The Top 25 Channel Sales Leaders Of 2014

Bringing Success To Partners

As competition heats up in the channel, strong sales leaders are becoming more and more important for success. Whether the company is a big legacy player or a small startup, no one is safe from fighting to keep a foothold in the market as the pace of technology change continues to accelerate.

As part of CRN's Top 100 of 2014 list, take a look at 25 channel sales executives that really stood out as they worked to bring success to their partners.

25. Dave Maffei

Vice President, Global Channel Sales

Since joining the Boston-based cloud-based backup and recovery vendor in the fall, Dave Meffei has spearheaded a campaign to bring Carbonite to the channel through distribution. Starting with Tech Data, then adding D&H Distributing and Synnex, the company has increased its reach in the channel in recent months, backed up with marketing and support.

24. Joe Lohmeier

Vice President, U.S. Channel Sales

Just joining the Avaya channel program at the end of June, Joe Lohmeier has been busy helping the Basking Ridge, N.J., business communications company transition its partner rewards program from a volume- to a value-based model. SMB and midmarket Avaya partners in particular cheered the shifts as they put partners of all sizes on a level playing field.

23. David Helfer

Vice President, Worldwide Channel and Commercial
Juniper Networks

After a long period of reorganization and a rotating door of channel executives, David Helfer and the Juniper team have established a sense of stability for the company's channel program. As Juniper, Sunnyvale, Calif., goes down a new path under a new CEO, Helfer is helping bring opportunities to partners around cloud, high-IQ networks and services and professional support capabilities.

22. Janet Schijns

Vice President, Medium Business and Channels

With a goal to open 98 percent of accounts to the channel, Janet Schijns and Verizon are taking big steps to make that goal a reality. Starting with the New York-based company opening up 11,000 business accounts and more recently adding previously protected enterprise accounts, Schijns is building partner success and opening up the doors to the Verizon Partner Program.

21. Craig Schlagbaum

Vice President, Indirect Channels
Comcast Business Services

Just a few years after launching its channel program, Craig Schlagbaum has been working even harder to get Comcast Business Solutions into the channel, with high up-front margins and a bid services opportunity. Most recently, Schlagbaum has led a push through distribution to extend the Philadelphia-based company's reach into the channel.

20. Vince Bradley



With cloud and IT convergence shaking up the way telecom companies such as WTG do business, Vince Bradley has been working to stay ahead of the curve. Through its VAR Connectivity Program and more, WTG, Malibu, Calif., is working to help master agents and VAR partners make the right choices in a changing but critical market.

19. Chris Doggett

Senior Vice President, Corporate Sales
Kaspersky Lab

Despite a round of leadership shakeups at the Russia-based company, Chris Doggett has remained laser-focused on the channel, focusing on partner enablement, investments and programs. These efforts include revamped partner portals, new revenue-generating partner programs, marketing efforts and lead generation. The company is on track for double-digit growth and has added 800 new partners since 2013.

18. Frank Rauch

Vice President, Americas Partner Organization

Frank Rauch has been busy working with VMware partners, with rumored hyper-converged infrastructure appliances, opening up the AirWatch acquisition to the channel and more. On board with the Palo Alto, Calif.-based vendor since mid-2012, Rauch has helped keep the company a dominant player in server virtualization and establish new footholds in user computing and cloud infrastructure.

17. Ron Myers

Vice President, Worldwide Channels
Palo Alto Networks

Partners are seeing huge growth with Palo Alto Networks, with almost all of the company's top partners doubling their sales in the past year. Since Myers joined the Santa Clara, Calif., company last fall from Polycom, he has been working diligently to shape programs around distribution and build business for partners.

16. Jay Bradley


After stepping up its cloud game last year and adding higher up-front commissions to its partner program, Intelisys CEO Jay Bradley continues to push the momentum for partners. The changes are helping VARs make a smooth transition to cloud and recurring revenue. As a result, Intelisys, Petaluma, Calif., said it expects drive more demand through VARs alongside its telecom agent business.

15. Kevin Gilroy

Vice President, Global Indirect Channels

Under Kevin Gilroy, SAP has seen its channel revenue grow 40 percent annually and it has doubled the amount of partners in its Global VAR Program. The Walldorf, Germany, company is seeing particular growth as it moves from enterprise to SMB markets, mostly through the channel, and hopes to see 40 percent of software revenue through the channel by 2015.

14. Rich Geraffo

Senior Vice President, Worldwide Alliance and Channels

At the head of Oracle's partner program, Rich Geraffo said he has seen partners have particular success in cloud, engineered systems and the Internet of Things over the past year. Going forward, Geraffo said partners of the Redwood Shores, Calif.-based company can expect to see even more from Oracle's channel, including "exciting plans" for the Oracle Partner Network, sales strategies and more.

