2017 Channel Chiefs: The 50 Most Influential

The Most Influential

Our 50 Most Influential Channel Chiefs of 2017 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 2017 CRN Channel Chiefs list is featured in the February 2017 issue of CRN and online at www.crn.com/channelchiefs.

APC by Schneider Electric

Shannon Sbar

VP, Channels

APC's channel operations, under Sbar's leadership, reported that average revenue per partner grew 13 percent in 2016. The company ventured into the managed services market with its Managed Services Program and is seeing positive results with about 250 partners enrolled in North America, adding power management and monitoring to their service offerings.

Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company

Donna Grothjan

VP, Worldwide Channels

In 2016 Grothjan oversaw the development and launch of the Partner Ready for Networking (PRfN) program, bringing together the best elements from the Aruba PartnerEdge and HPE Partner Ready channel programs. PRfN allow partners to capitalize on the fast-growing mobile-first market opportunity.


Brooks McCorcle

President, AT&T Partner Solutions

McCorcle's business unit has $6 billion in annualized revenue and is responsible for extending the reach of AT&T's products and services through more than 2,500 service and solution providers around the globe. Partner Exchange grew mobility revenue more than 300 percent year over year between September 2015 and September 2016.


Kevin Leonard

VP, Alternate Channels

The AT&T Alliance Channel has seen significant growth in key strategic areas including fiber-based solutions, security solutions, mobility applications and Internet of Things solutions. With Leonard at the helm, Alliance Channel helped foster this growth by helping partners collaborate with AT&T product and sales teams and launching innovative products into the channel.


Sandra Glaser Cheek

VP, Channel Programs

With the integration of Ruckus Wireless, partners now have a single vendor for end-to-end networking solutions in data center, campus and wireless networking. New partners are joining Brocade's programs, under Glaser Cheek's management, based on the strength of its innovative product portfolio, partner profitability and reputation as a channel-centric sales organization.


Jessica Couto

VP, U.S. Channel Sales, Marketing

Cloud storage vendor Carbonite acquired EVault in 2016 and has worked to integrate its channel teams. Substantial updates to Carbonite's partner program, led by Couto, include focusing on deal registration, a flatter discount structure and incumbent renewal protection providing an extra 10 percent on renewals.

Cisco Systems

Wendy Bahr

SVP, Global Partner Organization

Bahr's three strategic pillars that guide Cisco's channel organization are making it easier for partners to do business with Cisco, improving alignment between partners and Cisco's sales organizations, and evolving "value exchange" with partners to reflect new partner types and roles joining its ecosystem.

Cisco Systems

Rick Snyder

SVP, Americas Partner Organization

Snyder's organization has led Cisco's partner enablement efforts, including training sessions that have been completed by more than 100,000 partners and helped drive double-digit growth of software and security sales.

Comcast Business

Craig Schlagbaum

VP, Indirect Channels

Schlagbaum has led Comcast's partner recruitment and enablement efforts, including hiring more partner recruitment and partner account managers. Increased benefits for top-tier partners include dedicated field marketing resources, a marketing concierge program, increased MDF and committed operations resources.


Ralph J. Nimergood

VP, Worldwide Channels, Alliances

Commvault, a developer of data management and protection systems, has been growing its VAR community in double digits for each of its VAR routes (Market Builder, Distribution Managed and Velocity) under Nimergood's management. Through Commvault's alliance solutions, attach rates are growing at double digits.


Rob Rae

VP, Business Development

Datto's partner community grew by 29 percent in the Past year, contributing to 33 percent revenue growth overall and 38 percent international revenue growth. Rae built a team of MSP and industry experts to help MSP partners grow their businesses selling Datto's data protection offerings.

Dell EMC

John Byrne

President, Global Channels

Since Dell and EMC merged in September 2016, Byrne has overseen the creation of the Dell EMC Partner Program that was outlined at the Global Partner Summit in October and officially launched in February. Byrne said the program would be simple, predictable and profitable for partners.

Dell EMC

Cheryl Cook

VP, Global Channels Marketing

The Dell EMC channel program will represent more than $35 billion in total revenue for the business, according to Cook, making it one of the largest channel programs in the industry. Under Cook, the legacy Dell channel business represented more than 40 percent of Dell's overall revenue.


Curtiz Gangi

Sales VP, U.S. Channel, Midmarket Segment, Data Center

Under Gangi's leadership, Eaton in 2016 focused on helping PowerAdvantage partners not just increase revenue, but also grow in terms of competency, capabilities and go-to-market strategy. The power management system company also pioneered recurring revenue strategies for channel partners.

Extreme Networks

Bob Gault

EVP, Worldwide Sales, Services, Channels

Gault helped launch the ExtremeWireless specialization program, which enables global channel partners to deliver wireless solutions. The program enhances partners' wireless solution skill sets and creates a deep understanding of the fundamentals of the technology beyond the ExtremeWireless portfolio.

