At AMD, Read is credited with helping the company branch out beyond the PC microprocessor business and finding success providing processors for video game consoles, such as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Perez brings Dell a deep understanding of the data center. Prior to joining Dell, the former Cisco Data Centre Business Group CTO oversaw Cisco's converged infrastructure, virtualization and private cloud automation business lines.

Monteros said Perez helped Cisco's data center platform excel and was a driving force behind unifying the company's IT portfolio. "Perez knows how to sell the entire IT stack. Dell has made a lot of acquisitions over the years. Perez is going to help Dell pull all the IT pieces together and work his Cisco UCS magic to help us take Dell's data center business to the next level."