The Top 25 Enterprise IT Innovators Of 2019

As part of CRN's Top 100 Executives Of 2019 list, here are the 25 Most Innovative Executives, those who are always two steps ahead of the competition.

The Innovators

You've got to have a pioneering spirit to stay ahead of the competition in the IT market. Executives that strive to break new ground, that aren't afraid to forge new paths, are a tremendous asset to the companies they work for.

As part of CRN's Top 100 Executives Of 2019 list, here are the 25 Most Innovative Executives, those who are always two steps ahead of the competition.

Be sure to also visit the complete list of the Top 100 Executives Of 2019.

25. Douglas Brockett



Brockett did such a good job of innovating converged primary and secondary storage at Exablox that he became StorageCraft president when it acquired Exablox. He has since then overseen the integration of the two companies’ technologies on the way to making it a master of MSP-focused storage.

24. Jim Heppelmann

President, CEO


Heppelmann has molded PTC into an industrial software big shot at the forefront of two of the hottest technology segments: IoT and augmented reality. Recognizing that Industry 4.0 is a team sport, Heppelmann has forged landmark alliances with Rockwell Automation and Microsoft Azure.

23. Charles Meyers



Meyers has been leading data center giant Equinix since September, and in that time he’s worked to propel the company to be an even greater cloud enabler by identifying new growth areas and working with the team to evolve the portfolio and stay competitive.

22. Bill Conner



Conner has expanded the global sales team and increased marketing investments to capitalize on SonicWall’s momentum. Key to that momentum is the launch of SonicWall Cloud App Security 2.0 to protect business-critical SaaS applications from new malware variants and targeted phishing attacks.

21. Rohit Ghai



Ghai led the way as RSA enhanced its NetWitness SIEM Platform by using machine-learning models based on deep endpoint observations to rapidly detect anomalies in user’ behavior and uncover evolving threats. Ghai also strengthened the Archer platform via broad integrations and enhanced analysis.

20. Cyrus Nooriala

President, CEO

Cywest Communications

Under Nooriala’s leadership, Cywest Communications took the leap and went all in with the channel, rolling out a new partner program last year. The company is proving it is committed to its partners with the establishment of a growing, channel-focused leadership team.

19. Jason Zander

EVP, Azure


Zander, a 27-year Microsoft veteran, heads the team that builds the foundation for Microsoft’s intelligent cloud and edge worldview. He’s a cross-discipline engineering leader responsible for Azure’s strategy, design and delivery of cloud services product lines and global expansion.

18. Kevin McGibben

President, CEO


Rapidly growing LogicMonitor has McGibben to thank for its recent successes, which include massive channel expansion and technology innovations. McGibben is bringing to bear more than 20 years of channel leadership experience.

17. Vishal Lall


Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company

One of the top strategists/ operations executives in the business, Lall is having a big impact—making strategic investments in channel and technology to ensure HPE Aruba delivers big intelligent edge sales growth. There is no better steward of the $4 billion investment HPE is making.

16. Gil Shwed

Founder, CEO

Check Point Software Technologies

Shwed architected the acquisitions of Dome9 to help customers secure deployments across multiple public cloud providers and ForceNock for machinelearning protection. He also led the charge on Check Point Maestro, which lets companies easily scale up their security gateways.

15. Jason Dettbarn



Dettbarn has been driving enhancements to Addigy’s cloud-based software, which provides simplified management of Mac and iOS devices. He pushed for single sign-on and expanded mobile device management, while reducing bandwidth consumption via high-availability peer-topeer caching.

14. Matthew Moynahan



Under Moynahan’s leadership, Forcepoint rolled out its Converged Security Platform to help CISOs consistently define, enforce and monitor policies across the security stack in one place as well as its Dynamic Edge Protection to support the modernization of enterprise networks for cloud adoption.