F5 Networks

David Helfer

VP, Worldwide Channels

Under Helfer's leadership F5's partner community grew in key areas such as security, managed services and cloud. Average revenue per partner remains a very important measurement for F5, especially revenue initiated by the partner, and that number continues to grow based on the vendor's software module-based strategy.


Joe Sykora

VP, Americas Channel, Enhanced Technology

Sykora's organization has seen average revenue per partner increase 26 percent year over year. Fortinet partners are expanding their relationships with customers, evidenced by the 36 percent increase in the number of partners who sell multiple product categories.


Bertrand Yansouni

VP, Global Partner Sales, Strategic Alliances

In September Google updated its partner program with new partner certifications, cloud architect and data engineer, to reflect the elevated role the channel will play in deploying and managing cutting-edge cloud solutions.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Scott Dunsire

VP, GM, North American Channels, SMB

HPE has invested more than $50 million in channel infrastructure globally during the past three years to improve how the company works with channel partners to go after new opportunities. Though HPE's partner community numbers have stayed consistent during the past year, under Dunsire channel sales increased during the past two years.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Terry Richardson

VP, U.S. Channel Sales

Richardson is responsible for the Platinum and Gold U.S. partners that generated the highest growth in 2016; the number of Platinum partners grew by more than 10 percent. Richardson's team enlisted HPE partners to sell Aruba networking products, driving record growth and new account wins.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Chris Ogburn

VP, Worldwide Channel Marketing

Ogburn oversees HPE's Partner Ready program and in 2016 the company implemented a series of program updates and expansions, including new competencies to help partners develop refined expertise around clusters of select HPE solutions. Ogburn's team also re-architected the HPE global MDF program.

HP Inc.

Stephanie Dismore

VP, GM, Americas Channels

Since becoming an independent company in 2015, HP Inc. has doubled down on its partner strategy and under Dismore moved more of its business (now 87 percent) to the channel. That included shifting 30 percent of direct accounts, about 1,500 customers, to partners.

HP Inc.

Vincent Brissot

VP, head of Channel Marketing, Operations

Brissot helped manage a complete revamp of the Partner First program. The effort included upgrading the Co-Marketing Zone one-stop portal for launching marketing campaigns, including creating customized, co-branded collateral materials and tracking their effectiveness.


Marc Dupaquier

General Manager

Dupaquier oversaw the launch of a series of IBM global business partner enablement programs that transition partners' business models to cloud and cognitive computing. The programs offer education, technical training or certification through testing and validation on Bluemix and other IBM Cloud offerings like Watson, IoT and analytics.

IGEL Technology

Jed Ayres

CEO, North America

Ayres joined IGEL, a developer of workspace management and thin-client software, in mid-2016. He spearheaded the launch of the company's new North American Partner Program in October to accelerate channel sales and marketing efforts with a focus on helping partners grow unit sales and increase margins.


Maurits Tichelman

VP, Sales and Marketing Group; GM, Sales, Direct and Channel Sales

Tichelman championed Intel's investments in engineering and training to help partners develop Internet of Things solutions. Tichelman also created a program for partners to trade in older products for credit toward new system purchases.


Eric Martorano

SVP, Worldwide Sales

Former Microsoft channel executive Martorano was recently hired to spearhead Intermedia's sales efforts. In 2016 Intermedia increased the number of active partners it transacts business with by approximately 10 percent and helped partners grow their cloud voice and unified communications businesses more than 30 percent.


Sammy Kinlaw

Executive Director, North America Channel Chief

Kinlaw has accelerated Lenovo's channel-first strategy with approximately 85 percent of Lenovo's revenue in North America going through its channel partners and partner revenue growing more than $700 million year over year. Lenovo integrated its data center business into the overall structure of the North America Channel organization.


David Powell

GM, Service Provider Business

LogicMonitor, developer of an IT performance monitoring platform, launched the LogicMonitor Service Provider Market Partner Program. The company hired Powell to grow the service provider base and serve as a thought leader to help SPs grow and transform their businesses.


Gavriella Schuster

Corporate VP, Worldwide Partner Group

Schuster and her team developed and launched the Windows 10 Enterprise E3 Cloud Solution Provider program through which partners deliver the Windows Enterprise edition as a cloud service. More than 20,000 partners are transacting through the CSP program. Also launched in July was the Microsoft Professional Program.


Bill Lipsin

VP, Worldwide Channels

Lipsin has overseen changes in NetApp's global channel strategy to reflect shifts in customer needs and partners' business models. That includes a new set of rules of engagement so partners have a more consistent experience with NetApp around the world.


Scott Strubel

Americas Channel Sales VP

Strubel implemented a policy where 100 percent of business below NetApp's top 1,000 accounts is sold through partners. He and his team have more aggressively recruited cloud services-oriented partners. A revised partner services strategy backs more partners providing support to customers.


Chris Morgan

VP, Channels

Nutanix manufactures hyper-converged systems and drives 100 percent of its sales through the channel. Morgan, who transformed Nutanix's channel operations into a global organization, works with solution providers who are transforming their businesses away from sales of hardware from legacy IT vendors to hyper-converged systems.


