The Top 25 Technology Disrupters Of 2021

Here are the men and women who are pushing boundaries and turning the IT market on its ear.

The Disrupters

At a time when the status quo has seen more change than any period in recent memory, the technology disrupters have stepped up. While the pandemic continues to create surging demand for technologies to enable distributed working and learning, our list of the Top 25 Technology Disrupters of 2021 highlights executives who have answered the call—meeting the rapidly evolving needs of customers while creating new opportunities for channel partners. Our list includes executives who’ve proven themselves to be game-changers in red-hot markets ranging from security and cloud, to data center and hybrid infrastructure, to collaboration and networking, and more.

What follows is our list of the Top 25 Technology Disrupters of 2021.

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

25. Jon Kabrud

Director, U.S. MSP Channel Sales

ADT Cybersecurity

Kabrud drew up the company’s inaugural partner program to bring enterprise-level services to SMB and midmarket solution providers in a profitable and predictable manner. He is laser-focused on rewarding partners that grow with ADT Cybersecurity by providing them with more resources.

24. Charlie Tomeo

Chief Revenue Officer


Axcient is making security a key part of its push to embrace the cloud for data protection, and Tomeo is front and center when it comes to taking its technology to partners. He was the highest-level executive in a string of Webroot personnel hired by Axcient to beef up security around data protection

23. C.R. Howdyshell



Howdyshell is at the vanguard of today’s red-hot Everything-as-a-Service channel revolution. Advizex has become the single point of accountability for its customers with a best-of-breed, single-bill consumption-based offering, earning honors as HPE’s As-A-Service Partner Of The Year.

22. Gajen Kandiah


Hitachi Vantara

When Kandiah joined Hitachi Vantara in July 2020, he took over a company that had gone through a massive transition from a storage-centric vendor to a leader in IoT and analytics. But that wasn’t enough: Kandiah in March oversaw the $9.6 billion acquisition of GlobalLogic as a way to transform even further.

21. Prentiss Donohue

EVP, SMB, Commercial Sales


Donohue helped develop Webroot Business Management Console 6.0 to give MSPs and SMBs a more streamlined user experience when optimizing, executing and managing key layers of security. He also championed OpenText’s managed detection and response service to help customers uncover hidden risks.

20. Kevin Lynch



Lynch moved Optiv—one of the most well-respected security solution providers in the world—beyond traditional IT by creating an Enterprise IoT Lab that shows customers how to discover IoT devices present in their environment and mitigate outstanding security issues.

19. Nikesh Arora

Chairman, CEO

Palo Alto Networks

Arora broadened Palo Alto Networks’ capabilities through the purchases of Expanse and Bridgecrew. The company also devised a service that helps prevent data breaches, facilitates regulatory compliance and inhibits risky user behavior to protect sensitive data.

18. Jay Chaudhry

Founder, Chairman, CEO


Chaudhry acquired Trustdome to get control over who and what has access to data, applications and services, as well as Smokescreen Technologies to proactively hunt for emerging adversary tactics. He also created Zscaler ZPA Private Service Edge to securely broker users to private applications.

17. Joyce Mullen

President, North America

Insight Enterprises

After leading Dell Technologies’ massive channel business for years, Mullen jumped to Insight less than a year ago with the goal of driving sales growth by delivering more value and business outcomes for customers. She is now focused on building upon its portfolio of Insight Intelligent Technology Solutions.

16. Maria Martinez


Cisco Systems

Martinez has prioritized the customer experience throughout Cisco since she began at the company in 2018. After being promoted to COO this year, she hasn’t shied away from her increasingly full plate, which includes overseeing customer success, renewals, and the customer and partner experience.

15. Jason Magee



Magee has ensured security is one of the top drivers of ConnectWise’s past and potentially future acquisitions and is central to its core business model. He has also overseen new innovation such as the upcoming BrightGauge Essentials, out-of-the-box dashboards that give MSPs immediate insight into their business.

14. Paul Cormier

President, CEO

Red Hat

IBM touts Red Hat as a cornerstone in its cloud strategy. The two companies still have separate partner programs, but Cormier is steadfast about Red Hat partners’ essential role in his company’s trajectory. And partners in turn have praised his leadership.

