The Top 25 IT Channel Sales Leaders Of 2019

As part of CRN's Top 100 Executives Of 2019 list, we highlight 25 sales executives leading the channel charge.

The Channel Sales Leaders

There are few executives more passionate about solution providers than the folks who step into the role of channel chief. One of their most sacred duties is to advocate for the value of the channel within their own organizations.

These fearless channel leaders are guiding their partners toward future success and making sure the key role the channel can play in the health and success of tech vendors is fully understood.

As part of CRN's Top 100 Executives Of 2019 list, we highlight 25 sales executives leading the channel charge.

25. Nick Tidd

VP, Global Channel Sales


Now that the merger of Plantronics and Polycom is complete and the company rebranded as Poly, Tidd is focused on building a unified channel program, partner portal and a bevy of new tools to give partners an edge in the communications market.

24. Ken McCray

Head of Channel Sales Operations, Americas


McCray has overseen the launch of McAfee’s alternative route to market channel initiative, which has driven incremental bookings as MSPs and cloud service providers bring new customers on board. He has also developed a Marketing Partner Advisory Council.

23. Iain Urquhart

Group VP, Channel Chief, North America, Applications


Oracle’s cloud applications business has been a standout in its larger cloud transformation efforts. Urquhart has taken point on developing incentives for and working with partners looking to move from selling software licenses to bringing to market the industry’s largest SaaS portfolio.

22. Craig Schlagbaum

VP, Indirect Channels


Channel veteran Schlagbaum is a well-known evangelist for the channel. Schlagbaum has long been helping partners position their business for future success, and this year he’s been driving home the SD-WAN opportunity to Comcast’s gigantic pool of partners.

21. Stacey Marx

SVP, Channel Chief, AT&T Partner Solutions


Appointed to the top channel leadership position in April, Marx has hit the ground running. A 23-year AT&T channel veteran, Marx is helping partners to embrace new security opportunities in addition to next-gen applications such as the Internet of Things.

20. Christian Alvarez

Worldwide Head of Channels, Distribution

Juniper Networks

Alvarez may have just been put in charge of Juniper’s channel efforts in May, but the newly minted channel chief has plenty of experience. He has spent four years driving strategic and operational elements of the channel and distribution worldwide for Juniper.

19. David Parsons

SVP, Global Alliances and Channel Ecosystem


Parsons’ high channel IQ has already had a big impact in just 10 months on the job, bringing new fire to the ServiceNow story. Look for even bigger things ahead in the wake of the services tsunami to come from ServiceNow’s blockbuster strategic partnership with Microsoft.

18. Sammy Kinlaw

VP, Worldwide Channel, OEM Sales


Kinlaw is an evangelist for printers and managed print services, spending weeks on the road recruiting partners with testimony about Lexmark’s growth and overall growth in the managed print services market. He says future growth goals “are squarely on the shoulders of the channel.”

17. Dan Schwab, Michael Schwab


D&H Distributing

SMB masters of the universe, the Schwab brothers have taken the employeeowned distributor into the stratosphere, tripling annual sales over the last decade to over $4 billion. Look for big investments in a revamped cloud sales platform to pay big returns for SMB partners.

16. Rob Cato, Stefan Bockhop

Channel Chiefs


Cato and Bockhop have been helping to ignite growth in Lenovo’s intelligent devices and data center businesses, respectively, by bringing improved enablement and profitability to partners. New investments include improved incentives, pricing tools and deal registration.

15. Frank Rauch

Head of Worldwide Channel Sales

Check Point Software Technologies

Rauch launched a new partner program shortly after joining the company to reward solution providers for sales-generating activities that deepen customer relationships. He also rolled out new incentives and a mobile app for faster access to the channel team.

14. Jenni Flinders

Global Channel Chief


Flinders had to hit the ground running when she joined VMware last year, as new alliances and a portfolio expanding beyond the data center demanded it re-envision how it engaged its channel. Her first mission was to help partners monetize cloud beyond the transaction by developing services practices.

13. Stephanie Dismore

VP, GM, Americas Channels

HP Inc.

