2018 Channel Chiefs: The 50 Most Influential

The Most Influential

Our 50 Most Influential Channel Chiefs of 2018 are an elite group drawn from the larger pool of Channel Chief honorees each year that represent the cream of the IT channel crop – leaders who drive the channel agenda and evangelize the importance of channel partnerships.

All Channel Chief honorees are selected by CRN's editorial staff on the basis of their professional achievements, standing in the industry, dedication to the channel partner community and strategies for driving future growth and innovation. The complete 2018 CRN Channel Chiefs list is featured in the February 2018 issue of CRN and online here.

Amazon Web Services

Terry Wise

VP, Global Alliances, Channels

With Wise at the helm, the AWS Partner Network recruited more than ten thousand solution providers in 2017, including APN Technology Partners and APN Consulting Partners. Also during the year tens of thousands of AWS certifications and more than 100,000 AWS accreditations were awarded to APN Partners.

APC by Schneider Electric

Shannon Sbar

VP, Channels

Sbar's organization moved more than 300 partners to higher tiers in 2017 because of their investments in their APC business even as the company continued to recruit partners to its Managed Services Program. Sbar also managed the launch of the Local Edge Configurator design and selection tool to help partners deploy pre-integrated and repeatable solutions.

Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co.

Donna Grothjan

VP, Worldwide Channels

Under Grothjan's management Aruba is reaping the results of its new Partner Ready for Networking (PRfN) program, which brought legacy Aruba and HPE networking channel programs together. Today more than 50 percent of sales come through partners selling across the full line of wired, Wi-Fi, BLE and WAN solutions, up from 10 percent before PRfN.


Zee Hussain

Division President, AT&T Partner Solutions

Hussain took on ownership of the AT&T Partner Exchange, AT&T Alliance Channel and ACC Business under the AT&T Partner Solutions umbrella. The company has sought to innovate in each channel, for example developing a strong focus on IoT and mobility for solution providers in AT&T Partner Exchange in 2017.

Cisco Systems

Wendy Bahr

SVP, Global Partner Organization

Cisco's partner ecosystem continued its expansion in 2017 under Bahr's management with the addition of more systems integrators, IT service providers, ISVs, digital consultants and operational technology partners. A strategic partnership with ConnectWise helps partners create managed IT services for SMBs based on Cisco's cloud-managed technology solutions.

Comcast Business

Craig Schlagbaum

VP, Indirect Channels

With Schlagbaum at the helm, Comcast has continued to invest in its partner operations including adding tiers to its Master Agent program to recognize strategic growth, launching a marketing platform called Channel Express that partners use to access content, growing the indirect channel team, and investing in more partner account managers.


Ralph J. Nimergood

VP, Worldwide Channel Strategy, Programs, Planning

Nimergood led the team that redesigned the Partner Advantage distribution reward system to align distributors with specific partner segments with specific solutions. Under his direction revenue per partner increased by strong double digits over the past 12 months, and the company significantly increased the number of partners it works with.


Didi Dayton

VP, Worldwide Channels, Alliances

Dayton has led the explosive growth in Cylance's partner program from just 128 partner/sellers a year ago to more than 4,000, resulting in seven consecutive quarters of partner-led business and more than 11,000 deal registrations. Cylance's hybrid partner model allows partners to sell its technology as licenses or a managed service.

Dell EMC

Cheryl Cook

SVP, Global Channel Marketing

Cook spearheads development and strategy for Dell EMC's global channel marketing organization. Her team designed, built, branded and launched Dell EMC's new partner program, and within six months of launch delivered 20,000 net-new customers and increased the profitability of 70 percent of the company's partners.

Dell EMC

Joyce Mullen

President, Global Channels, OEM, IoT Solutions

Joyce Mullen, an 18-year Dell veteran, was appointed to her current post in late 2017 to run Dell's $43 billion global channels business. Before her promotion, Mullen was senior vice president of OEM and Internet of Things solutions. In her new role she's expected to drive more storage system sales through the channel.

Mullen and her team spent much of the last year restructuring Dell's OEM partner program, creating a new OEM track within the new Dell EMC Partner Program and by developing closer relationships with OEM partners. In the first half of 2017 OEM partner revenue increased by more than 35 percent.


Curtiz Gangi

Sales VP, Midmarket and U.S. Channels, Data Center

Gangi manages Eaton's data center team of national practice and sales leaders. The last year saw him spearhead power management-as-a-service with new partner certifications and business models. He also expanded Eaton's vertical end-market focus with new strategies around hybrid cloud, IoT, hyper-converged/converged and networking markets.