13. Michael Valentine

Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales

After jumping from Fortinet to Sophos in early 2013 to oversee the U.K.-based security vendor's channel program, Michael Valentine has had his sights set on reigniting the company's North American business. Since then, the company has remained committed to a 100 percent channel-focused strategy as it made strides in cloud, mobile control, encryption, unified threat management software and more.

12. Phil Sorgen

Corporate Vice President, Worldwide Partner Group

With almost a year behind him as the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant's channel chief, Phil Sorgen said he is pushing forward to simplify, lower the costs and provide consistency for Microsoft partners. That includes positioning partner programs to make it easier for solution providers to wrap their arms around what Sorgen sees as key technologies: social, mobility, big data and cloud.

11. Maurits Tichelman

General Manager, Worldwide Reseller Channel

Filling the shoes of longtime Intel channel chief Steve Dallman is no easy task, but Maurits Tichelman is stepping up to the plate. That includes betting big on partners selling Intel tablets, to the tune of 30 percent of the Santa Clara, Calif.-base company's 40 million device goal, as well as high-performance PCs and servers.

10. Marc Dupaquier

General Manager, Global Business Partners

After 29 years with IBM, Marc Dupaquier kicked off 2014 with a new position as general manager of IBM Global Business Partners. In his new role, Dupaquier has been working to make sure partners are involved in Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM's blossoming $5.8 billion software business.

9. Dan & Michael Schwab

D&H Distributing

With a focus on the SMB reseller market, D&H Co-Presidents Dan and Michael Schwab lead a distributor that takes pride in a hands-on approach with its reseller partners. Recent investments in education and key technologies and a continued focus on small business have propelled the Harrisburg, Pa.-based distributor to celebrate its 15th year of double-digit growth last year.

8. Rob McKernan

Senior Vice President
APC by Schneider Electric

Rob McKernan brings a career full of channel experience, including more than six years in his current position, to power and energy management company APC by Schneider Electric, West Kingston, R.I. McKernan has made sure partners associate the company with consistency, a multi-vendor environment and channel commitment.

7. Herve Tardy

Vice President, General Manager

As head of Eaton's channel program, Herve Tardy has been working to take the power protection and management powerhouse to new levels. With major investments in the Cleveland-based company over the past five years, Tardy has committed to improving every aspect of the program and, just as key, its product line by making investments in data center software.

6. Bruce Klein

Senior Vice President, Worldwide Channels
Cisco Systems

At the helm of one of the industry's most highly regarded channel programs, Bruce Klein has been busy putting his influence to good use, spearheading the San Jose, Calif., company's decision to double down on its midmarket channel investment to $150 million. With that comes a focus on arming partners with Cisco's tools for success, including cloud, managed services and emerging technologies.

5. Bob Skelley

Executive Director, North American Channel Sales

To the tune of cheering Dell partners, Bob Skelley took the helm of Dell's North American channel program in June. Skelley said he's excited to get back on the front lines with Dell partners and work toward what he calls a channel "cultural transformation," bringing together all business pieces and helping partners take new solutions from the Round Rock, Texas-based company to market.

4. Chris Frey

Vice President, North America Commercial Channel

Under Chris Frey's channel leadership, Lenovo's SMB partners saw channel sales increase 30 percent over the past quarter, on top of record revenue and tablet shipments for the vendor. With new market reach under the Motorola business and the potential for new business once the sale of IBM's x86 server business is complete, Frey said Beijing-based Lenovo isn't going to lose focus on finding success for partners.

3. Sue Barsamian

Senior Vice President, General Manager

Sue Barsamian is helping HP double down on the channel, and the company's partners are reaping the benefits. Since her appointment to the brand-new position at the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company a year ago, Barsamian has been working to kick channel sales into high gear, a bet that she said has "paid off big time."

2. Brooks McCorcle

President, Emerging Business Markets

With more than 22 years at AT&T, Brooks McCorcle has been busy working to help the Dallas-based telecom provider approach the channel differently. Respected for being a passionate leader with lots of energy, McCorcle's achievements include building the AT&T Partner Exchange program and continually working to offer new opportunities to partners.

1. Gregg Ambulos

Senior Vice President, Global Channel Sales

It's been an exciting year for EMC partners. In addition to a number of product rollouts, the storage vendor took the wraps off a brand-new partner program in May to replace the Velocity channel program that had been the name of the game for the vendor for the past 10 years. Longtime EMC channel executive Gregg Ambulos helped lead the charge, after helping form the previous partner program during his 17-year tenure at the Hopkinton, Mass.-based vendor. Under the new program, partners have the flexibility and focus they need to sell high-value solutions and services. It's all part of Ambulos' partner tagline of "simple, predictable and profitable." By bringing partner programs together under one umbrella, EMC is embracing a services-oriented channel and giving partners the choice to unite those skills and technologies in a way that makes the most sense for them. EMC and Ambulos have pulled out all the stops for partners with the investments and programs they need for success.