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HPE Names Enterprise Sales Veteran Leslie Maher As New North America Channel Chief

‘One of the things our partners saw this year is that we were very aggressive and very competitive, but we didn’t do it at the expense of our partners,’ says new HPE North America Channel Chief Leslie Maher. ‘Where we were partnered together we stayed together in the most competitive situations. I think that differentiates us from some of our competitors.’

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is moving Vice President of Hybrid IT Leslie Maher, who has helped design and execute programs that have led to server and storage share gains, into the North America Channel Chief job.

Maher, a 30-year enterprise sales veteran who has been running HPE’s multi-billion dollar North America compute business, replaces seven-year HPE North America Channel Chief Terry Richardson, who is taking over the East region sales director job. The HPE changes are effective Nov. 1.

HPE Managing Director North America Dan Belanger said Maher-- working closely with Richardson -- has designed, implemented and executed on some of HPE’s most successful North America sales initiatives over the course of the last year.

“Leslie has an understanding of the detail that goes into a really, really complex set of businesses,” said Belanger. “She understands the businesses, interprets data well and comes up with meaningful strategies. It is all about execution. Grand plans often get watered down when you get to the street level. Leslie has never let that happen. It’s an executable plan.”

Belanger said one of the keys to Maher’s success has been tight alignment with Richardson and her channel IQ. “You would never see any type of separation between the two of them when we were developing plans,” he said. “It was always how does this get mapped to the channel partner community? How will they receive it? How can we enable them? How can we make them more productive?”

Maher said she realizes she has “big shoes” to fill in the wake of Richardson’s channel success. “I want partners to know we aren’t going to change direction,” she said. “We are going to continue to stay the course that Terry has set forth for us. We are going to continue down that path and continue to innovate and evolve.”

Maher, who has an established track record working closely with partners at HPE and other vendors including Cisco, said she is “excited” and “thrilled” to be entrusted with North America channel leadership responsibility.

“The channel is such an important part of our success,” she said. “I am going to draw on the all the good things that we already have: trust and a real innovation agenda that allows us to meet our customer’s needs and profitability for the channel.”

Maher said building on the long-standing “trust” that HPE has established with partners is paramount. “In terms of thoughts and messaging for me starting out it will be about building trust and relationships,” she said.

That “trust” means continuing to stay the course with partners in intensely competitive market situations. “One of the things our partners saw this year is that we were very aggressive and very competitive, but we didn’t do it at the expense of our partners,” she said. “Where we were partnered together we stayed together in the most competitive situations. I think that differentiates us from some of our competitors.”

Maher’s pledge to partners: “Our commitment and priority is where we engage, we stay engaged. We work together even if it means aggressive investments from HPE. We stay with our partners who are on the journey with us.”

Steve Lankard, vice president and principal of the infrastructure solutions practice at CBTS, the billion-dollar plus solutions behemoth said Maher has proven her channel mettle time and time again as an executive sponsor for CBTS.

“Leslie has been awesome as our executive sponsor,” said Lankard, who has known and worked with Maher in the channel for close to two decades . “I never hesitate to engage her for support on big opportunities because I know she is all in. What I mean by that is she takes ownership and she becomes personally involved in driving our success when we ask for her help.She has helped us keep clients and gain clients by giving us her support and making sure we are doing right by the customer. Like CBTS her full focus is on our customers. She knows that their success and satisfaction is what is going to drive sales success.”

Felise Katz, CEO of PKA Technologies, Inc, New York, one of HPE’s top enterprise partners, said Maher has proven channel DNA that she has demonstrated throughout her career.

“I see it as a natural progression for her to continue to grow and expand the partner ecosystem for HPE,” said Katz. “Leslie’s execution on everything that she touches has been flawless. She has broken down lot of corporate doors and made a big change in everything she has done in HPE.”

As part of her first 100 days at the helm, Maher said she plans to get out on the road meeting with all of HPE’s top partners. “My first 100 days I will spend listening,” she said. “The number one thing is to listen. Terry has a fantastic relationship with the channel but there is always opportunity to enhance it and do more.”

As for the new North America sales structure, Maher said she sees the changes driving a simplified engagement model for partners in every segment of the market. “It’s going to be much more geographic- more local,” she said. “Local matters. This is going to extend our (channel) relationships and make alignment a lot easier for partners whether they specialize in enterprise opportunities or transactional business.”

Maher said “consistency” will be central to the Fiscal Year 2020. “We have been very clear that GreenLake is a huge priority for us,” she said. “We have been clear that we want to grow the SMB market. We re going to continue that focus.”

The new sales structure combined with HPE’s as a service momentum with GreenLake and critical innovation advantages like Gen10 security with Silicon Root of Trust, InfoSight artificial intelligence and composable cloud infrastructure ensures that HPE will get out of the gate fast in the new fiscal year.

“We have so much differentiation and momentum,” she said. “When you couple that with the fact that we know the only way we succeed is by working with our partners it puts us in a unique position in the market.”

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