Extreme Networks

Bob Gault

Chief Revenue, Services Officer

Gault shapes Extreme Networks' worldwide sales, channel, and services organizations. He helped unify Extreme’s partner program, unveiled in late 2017, with those of its Zebra Technologies, Avaya, and Brocade acquisitions. He also engineered updates to Extreme Networks' Ultimate Warrior incentive program.

F5 Networks

David Helfer

SVP, Worldwide Partners, Cloud Sales

Helfer leads global channels and sales operations with responsibility for global channel strategies, cloud go-to-market, and partner engagement. Over the last year he has focused on cloud partnerships with major public cloud providers including AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google and IBM while aligning partner incentives around new subscription models.


Jon Bove

VP, Americas Channels

Bove and his team are responsible for strategizing, promoting and driving the channel sales strategy for Fortinet partners building security practices in the U.S. He established Fortinet's national partner program and has aligned the company's strategy to better enable partners to develop Fortinet security practices.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Chris Ogburn

VP, Worldwide Marketing

Ogburn leads all field and channel marketing across the HPE portfolio, including software, compute, storage, networking, converged systems, composable infrastructure, services, and cloud. His team is responsible for marketing execution and building relationships with key partners and collaborating with them to develop joint marketing plans.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Terry Richardson

VP, North America Channels, Alliances

A 31-year industry veteran, Richardson is tasked with driving indirect revenue growth above market rates and managing HPE's overall channel strategy to improve partner performance, satisfaction, and engagement across all business units. He is also responsible for distributors, OEMs, system integrators and strategic alliance partners. His achievements include making technology from recent HPE acquisitions, including Aruba Networks, SimpliVity and Nimble Storage, available to channel partners.

HP Inc.

Vincent Brissot

Head, Channel Marketing, Operations

Brissot drives the planning, development and execution of HP's worldwide marketing initiatives with, to and through HP's channel partner community. That includes managing global channel marketing programs and driving market development funds as a business accelerator. In 2017 HP expanded digital sales and marketing capabilities as a competitive advantage for partners.

HP Inc.

Stephanie Dismore

VP, GM, Americas Channels

Dismore manages all aspects of HP's commercial and consumer channel sales in the U.S., spanning distribution, national solution providers, regional VARs, public sector and SMB partners. In 2017 HP shifted 30 percent of its direct accounts, about 1,500 customers, to partner-led: As a result, 87 percent of HP's business now goes through the channel.


Todd Garrigues

Director, U.S. Partner Sales

Garrigues is focused on integrating Intel's North American and Latin American channel efforts to drive synergies, create program efficiencies, and create opportunities between the respective partner bases. He led successful recruitment initiatives in the MSP community and collaboration efforts with OEM partners that generated better training and technology awareness.


Ricardo Moreno

VP, Sales, Marketing Group; GM, Partner Sales

Moreno has spurred growth of new businesses for IoT and data center by initiating specialty tracks to provide greater support to partners. He initiated the design of a new channel program portfolio to provide partners with more value from their Intel relationship. Moreno and his team also drove growth in the PC business.


Eric Martorano

Chief Revenue Officer

Martorano hired sales leaders with channel experience at companies like Microsoft, Cisco and Ingram Micro. He also launched a tiered-channel program designed to reward partners for increased sales. Under Martorano Intermedia's channel business accounts for more than 80 percent of sales, up from 70 percent at the start of 2017.

Juniper Networks

Brian Rosenberg

Corporate VP, Global Partners, Alliances

Rosenberg and his team have added additional cloud specializations and specialization-based rebates – and reallocated funds into growth areas for partners to maximize profitability and optimize growth. He has also expanded Juniper Networks' ranks of professional services partners.

Kaspersky Lab

Jason Stein

VP, Channel Sales, North America

Stein and his channel team developed structured training sessions for channel partners via the classroom and podcasts. He built a digital subscription framework for the channel to meet changes in licensing models and in how customers consume technology. And he opened up additional channel routes to market, including Kaspersky's MSP program.


Sammy Kinlaw

VP, Worldwide Channel, OEM

Kinlaw joined Lexmark after 25 years of sales experience at IBM and Lenovo. In preparation for Kinlaw's arrival, the company addressed its distribution needs by growing its partner base by 20 percent to fill gaps in market coverage. Lexmark's top-five copier channel partners enjoyed year-to-year revenue increases of 23 percent.


David Powell

GM, Service Provider Business Unit

LogicMonitor's sales team has leveraged Powell's expertise, and past success leading MSP practices, to work with partners and consult with potential customers on how to transform their businesses and adopt more managed services. Developing strong connections early in the process has translated to increased sales.


