The Top 25 Channel Sales Leaders Of 2017

Sales Leaders

As the tech industry undergoes constant transformation, channel leaders that embrace emerging technologies are gaining competitive advantage for their customers. They are staying ahead of the curve by rolling out new programs and incentives for their existing partners and by adding new solution providers to conquer new markets.

As part of CRN's The Top 100 Executives Of 2017 list, we highlight 25 channel sales executives that really shine as they work to grow revenue and increase market share with their partners.

Be sure to also visit the complete list of Top 100 Executives Of 2017.

25. Michael and Dan Schwab


D&H Distributing

Michael Schwab and Dan Schwab have tightened D&H's vendor relationships, launching training and incentive programs to double its Hewlett Packard Enterprise business and quadruple Meraki adoption among existing Cisco partners. The distributor added Microsoft Azure to its new cloud marketplace in a push to at least quintuple the number of channel partners using the platform. And the Schwab brothers ensure the company never takes its eye off the SMB ball with the rollout of an additional $115 million in extended credit lines.

24. Frank Rauch

VP, Americas Partner Organization


One of the most highly respected channel chiefs in the business, Frank Rauch is a 15-year channel veteran who has been the driving force behind the company's big channel gains in next-generation software-defined data centers with NSX, vSAN and vRealize. Now he is setting his sights on helping partners increase cloud sales with the eagerly anticipated VMware Cloud on AWS.

23. Christine Bufalini

Director, Americas Field, Global Channel Marketing


Longtime RSA executive Christine Bufalini has helped partners navigate through a series of major transformations, including its move from a direct to channel-centric model in 2016 and its acquisition by Dell last year as part of EMC. She has been instrumental in helping partners drive growth with both RSA's independent partner program and the product synergies with Dell.

22. Ken McCray

Head of Channel Sales, Operations, Americas


Ken McCray, a well-respected and longtime channel executive, has led the Americas channel charge as McAfee spun out from former parent company Intel this year. Under the McAfee Partner Program, the split has allowed McAfee to continue a focus on simplification, as well as invest in new dedicated systems, marketing, support and enablement.

21. Bill Swales

North America Channel Chief, Strategic Alliance Leader


As Oracle aggressively pushes into all facets of cloud computing, Bill Swales has been expanding the vendor's partner ecosystem to support that strategy. In 2016 Swales recruited more than 800 new partners to the company's Cloud Registered program, held regional partner cloud summits, created a three-day cloud boot camp for on-boarding and training partners, and launched webcasts and online programs to support new partners' sales efforts.

20. Sandra Glaser Cheek

VP, Worldwide Partner Sales, Marketing

Brocade Communications

Sandra Glaser Cheek has been a crucial centerpiece for Brocade channel partners as the vendor sells off various business units to separate companies. Glaser Cheek, who took the crown in CRN's 2016 Channel Madness Tournament Of Chiefs, is the veteran leader partners say gives them confidence in the future. She led the effort to get partners prepared for what lies ahead.

19. Keith Weatherford

VP, Americas Channels


Joining Symantec with the company's blockbuster acquisition of Blue Coat Systems, Keith Weatherford has led partners through the merger of two security giants into a single security powerhouse. That transition included a simplification of the Symantec partner program and enabling partners to take advantage of new cross-selling opportunities between the two portfolios.

18. Joe Chuisano

Managing Director, Global Channel Sales

Verizon Enterprise Solutions

Verizon partners trust that Joe Chuisano can lead the North America channel charge after the recent departure of Janet Schijns. During his 23-year tenure at Verizon, Chuisano has headed up the launch of Verizon's M2M practice, the Verizon Partner Program in North America and EMEA, and has been managing a large portion of the carrier's channel portfolio for years.

17. Stephanie Dismore

VP, GM, Americas Commercial Channel

HP Inc.

Stephanie Dismore has provided the spark that has propelled HP to the top of the PC and printer markets. Under her leadership, HP has moved the channel needle from 80 percent to 87 percent of total sales and taken the lead in making device-as-a-service a channel reality.

16. Kendra Krause

VP, Global Channels


Kendra Krause has led Sophos through yet another year of strong channel growth, growing the company's partner base from around 20,000 partners to 30,000 partners in 2017. The executive has also helped partners take advantage of huge opportunities around Sophos' new Intercept X solution, managed security services and the public cloud.

15. Steve Pataky

Executive Vice President of Worldwide Sales


As SonicWall spun out from Dell last fall, head of worldwide sales Steve Pataky has led the network security vendor's transformation into a 100 percent channel company. The results from that shift have been significant, with SonicWall surpassing its aggressive growth goals and registering more than 15,000 partners into its new SecureFirst partner program since its August launch.

