The Top 25 Channel Sales Leaders Of 2012

Head Of The Pack

CRN's Top 25 Channel Sales Leaders are the executives who have had the greatest impact on sales volume through channel partners for their companies in the last year. Here’s a look at who made the list in Part 3 of our look at the Top 100 Executives of 2012.

25. Jeff Volpe

President, Americas

Volpe has been with the company since 1996 and has risen through the channel ranks to become president of ViewSonic North America. Now Volpe is focused on building up the company's digital signage and ProSeries products in the channel.

24. Kendra Krause

Vice President, Channels Sales, Operations

Fortinet has risen in the ranks of the security market, thanks to both strong technology with its network security appliances and its partner program growth under Krause's leadership. Recently Fortinet has been attacking the midmarket with new unified threat management solutions.

23. Tom Gall

Director, Value Channel Marketing

After working in the channel trenches at Tektronix, Gall joined Xerox last year as director of channel marketing, where he's charged with recruiting new solution providers for Xerox's revamped partner program while communicating the value of managed print services.

22. Gavin Struthers

Senior Vice President, Worldwide Channel Operations

Struthers took over McAfee's indirect sales business this year, and the security vendor has made some noise in the channel. Along with actively recruiting SMB partners, Struthers has revamped McAfee's channel education offerings and incentive programs.

21. Mike Long

Chairman, President, CEO
Arrow Electronics

Long was promoted to CEO of the value-add distributor in 2009 and has been diversifying Arrow's offerings with more than a dozen strategic acquisitions over that span. This year alone, Arrow already has inked deals for TechTurn, Altimate Group and Redemtech.

20. Rob McKernan

President, North America
APC by Schneider Electric

Since being appointed as the head of APC North America in 2008, McKernan has helped make the power management company a major force in the data center. APC recently introduced an energy assessment service to its partner program members.

19. Rick Hamada


A longtime Avnet executive, Hamada took the CEO reins last year and has accelerated the enterprise distributor's transformation into a services-oriented company with some key acquisitions of major solution providers such as Ascendant Technology and Canvas Systems.

18. Ted Cole

Vice President, Channel Sales

After making some big changes to its go-to-market strategy last year -- splitting its enterprise channel team into two sides for VARs and service providers, respectively -- Adtran has continued to build momentum with partners in 2012 under Cole's leadership.

17. Bob Dutkowsky

Tech Data

Dutkowsky has driven Tech Data toward new growth opportunities such as cloud computing with TDCloud and StreamOne solutions. He's also overseeing major growth in the mobile device market, thanks in large part to Tech Data's partnership with Apple.

16. Kevin Murai

President, CEO

Since joining Synnex in 2008, Murai has turned the broadline distribution market into a three-horse race, challenging reigning champs Ingram Micro and Tech Data. Now Murai is leading Synnex to new avenues in cloud computing with its CloudSolv platform.

15. Herve Tardy

Vice President, General Manager, Distributed Power Quality Business Unit

Tardy has helped the power management company not only build up its loyal channel following but also expand Eaton into new markets such as cloud computing and virtualization.

14. Dan Schwab, Michael Schwab

D&H Distributing

D&H Distributing continues to be a go-to destination for SMB-focused solution providers, and the Brothers Schwab are expanding the distributor’s reach with new efforts in videoconferencing and mobile devices while embracing the BYOD trend.

13. Julie Parrish

Vice President, Worldwide Channel Sales

Since coming to NetApp in 2008, Parrish has helped put NetApp's partner program on the map. In its most recent quarter, NetApp's channel revenue jumped to a record high, thanks to big gains from solution provider sales for FlexPod products.

12. Craig Schlagbaum

Vice President, Indirect Channel Sales, Business Class Services

As telecom carriers have renewed their interest in the IT channel and begun courting solution providers, Schlagbaum has helped put Comcast on the front lines by promoting it partner offerings and evangelizing his company's channel strategy.

11. Doug Smith

Vice President, Partner Strategy, Operations

VMware has undergone many changes in 2012, from a new CEO to licensing shakeups, and Smith has been the steady hand leading the virtualization company's growing channel business, focusing on expanding SMB offerings and promoting the company's cloud expansion.

10. Richard Hutton

Director, Channel Marketing, America’s Enterprise Business Division
Samsung Electronics

Samsung continues to cement its presence as a mobile computing powerhouse -- and an Apple rival. After launching a new partner program last year, dubbed Partners In Innovation, Hutton is parlaying that mobility growth into stronger ties with solution providers.

9. Eric Martorano

Senior Director, U.S. SMB Channel Group

This is a crucial year for Microsoft as it pushes new efforts around cloud computing, virtualization and, of course, Windows 8. Martorano, the software giant's SMB guru, has taken the lead by engaging solution providers in the field and communicating Microsoft's strategy.

8. Frank Vitagliano

Senior Vice President, Americas Partners

Vitagliano has been a big reason why Juniper has in recent years grown from an also-ran in the networking market to a true challenger to Cisco's dominance. After holding its first-ever global partner conference last year, Juniper has made progress in the channel.

7. Sharon Alt

Director, North American Channels

As Intel continues to push into the mobile device market and pumps up its Ultrabooks, one huge asset the chip maker will have to lean on is its extremely large and loyal partner base. Alt is leading Intel's efforts to get partners ramped up on all of the company's new offerings.

6. Kevin Gilroy

Senior Vice President, North America Ecosystem, Channels

A veteran channel executive, Gilroy has been a key component of SAP's makeover from an enterprise software vendor with limited indirect sales experience to a strong channel player. After joining SAP in 2010, Gilroy was promoted to global channel chief earlier this year.

5. Edison Peres

Senior Vice President, Worldwide Channels
Cisco Systems

After 10 years at the networking giant, Peres has established himself as one of the most recognized and respected channel chiefs in the business. He's been a steady hand for Cisco, which has recently undergone major a corporate restructuring and strategic shift.

4. Judson Althoff

Senior Vice President, Worldwide Alliances, Channels, Embedded Sales

As Oracle continues to blend newly acquired hardware with its existing software products, Althoff has been working overtime to bring new solution providers into the fold and get them up to speed on new developments such as partner specializations and cloud offerings.

3. Gregg Ambulos

Senior Vice President, Global Channel Sales

Ambulos has been a steady hand at the helm of the storage king's channel for more than a decade, and during that span he's helped EMC grow from an enterprise titan with limited channel appeal to a true channel vendor with a growing presence in the SMB market.

2. Greg Davis

Vice President, General Manager, Global Commercial Channels

Few channel chiefs had tougher hills to climb than Davis, who became Dell's first real channel executive since the computer maker adopted an indirect sales strategy in 2007. But Davis has established Dell's partner program as a bona fide force for solution providers today.

1. Chris Frey

Vice President, North America Commercial Channels

Three years ago, Lenovo was seen as a niche PC player best known for acquiring IBM's PC business. But today the company is challenging HP as the biggest computer maker on the planet, thanks to stellar PC sales growth. And you don't outgrow the rest of the PC market for more than 10 consecutive quarters without a strong partner base and a keen channel strategy.

Lenovo has become a true channel force under Frey’s guidance. Lenovo has been aggressively recruiting new solution providers to expand its partner base. So how has the computer maker enticed partners to join its ranks in the so-called post-PC era of thin hardware margins? It's easy. Lenovo pledges to leave all hardware-related services to its partners to boost their margins (unlike other major PC makers, Lenovo doesn't have a global services business). And under Frey's guidance, Lenovo has remained true to that approach.