Ken McCray

Head, Channel Sales, Operations for the Americas

McCray advanced McAfee's engagement with partners in 2017 by overseeing the development of the McAfee Channel Professional Services Partner Product Migration Team. The company is growing its partner base through new routes-to-market with MSPs and the partner community is expanding due to new customer consumption models.


Gavriella Schuster

Corporate VP, Worldwide Channels, Programs

Under Schuster's direction, Microsoft grew its cloud partner base by 33 percent in 2017, reaching 68,000 total cloud partners. Schuster led channel program expansions that benefit partners, such as the launch of a new co-selling program that gives special incentives to Microsoft salespeople to work more closely with solution providers.


Jeff McCullough

VP, Americas Partner Sales

McCullough led efforts to enhance NetApp's Unified Channel Program, ultimately improving profitability and increasing deal sizes for partners. NetApp also found that its partners realized more than $6 of services-attach for every $1 of NetApp products sold.


Bill Swales

Group VP, North America Alliance, Channels Sales

Swales is charged with driving revenue through Oracle's cloud partners, global and regional system integrators, VARs, and other Alliance partners. In 2017 Swales and his team launched the Velocity program which provides certified partners with support and "customer success funds" to subsidize costs for customers' initial cloud implementations, reducing partner risks and expense while ensuring successful customer outcomes.

Palo Alto Networks

Ron Myers

SVP, Worldwide Channels

Myers has overseen global channel sales, policies, and partnerships at Palo Alto Networks since 2013. In fiscal 2017, under Myers direction, 109 partners doubled their business with the company and booked more than $1 million in Palo Alto Networks sales. Partners earned more than 15,000 sales and technical certifications in fiscal 2017.


Nick Tidd

VP, Global Partner Organization

Tidd leads Polycom's worldwide channel partner programs, strategy, enablement and operations and works closely with all Polycom constituents to develop, architect and advance channel strategy. In 2017 he and his team launched a Fast Track program application that significantly eases the registration process for partners and introduced a Referral Program for non-transacting partners. On average Polycom's partners increased their revenue by 4 percent year-over-year.

Pure Storage

Andy Martin

VP, North America Channel Sales

Martin joined Pure Storage in 2014 as regional sales director and in 2017 took on his current role leading the company's channel sales and alliances division. As businesses have become more AI-driven, a focus for Martin and his team has been enabling partners to deliver solutions for AI, machine learning and data analytics initiatives.


Faraz Siraj

Head, Americas Channel Sales

With Siraj leading the channel charge, RSA has enjoyed significant growth in the size of its partner base across its SecurID, Archer, Netwitness, and Fraud and Risk Intelligence product lines. Siraj has re-evaluated RSA's go-to-market strategy with top partners and aligned resources to better serve them, and driven investment in partner education and enablement.


Bertrand Yansouni

VP, Worldwide Channel

Yansouni just recently joined Rubrik's channel leadership team, joining from Google Cloud where he was VP of Global Partner Sales and Strategic Partnerships. Rubrik has more than doubled its partner community in the last year and partners who have been with the company for a year or more have experienced year-over-year growth in excess of 250 percent. One of Yansouni's tasks will be recruiting partners with vertical industry expertise and a focus on service offerings and service delivery.


Neeracha Taychakhoonavudh

SVP, Partner, Industry Innovation

To encourage partners to develop Salesforce-native solutions, Taychakhoonavudh drove Salesforce to pledge $100 million for a platform fund that supports partners developing cutting-edge applications, and another $50 million for a fund dedicated to assisting the next generation of system integration partners with more resources and support.


Michael Coleman

VP, Mobile Channel

At Coleman's direction, Samsung has restructured its channel organization to focus on digital signage, display and SSD memory mobility solutions. He also instituted a mobility solutions partner program and a mobility-as-a-service practice, both of which are equipped with key resources and tools for partner enablement.

Samsung Electronics America

Greg Taylor

VP, Sales

Taylor drove the launch of a partner marketing hub that provides content, social and email marketing support to solution providers. He was also instrumental in introducing the Samsung Business Academy, a learning management system that arms partners with industry-specific training in core vertical markets.

Scale Computing

Dave Hallmen

Chief Revenue Officer

With Hallmen at the helm, Scale has grown its partner base by 100 percent over the past year and he was instrumental in the launch of the Scale Partner Community channel program. He also managed the overhaul of the HC3 certification for training partners on HP3 products.


