The Top 25 Channel Sales Leaders Of 2021

As part of CRN’s Top 100 Executives Of 2021 list, we highlight 25 sales executives leading the channel charge.

The Channel Sales Experts

It’s a wise channel sales leader who understands that going the extra mile for partners is a win-win—leading to greater growth for both the vendor and the partners on the front lines. For our list of the Top 25 Channel Sales Leaders of 2021, we’ve selected executives who are driving partner growth and profitability with enhanced programs, improved engagement and other channel-friendly investments. Many of these leaders are accelerating recurring revenue opportunities for partners while helping the channel to expand into new solutions and service areas.

What follows is our list of the Top 25 Channel Sales Leaders of 2021.

Be sure to also check out the complete list of CRN’s Top 100 Executives Of 2021.

25. Wendy Taccetta

SVP, Nationwide Small Business, Channel Chief

Verizon Business Group

Twenty-year Verizon executive Taccetta was crowned channel chief of the Verizon Business Group in 2020, and she hasn’t taken a break yet. She has been busy creating better ways for partners to work with the carrier and helping partners see opportunities beyond connectivity.

24. Kimberly King

VP, Global Strategic Partners, Alliances

Hitachi Vantara

How do you carve out a channel-focused IoT and analytics play from a channel traditionally focused on storage? You call in King, who has been busy melding the channels of three separate product lines into one and helping partners take advantage of the expanded opportunities they offer.

23. Kevin Rooney

VP, Americas Channel Sales

Veeam Software

The move to turn all things storage into a service is one heartily embraced by Rooney, who is touting the fact that more than half of Veeam’s revenue now comes via services and subscriptions. Rooney has shown how to make the channel the center of a push toward services.

22. Gordon Mackintosh

Global Channels, Virtual Sales

Juniper Networks

Mackintosh joined Juniper last year and since then has been making big bets on the channel—to the tune of investing over $100 million. He has added a brand-new program geared toward enterprise sales, as well as a program focused solely on MSPs.

21. Jon Bove

VP, Channel Sales


Bove has driven Fortinet’s expansion from yearly licenses to consumption[1]based pricing for six products to reduce capital expenditures for MSPs. He has also expanded the company’s specialization program from four to seven, adding new offerings around zero trust access, OT and security operations.

20. Craig Schlagbaum

SVP, Indirect Sales

Comcast Business

Schlagbaum has more than two decades of experience in the telecom arena and even more as a trusted channel leader. He has been focusing Comcast’s ever-growing partner program by injecting more resources and investments into connectivity offerings as well as more strategic IT services.

19. Shannon Sbar

VP, Channels, North America

Schneider Electric

Sbar has been focused on driving channel success at Schneider Electric’s Secure Power division for over 14 years. She has spearhead[1]ed recent improvements to the Opportunity Registration Program by increasing discounts and expanding the eligible product categories for partners

18. Carolee Gearhart

VP, Worldwide Channels

Google Cloud

Gearhart is instrumental in ensuring Google Cloud’s sales team has highly skilled partners for every workload, vertical and segment as it focuses on achieving a 100 percent go-to-market plan with the channel. She stresses the importance of partners embodying Google Cloud’s flexibility, agility, intelligence and innovation

17. Curtiz Gangi

Sales VP, U.S. Channels, Data Center Vertical


Eaton’s longtime channel champion has overseen a number of recent partner program launches. Gangi continuously updates part[1]ner programs around improving sales processes, tying partner certifications to recurring revenue and focusing on new growth areas like edge computing.

16. Chris Lamborn

Head of Global Partner Go To Market, Programs


It’s one thing to say, like NetApp does, that everything is going to the cloud. It’s another thing to make sure that means opening up big opportunities for partners. Lamborn has done just that, and NetApp’s strong channel business is a testament to his vision.

15. Steve Biondi and Rob Cato

North America Channel Chiefs


Biondi and Cato have been helping to craft the Lenovo 360 global partner program. Set to launch in early 2022, Lenovo 360 will unite the intelligent devices and data center infrastructure businesses in a more cohesive and profitable way for partners.

14. Frank Rauch

Head of Worldwide Channel Sales

Check Point Software Technologies

Rauch strengthened the ties between partners and the field sales organization to maximize channel profitability. He also brought in longtime VMware cloud sales leader Geoff Waters to oversee the field sales operation in North America and Latin America.