14. John Teltsch

GM, Transformation, Global Markets


Newly appointed as IBM's channel chief, John Teltsch is charged with guiding the company's vast ecosystem of global channel partners as IBM transforms its business. A 36-year IBM veteran, Teltsch is focused on supporting, educating and enabling partners to develop solutions around IBM's cognitive computing, cloud services and other "strategic imperatives."

13. Gavriella Schuster

Corporate Vice President, Global Partner Channels, Programs


Microsoft is evolving from a PC-centric software developer to a company focused on cloud and mobile computing. That's a big transformation not just for the company, but for its thousands of channel partners as well. Gavriella Schuster is working to help transition partners to Microsoft cloud products such as Azure and Office 365 and the new business models that go with them.

12. Maurits Tichelman

VP, Sales and Marketing Group; GM, Sales, Direct and Channel Sales


Maurits Tichelman is spearheading efforts around tightening the focus on investments across Intel's go-to-market strategy, as well as channel resources and training strategies from a global perspective.

11. Sammy Kinlaw

VP, North America Channel, U.S. SMB


Every company needs a Sammy Kinlaw, the kind of executive who thrives in a tough market. Lenovo has the original. Kinlaw has to mold Lenovo's server and PC businesses into a force that can go head to head with the biggest full-product data center infrastructure companies like HPE and Dell EMC.

10. Eric Martorano

Chief Revenue Officer


Eric Martorano has kept very busy since joining Intermedia in September, hiring three former Microsoft leaders and launching field sales and sales engineering practices to double the company's revenue within four years. He has helped Intermedia launch a sales enablement and engineering practice to expand its focus beyond inside account management to also encompass field engagement and co-selling.

9. Curtiz Gangi

VP, U.S. Channels, Data Center Segment


No one has done more to drive the software power management recurring revenue renaissance taking hold in the Eaton channel than Curtiz Gangi. He has provided big and bold program changes and the in-the-sales-trenches leadership to bring Eaton to higher ground.

8. Shannon Sbar

VP, Channels, North America

APC by Schneider Electric

Shannon Sbar, who stepped into a more prominent role ast head of the North American channel business, has kicked APC by Schneider Electric's managed services effort into high gear. Partners say she is driving a power and cooling managed services channel transformatio.

7. Terry Wise

VP, Worldwide Alliances, Channels, Ecosystem

Amazon Web Services

Terry Wise has worked hard to beef up AWS' partner ecosystem, growing its ranks of managed service providers by more than 130 percent last year. As AWS sales continue to constantly climb, Wise's top goals in 2017 are to increase the overall percentage of company revenue that comes through the channel and boost the amount of professional services going through partners.

6. Terry Richardson

VP, U.S. Channel Sales

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Terry Richardson, who is now also overseeing U.S. distribution, is the driving force behind an enterprise partner renaissance. The 30-year channel veteran’s hands-on approach to helping partners led to his win in CRN's 2017 Channel Madness channel chief competition.

5. Scott Dunsire

VP, GM, Enterprise Americas Channels, SMB and Inside Sales

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Scott Dunsire has put in place the channel team and economics that are paying off big time for HPE partners. He has delivered across-the-board improvements and stepped-up commitment in every channel segment.

4. John Byrne

President, Global Channels

Dell EMC

John Byrne came to Dell's channel team with a Herculean task: create a unified channel program leveraging the respective strengths of the Dell and EMC partner programs as the two giants merged. Byrne succeeded, and in the process played a key role in making Dell an enterprise data center force.

3. Bertrand Yansouni

VP Global Partner Sales, Strategic Alliances


After years of leading the channel sales charge for companies including VMware, Riverbed Technology and Cloudera, Bertrand Yansouni took the channel reins at Google Cloud this year. Yansouni is on a mission to revamp the company's partner program to give partners a more unified approach to Google cloud and shifting to a more solution-oriented rewards program versus just selling individual products.

2. Greg Baur

VP, Sales and Marketing Group, Americas


Since taking on a new role in 2016 to spearhead Intel's channel, Greg Baur has worked to help partners expand into new opportunities around the data center, IoT and Intel's storage business. Baur aims to continue driving growth in all segments in the channel, particularly in lucrative vertical markets.

1. Bill Lipsin

VP, Worldwide Channels


Bill Lipsin, the driving force behind a robust increase in the company's channel business in the last year, left the company as of July 31, but he is still our choice as the No. 1 sales leader based on the company's impressive channel performance this year.

Lipsin, a 12 year channel sales veteran, provided the channel and technology leadership at a time when NetApp had fallen behind its peers in both product development and sales. When Lipsin, a 12-year channel sales veteran, took the NetApp channel reins two years ago, he was determined to have the channel play a key role in reinvigorating the company's business. Lipsin delivered.

His passion and energy, along with a quiet sense of humor, paid off in helping NetApp turn around and become what is now the only major storage vendor showing revenue and market-share growth. That passion and energy will hard to replace for NetApp.