Steve Pataky

SVP, Chief Revenue Officer

Pataky and his team launched the SecureFirst Partner Program in November 2016 and the company now has more than 18,000 reseller, integrator, MSSP and security consultant partners. In 2017 Pataky oversaw the launch of the Partner Enabled Services Program, which equips partners to deliver specialized security services including design, implementation, configuration and training to optimize customers' SonicWall investments. Through the program, partners are vetted, granted status as a SonicWall Authorized Services Partner and given access to exclusive training, tools, sales, marketing and technical resources.


Kendra Krause

VP, Global Channels

Krause has managed the expansion of Sophos' Global Channel Program that provides training, certification and financial incentives for partners to become specialized Cloud Security Providers. Training includes the Sophos Sales Samurai program, with its blue belt and black belt certification levels. Krause also launched the Sophos Channel Influence Community, which provides a route for partner feedback to the vendor.


Michael Valentine

SVP, Worldwide Sales

Valentine is responsible for the high-level vision and execution of Sophos’ channel-first sales strategy and developing partner and company growth. The number of partners transacting business with Sophos in the Americas grew 18 percent between the second quarters of fiscal 2017 and 2018 while the number of partners selling Sophos Central in the Americas surged 65 percent in that time period. The vendor has doubled the number of partners in its MSP Connect program in the last 12 months.


Brooke Cunningham

Area VP, Global Partner Programs, Marketing, Operations

Cunningham and her team debuted major enhancements to Splunk's Partner+ program in 2017, including a simplified, consistent discount structure and new rules of engagement. She also managed the development and launch of the new Partner+ Portal with easier access to deal registration, marketing tools, program guidelines, certification and other resources. And she oversaw the introduction of partner program for managed service providers.


Lee Schor

VP, Sales, Americas

Schor has been instrumental in the rapid partner uptake of StorageCraft's cloud services in the past year with the number of installs rapidly growing month-to-month. The vendor's larger, more refined product portfolio has provided partners with more opportunities to book recurring revenue. Schor was also responsible for creating the StorageCraft $100,000 Recovery Guarantee for the recovery of virtual or physical machines — on-premises or in the cloud.


Keith Weatherford

VP, AMS Channel Sales

Weatherford forged Symantec's channel-first strategy and more than 85 percent of the company's business is now through partners. He put in place a team of territory channel account managers in 2017 to help manage partner engagement and reduced the number of direct sales deals resulting in more than $60 million in additional business for partners. Through a distributor consolidation effort, Symantec works more strategically with fewer distributors.


Kevin Rooney

VP, Americas Channel Sales

Rooney has overseen Veeam's continued investment in the channel and maintained its 100-percent channel go-to-market strategy. The result was 30 percent year-over-year channel revenue growth in the Americas in 2017, including 50 percent growth in enterprise markets. Veeam's partner enablement efforts include providing in-person and on-demand training sessions that provide partners with a deep technical understanding of Veeam's systems.


Pete Leuzzi

GVP, Head, WW Channels, Alliances

Leuzzi oversees all channel sales through system integrators and service providers. In 2017 he enabled greater coverage and opportunities for current and new partners in the EMEA and APAC regions. He also provided better clarity to the market on Verizon's channel approach to enterprise and corporate accounts, mid-size businesses and the public sector.


Frank Rauch

VP, Americas Partner Organization

Channel veteran Rauch expanded market opportunities for VMware partners by working with Google, Samsung, Palo Alto Networks, Dell EMC and others to create joint go-to-market programs. Rauch also recruited and trained partners in 2017 around new opportunities in virtual storage and networking.


Brandon Sweeney

SVP, WW Commercial, Partner Sales

Under Sweeney's leadership Advantage+ deal registration and average selling prices by partners have both grown year-over-year by double digits. Sweeney was involved in making Dell Technologies an official VMware distributor and increased benefits to partners who drove more enterprise license agreement sales around VMware's advanced solutions.


Charlie Tomeo

VP, Worldwide Business Sales

Tomeo was instrumental in recruiting and onboarding more than 3,900 MSP partners to Webroot's channel community in 2017, while also growing partner bookings by double digits year over year. He also managed the launch of a certification program for solution provider sales and technical staff to help them better sell and troubleshoot the Webroot product portfolio.

Xerox Corporation

Darren Cassidy


Cassidy focused heavily on managed print services in 2017, introducing an MPS Accreditation program to give partners more access to Xerox tools and programs. He also oversaw a revamp of the Xerox Document Technology Program, expanding the portfolio available to channel partners to include production-class printers and other high-end products, increasing sales, support and professional service opportunities for partners.