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The Top 25 Channel Sales Leaders Of 2012

CRN looks at some of the industry’s fiercest channel advocate in our ranking of the year’s Top 25 Channel Sales Leaders, Part 3 of our list of the Top 100 Executives of 2012.

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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.

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