13. Aric Bandy



Bandy doubled Agosto’s business last year. The hot cloud product development company is a Google Cloud Premier Partner and one of the largest Google Cloud Platform Partners globally, with customers including 1-800-Got-Junk?, Groupon, Jaguar Land Rover and the Library of Congress.

12. Rob Rae

VP, Business Development


Rae has long been Datto’s channel cheerleader but his passion for partners became even more critical as the company transformed from its storagefocused heritage to a full PSA and networking provider that is now a well-rounded, channel-focused powerhouse.

11. Cheryl Cook

SVP, Global Partner Marketing

Dell Technologies

Cook has been instrumental in unique partner- focused training and marketing initiatives such as Dell’s Heroes Program and IT Transformation Campaign. With Cook at the global partner marketing helm, Dell gained 15,000 new customers in its first fiscal quarter.

10. Brian Householder


Hitachi Vantara

Householder has led Hitachi Vantara to become a chief enabler of digital transformation. With an organization that was previously separate businesses for storage, data analytics and IoT under its parent company, Householder has uncovered new synergies to drive Hitachi Vantara forward.

9. Prakash Panjwani


WatchGuard Technologies

With Panjwani leading the charge, WatchGuard developed new SD-WAN functionality to improve network efficiency and unify network and security management and debuted the WatchGuard Cloud platform to reduce infrastructure costs and boost customer acquisition.

8. Art Gilliland

EVP, GM, Enterprise Security


Gilliland joined Symantec in November to lead its enterprise products business and quickly partnered with Fortinet to deliver security controls across endpoint, network and cloud environments. He also played a key role in the company’s acquisition of Luminate Security.

7. Ryan Walsh

Chief Channel Officer


Walsh has helped drive the meteoric rise of the born-in-the-cloud distributor with its Wingman experience from a handful of partners to where it is today with hundreds of customers and a selective line card of products, integrated billing and unrivaled MSP support.

6. Aparna Sinha

Director Product Management

Google Cloud

Sinha is a power broker, directing product management for Google Kubernetes Engine, a cluster manager and orchestration system for running Docker containers, and Anthos, an open-source hybrid and multi-cloud application management platform.

5. Ed Meyercord


Extreme Networks

Meyercord, the leader of Extreme Networks for the past eight years, has been busy helping partners realize rapid growth in crosssell opportunities, especially due to the company’s recent acquisition spree. Extreme in June revealed plans to scoop up competitor Aerohive Networks in a deal worth $210 million.

4. Ratmir Timashev

Co-Founder, EVP, Worldwide Sales, Marketing


Veeam has been growing by leaps and bounds under IT veteran Timashev. Timashev has said that under his leadership, the company will focus on driving Office 365 sales and plans to acquire two to five companies within the year.

3. Chris Young



Young brought McAfee into the red-hot endpoint detection and response space as the company introduced cloud and unified data protection offerings that increase visibility across the ecosystem. He also extended a partnership with Samsung to safeguard Galaxy S10 users from cybersecurity threats.

2. Werner Vogels


Amazon Web Services

Regarded as one of the top thought leaders on cloud computing, Vogels is a builder who believes in democratizing business creation. He drives AWS’ technology vision of continuously enhancing innovation on behalf of customers at a global scale.

1. Marius Haas

President, Chief Commercial Officer

Dell Technologies

Haas has been a lightning bolt for Dell Technologies since joining in 2012, as the $91 billion infrastructure giant now provides offerings to 98 percent of all Fortune 500 companies.

He has been critical in driving worldwide sales over the past 12 months in everything from increasing global marketshare dominance in storage and servers to the 13 percent growth Dell saw in the commercial business of its Client Solutions Group in its first fiscal quarter 2020. He has helped grow the commercial customer base quarter after quarter, with Dell adding 2,200 net-new commercial customers in its third fiscal quarter 2019.

In a monumental channel charge led by Haas, Dell launched its partner-led Commercial Partner Preferred Program in late 2018 where Dell inside sales and channel teams work together to drive new deals in under-penetrated Dell accounts.