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Tech Data’s Sammy Kinlaw On Why He Left Lexmark, Opportunity At The Endpoint

O’Ryan Johnson

‘I knew this was a job I could sink my teeth into. I knew they would give me the autonomy to grow and explore,’ says Sammy Kinlaw, new senior vice president of endpoint solutions for the Americas at Tech Data.

Can you talk a bit about your time at Lexmark?

It‘s been a fantastic experience—from having the ability to run, develop and build a worldwide channel that has consistencies, that has worldwide strategies, priorities, incentives, that frankly can move from one country to the other.

That‘s been nothing short of a blessing for me. There are not many manufacturing organizations that can say that they’ve got a consistent worldwide channel because that’s really tough, and Lexmark gave me that.

I‘ve talked about it many times over the past almost three years. The ability to understand how to motivate a channel that’s declining because print, it has been in decline, and frankly we’ve been able to turn that around at Lexmark.

It‘s been a great thing to understand the complexities of exchange rates and laws that are tailored to Europe versus tailored to the Americas. I’m walking out of that role as a much broader and deeper executive. Just building on to what I had gained from running a big channel at Lenovo.

You ran the channel at both Lenovo and Lexmark. Both are big, international brands with good Fortune 500 adoption, but can you tell me a little about how those two experiences were different?

It’s not as if Lexmark didn’t have a channel. They did. But they weren‘t focused on the SMB, midmarket, open market, which were channel-led, channel-closed. That was the difference in coming to Lexmark because they wanted to build that out and they gave me the ability to do that, and we’ve done a fantastic job. That business for Lexmark is up double digits over the past two years.

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O’Ryan Johnson

O’Ryan Johnson is a veteran news reporter. He covers the data center beat for CRN and hopes to hear from channel partners about how he can improve his coverage and write the stories they want to read. He can be reached at

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