The Top 10 Channel Strategists Of 2011

These channel strategists are pulling the strings to make sure channel strategy is front and center for their companies, architecting the nimble go-to-market plans that translate into channel success. From CRN’s Top 100 Executives report, here’s a look at the Top 10 Channel Strategists Of 2011.

10. Emilio Umeoka

Senior Vice President, Worldwide Partners

Battling a vendor as entrenched as Cisco in the networking market takes a thick skin and a solid grasp of channel partner needs. And Juniper's Umeoka has both, as he proved since joining the company earlier this year.

9. Alex Thurber

Senior Vice President, Worldwide Channel Operations

Intel may have bought security vendor McAfee, but someone forgot to tell Thurber, who is still busy simplifying, expanding and refreshing McAfee channel programs just as if the company were still trying to take on the entire security world all on its own.

8. Adam Famularo

Cloud Computing Director
CA Technologies

Famularo is a channel turnaround specialist, having turned CA's storage business into the very much channel-centric business it is today. Now he's busy leading the charge to turn CA into a cloud-centric vendor, and if anyone there can do it, it's Famularo.

7. Julie Parrish

Senior Vice President, Global Partner Sales

Remember the Avis tagline, "We're No, 2. We Try Harder"? No one tries harder than Parrish to live up to that slogan as she pushes the channel as the key force to make NetApp the No. 1 storage vendor.

6. Steve Dallman

Vice President, Sales, Marketing Group

One might think Intel, with its overwhelming dominance of the processor market, could take it easy with channel marketing, but Dallman prefers to ratchet up the channel spending to keep the company relevant not only to the PC and server markets but to the exploding mobile and embedded markets as well.

5. Randy Cochran

Vice President, Channel Sales, Americas

Symantec may be the largest developer of both security and data protection software, but navigating in a world where security and data protection are increasingly a part of other vendors' offerings requires a cool hand and hot channel partners, both of which Cochran has managed well.

4. Chuck Robbins

Senior Vice President, Americas

Even the largest companies can experience growing pains, but when it's a company like Cisco, the channel holds its breath. Fortunately for Cisco and its partners, its recent restructuring has been in the capable hands of Robbins, who has been busy making the company as nimble as a startup.

3. Gregg Ambulos

Senior Vice President, Global Channel Sales

A few years ago, building a channel program for EMC was like herding cats, but Ambulos was up to the task. Under Ambulos, who pushed EMC to make the channel central to its small-business and midrange strategy, the payback has been five straight years of winning CRN's ARC Award.

2. Rob McKernan

President, North America
APC by Schneider Electric

Powering and cooling data centers is not all about power and cool air, as McKernan demonstrated with the 2011 acquisition of Lee Technologies, a channel partner specializing in monitoring data center infrastructures whose technology is being rolled out to APC's full channel partner community.

1. Herve Tardy

Vice President, General Manager, Distributed Power Quality Business Unit

A channel strategist that doesn’t blink, Tardy knows the secret to winning is a relentless and unwavering commitment to partners. His channel perseverance and power management savvy are being rewarded in the form of big channel sales gains for Eaton. Now the company is counting on Tardy to help the company ensure its data center gear is ready to meet customer cloud challenges. UPS, power distribution and air conditioning may sound boring, but Tardy works to ensure Eaton remains at the forefront of data center expansion and the building of the kind of infrastructures -- and channels -- that ensure the cloud starts to work as promised.