13. Sandy Hogan

SVP, Worldwide Partner, Commercial Organization


Hogan kept her foot on the gas in 2020 after taking over as VMware’s global channel chief with a focus on getting partners equipped with Master Services Competencies. Her “partner-first” mantra is being built in-to-all of VMware’s strategies

12. Scott Lannum

VP, GM, Commercial Sales Organization

HP Inc.

Lannum’s tenure as the Americas channel chief at HP Inc. has included the launch of the HP Amplify partner program, which features a revamped compensation structure as well as more focus on rewarding partners that can offer services and bring a strong digital presence.

11. Christian Alvarez

SVP, Worldwide Channel Sales


Alvarez has already won the admiration of Nutanix’s partner community just one year into his global channel leadership role. He was crowned the winner of CRN’s prestigious Channel Madness Tournament of Chiefs in 2021, besting 31 of the industry’s most influential channel chiefs.

10. Jason Kimrey

GM, U.S. Channel, Partner Programs


Kimrey already had a big job: help lead the U.S. roll-out of a new, unified partner program for Intel. But then the pandemic happened and he rose to the occasion, not only helping partners overcome economic uncertainty but also outlining new opportunities that could help them out of the recession

9. Donna Grothjan

VP, Worldwide Channel Sales

Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company

Proven channel veteran Grothjan has been heading up Aruba’s channel for over five years. In that time, she’s been driving Aruba’s efforts to enable the delivery of Network as a Service and oversaw the rollout of the Partner Ready for Aruba MSP program in 2020.

8. Kendra Krause

VP, Global Channels


Krause built out a new partner program that streamlined processes and rules of engagement while offering more deal registration opportunities, visibility into level attainment and an MSP revenue multiplier. She also expanded the company’s portfolio of managed services offerings

7. Rodney Clark

Corporate VP, Global Channel Sales, Channel Chief


Clark was named channel chief April 1 and has set out to tackle priorities including improving digital engagement with partners and accelerating partner tech capability. He is also overseeing new investments that are going directly toward partner profitability.

6. Doug Yeum

Head of Worldwide Channels, Alliances

Amazon Web Services

Yeum is laser-focused on making it easier for AWS’ 100,000-plus partners to work and grow with the company by launching new initiatives such as the ISV Partner Path and SaaS Boost, and by stressing the importance of speed and differentiation to AWS’ solution providers and ISVs.

5. Terry Richardson

North America Channel Chief


As AMD has re-established itself in the commercial market, Richardson’s job has been to go the extra mile— and that means becoming a trusted partner in the channel. He has wasted no time defining the “ultimate channel go-to-market strategy” and expanding relationships with AMD’s partners.

4. Rola Dagher

Global Channel Chief

Dell Technologies

Just one year into her role leading Dell Technologies’ massive channel partner business, Dagher has taken partner sales growth and profitability to the next level, including 14 percent growth in channel revenue during its first fiscal quarter. She is now striving to enable partners to sell Dell’s new Apex portfolio.

3. Oliver Tuszik

SVP, Global Partner Sales

Cisco Systems

Tuszik has been busy bringing partners along on Cisco’s journey to transition the majority of its portfolio to an as-a-service model, and partners are heeding the call. With Tuszik at the helm of Cisco’s Global Partner Organization, partners are defining the new normal for their customers.

2. Bob Lord

SVP, Worldwide Ecosystems, Blockchain


Lord is the point person in IBM’s bid to more than double revenue with partners over the next three to five years. Look for the self-described technologist at heart to make big changes that continue to fuel IBM-Red Hat OpenShift sales momentum.

1. George Hope

Worldwide Head of Partner Sales

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Hope, a 30-plus-year technology sales veteran, has emerged as the driving force behind HPE’s Everything-as-a-Service channel sales charge. His enterprise technology smarts and channel knowledge are propelling HPE’s GreenLake pay-per-use on-premises cloud service to new channel heights.

Under Hope’s leadership, GreenLake is continuing to gain momentum, with total GreenLake as-a-service or[1]der growth up 41 percent in the most recent quarter and 900 partners now selling the cloud service.

Partners credit Hope with maintaining what they are calling industry-leading profitability of the GreenLake channel model with a 17 percent upfront rebate along with monthly recurring revenue participation.

Hope calls the robust rebate/recurring revenue model a “two-fer” for partners. “What we have done with GreenLake with our program is give the partner the best of both worlds,” he said.