Bill Swales

Group VP, North America Alliance, Channel Sales

Under Swales Oracle recruited more than 800 new partners into the company's cloud registered program. Swales created the three-day Oracle New Partner Cloud Bootcamp for on-boarding and training, regional Partner Cloud Summits, and a series of webcasts and online programs to support new partners' sales efforts.


Iain Urquhart

Group VP, North America Alliances, Channels

Urquhart launched a Customer Implementation Success program, including focused partner engagement activities that substantially improved SaaS implementations across all portfolios. He also created an organization focused on increasing partner impact across SMB and midmarket segments.

Palo Alto Networks

Ron Myers

SVP, Worldwide Channels

In fiscal 2016 Myers and his team introduced three new NextWave Specializations for managed security service providers, cloud security service providers, and for the Traps next-generation endpoint. By late 2016 the company already had 75 Traps specialized partners worldwide.


Nick Tidd

VP, Global Partner Organization

Tidd and his team have been simplifying and improving Polycom's education curriculum, including the addition of more self-paced learning modules, and improving the demand generation program for partners. The unified communications and collaboration technology developer also created an analytics dashboard for partners.

Mark Enzweiler

SVP, Global Channel Sales, Alliances

Enzweiler continued Red Hat's approach of working with existing partners to increase their revenue and margins before recruiting additional partners. He oversaw the development of customer renewal and relationship tools that partners use to increase customer retention and upsells.


Neeracha Taychakhoonavudh

SVP, Partner Programs

At Dreamforce 2016 Taychakhoonavudh's organization unveiled enhancements to the company's partner program for ISVs, now called "App Innovation Partners," including the addition of the Trailhead self-guided learning tool, an expedited security review process and new marketing benefits.

Samsung Electronics America

Greg Taylor

VP, Sales

Taylor oversaw the launch of a Partner Marketing Hub that helps partners leverage vetted Samsung content while customizing it to reflect their business value proposition. It helps partners execute content showcases, social and email initiatives, and other integrated marketing programs to create co-branding opportunities.


George Hope

VP, Global Channels

Under Hope's leadership SimpliVity, a manufacturer of hyper-converged systems, expanded the scope of the SimpliVity PartnerAdvantage program and built the Cloud Service Provider Program. In January SimpliVity agreed to be acquired by Hewlett Packard Enterprise for $650 million.


Steve Pataky

VP, Worldwide Sales

Pataky managed SonicWall's worldwide partner operations as it split from Dell to become an independent cybersecurity company. He launched the SonicWall SecureFirst partner program and restructured partner recruitment and on-boarding teams and processes, growing the number of partners by 20 percent.


Mike Valentine

SVP, Worldwide Sales

Valentine is responsible for executing Sophos' 100 percent channel-only sales model. In 2016 the security technology company developed numerous new programs that foster partner and company growth. Sophos' global partner base reached 26,000 with the number of active partners in the Americas growing 41 percent in second-quarter fiscal 2017.


Kendra Krause

VP, Global Channels

Sophos executed key strategic recruitment efforts to bring new partners into the Sophos Partner Program, growing the number of global partners to 26,000. In addition to targeting new partners, Krause was heavily focused on helping current partners sell the entire Sophos security product portfolio.

Spectrum Business

Greg Iuzzolino

VP, Channel Partners

Iuzzolino and his team invested in process improvements to help streamline overall channel operations as part of the consolidation of Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks and identify key programs requiring consistent high-level support for partners after the transition into one company.


Brooke Cunningham

Area VP, Global Partner Programs, Operations

Cunningham, who joined the company in mid-2016, spearheaded efforts to drive continuous improvements to Splunk's Partner+ Program, keeping pace with the fast-growing company. An end-of-year program upgrade targeted professional service providers, resellers and MSPs.


Janet Schijns

Vice President of Sales, Verizon Business and Government

Schijns oversaw the launch of the Strategic Integration Partners Program, an exclusive group of systems integrators capable of selling solutions to the largest enterprise customers. The program emphasizes the combined market strength of Verizon's platform assets coupled with the system integrators' applications expertise.


Frank Rauch

Vice President, Americas Partner Organization

Rauch's focus has been on developing a strong VMware partner base, but also on recruiting new cloud, security, networking, storage and mobility partners. Partners can work with VMware transformation solutions such as virtualized networking and hyper-converged infrastructure.


Charles Tomeo

Vice President of WW Business Sales

With Tomeo taking the lead, Webroot has centered channel efforts and partner support around managed service providers. The cybersecurity and threat intelligence company added more than 3,000 new MSP partners globally over the past year, bringing the total to more than 9,000.

Xerox Corporation

Darren Cassidy

President, US Channels Group

Xerox split into two companies at the start of this year. Cassidy worked through 2016 to prepare the channel group for the change and now leads the new company's channel operations. Xerox has recruited new partners through its Direct to Partner program.