13. Sanjay Beri

Founder, CEO


Beri turned Netskope into the world’s second most-valuable venture-backed cybersecurity company, raising $300 million on a $7.5 billion valuation to drive product and go-to-market investment around SASE. He also formulated the industry’s first accreditation course to address SASE design requirements.

12. Matthew and Peter Cassar

Co-Founders, Co-CEOs


The Cassars are laser-focused on providing top-tier services and products to MSP partners. To strengthen Sherweb’s cybersecurity footprint, the co-CEOs earlier this year launched Office Protect, which manages detection and response capabilities for Microsoft 365 users.1

11. Eric Martorano

Chief Revenue Officer


As one of the top executives at Nextiva, a provider of UCaaS targeting SMBs, Martorano has had his hands full aggressively growing the business over the last year. Under his direction, the channel-friendly company is working hard to zero in on new opportunities through solution providers.

10. Bill Scannell

President, Global Sales, Customer Operations

Dell Technologies

Scannell is Dell Technologies’ longtime sales leader who has his sights set on disrupting the as-a-service market via Dell’s new Apex portfolio. He is now pushing Dell and its partners to win customer wallet share from public cloud rivals through Apex’s cost savings and flexible offerings.

9. Ryan Walsh

Channel Chief, Chief Product Officer


Walsh is a forward thinker who is reinventing distribution and reach throughout the channel in a cloud-first landscape. In a post-pandemic world, Walsh helps drive MSPs to deliver hyper-charged, seamless cloud solutions that continue to be in high demand.

8. Todd McKinnon

Co-Founder, CEO


McKinnon pulled the trigger on the most expensive cybersecurity startup acquisition, scooping up Auth0 for $6.5 billion. He also plans to take on the competition with offerings in the identity governance and privileged access management spaces, which are slated to debut in 2022.

7. Eric Yuan

Founder, CEO

Zoom Video Communications

Former Cisco Webex executive Yuan had a vision for simple collaboration, and his launch of Zoom paid off during the pandemic when it became, quite literally, an overnight success. He is now spearheading the blockbuster $14.7 billion acquisition of contact center specialist Five9.

6. David Friend

President, CEO


Friend has proven himself a true “friend” to the channel and to the channel-focused cloud storage business with his dogged determination to keep cloud storage prices as low as possible and to partner with any vendor needing cloud storage on the back end

5. Rajiv Ramaswami

President, CEO


Ramaswami is shaking up Nutanix, positioning the company to become a global software leader by doubling down on scaling through partners as well as increasing its total addressable market. He joined Nutanix from competitor VMware and aims to best his former company in the HCI market.

4. Vladimir Rozanovich

SVP, President, North America


Rozanovich, who joined Lenovo in late June following a 24-year career at AMD, has assumed responsibility for all product sales and business groups in North America with a mission to drive Lenovo’s channel-first sales strategy and continue capturing market share from rivals.

3. Keith White

SVP, GM, GreenLake

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

No one has done more to make HPE GreenLake a force to be reckoned with in the cloud services market than White. Key to HPE’s cloud services’ success is his unbending commitment to HPE partners with deep investment in lead generation and co-selling.

2. Jeetu Patel

SVP, GM, Security, Collaboration Division

Cisco Systems

Former Box product leader Patel brought his insight to Cisco when he joined the company in 2020 to lead its collaboration and security businesses. He has taken the momentous task in stride, with Webex adoption smashing records and the security business seeing double-digit growth

1. Tomer Weingarten

Co-Founder, CEO


Weingarten burst onto the scene with the biggest cybersecurity IPO of all time, leading SentinelOne to $1.2 billion of funding on a record-breaking $10 billion valuation. He has driven monster growth at the endpoint security upstart, with sales jumping to $93.1 million in the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2021, up over 100 percent from $46.5 million in fiscal 2020.

And when it comes to the channel, Weingarten puts solution providers front and center, with partners accounting for 96 percent of revenue in the most recent fiscal year, up from 92 percent the year prior. He’s also led the charge as SentinelOne pushes its channel enablement capabilities beyond managed services and into managed detection and response and incident response.

Under his leadership, SentinelOne stands out in the next-gen security pack with true multitenancy for MSPs and an API-driven architecture for MDR partners, allowing them to build custom workflows around its technology.