Dismore has worked to bring enhanced profitability to HP Inc. partners through measures such as extending back-end rebates for landing new customers for HP. She has also been enabling the transition for partners to the contractual Device-as-a-Service model by launching new training.

12. Shannon Sbar

VP, Channels, North America

APC by Schneider Electric

The 19-year channel veteran is driving explosive channel sales growth at the edge with a new era of innovative offerings. Not to be overlooked: her tireless efforts to drive power management recurring revenue with APC’s SaaS-based EcoStruxure IT for Partners cloud monitoring platform.

11. Donna Grothjan

VP, Worldwide Channels

Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company

Grothjan is laser-focused on keeping the HPE Aruba channel program predictable and profitable with the right incentives at the right time. She is a steady and reassuring presence for partners betting big on HPE Aruba and the intelligent edge.

10. Jeff McCullough

VP, Americas Partner Sales


Selling the idea of seamless data migration between on-premises equipment and public and private clouds requires boldness. McCullough has been able to combine the art of selling on-premises NetApp technology while helping partners embrace a cloudfirst strategy.

9. Curtiz Gangi

VP, U.S. Channels


One of the top channel sales executives in the business, Gangi has put Eaton partners into the recurring revenue fast lane with a new cloud-based platform for helping MSPs build services around power management. Look for Eaton to continue to take partner profitability to new heights under his watch.

8. Gavriella Schuster

Corporate VP, One Commercial Partner Organization


Schuster has spearheaded the transformation of Microsoft’s channel program with a focus on enabling partners to capture cloud opportunities and add new capabilities such as managed services. The moves have helped accelerate partners’ revenue growth.

7. Chris Carter

Global Channel Chief


Carter doubled the size of FireEye’s Americas channel staff, increased the share of product business flowing through the channel to 90 percent, and boosted partner profitability by enabling the channel to provide managed and deployment services with margins in excess of 50 percent.

6. Oliver Tuszik

SVP, Global Partner Organization

Cisco Systems

Tuszik has been leading the charge with his “choosing, using, loving” strategy and encouraging partners to do the same by going after life-cycle opportunities. In his first year as channel chief, Tuszik has busied himself meeting partners and learning first-hand what the channel needs.

5. Jason Kimrey

GM, U.S. Channel Scale, Partners


Kimrey has played a pivotal role in reorganizing Intel’s channel organization and rebranding the chipmaker’s channel program to better serve partners. As Intel’s U.S. channel chief, Kimrey has been a top ally to partners as the company encourages them to adopt a data-centric strategy.

4. Terry Richardson

VP, U.S. Channel Sales

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

No channel chief has built deeper relationships in the channel sales trenches. Now Richardson is using his know-how to help partners take advantage of the unprecedented opportunities GreenLake Flex Capacity offers. He is simply one of the best at helping partners close deals.

3. Kendra Krause

VP, Global Channels


Krause led the rollout of Sophos’ competitive intelligence hotline to help partners close deals. She also expanded flexible monthly billing options around its endpoint detection and response offering so partners can boost margins, secure a predictable revenue stream and reduce management headaches.

2. Joyce Mullen

President, Global Channel, OEM, IoT Solutions

Dell Technologies

The driving force behind Dell’s impressive channel sales growth, Mullen is now steering a historic shift in the Dell Technologies Partner Program aimed at providing financial incentives for partners selling the company’s full portfolio.

1. Paul Hunter

Worldwide Channel Chief

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Hunter is leading the charge for channel transformation centered on Everything as a Service, including Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s GreenLake pay-per-use model and breakout opportunities like intelligent edge. No small feat at a time when many channel chiefs are maintaining the status quo.

The 17-year HPE veteran’s ability to steer the channel to higher ground has been met with rave reviews from partners anxious to change the sales conversation to game-changing business outcomes.

Ron Nemecek, business alliance manager for CBTS, an HPE Platinum partner, said the business model change Hunter is championing is resonating with customers.

“The true innovation is not just the technology, but enabling the technology to our customers through consumption models,” he said. “What company is innovating and pioneering a business outcome model other than HPE?”