The Top 25 IT Industry Disrupters Of 2019

As part of CRN's Top 100 Executives Of 2019, these are the people who pushing boundaries and turning the IT market on its ear.

The Disrupters

Sometimes you just have to chuck the status quo in order to find success. The executives on our Top 25 Disrupters of 2019 are doing just that, pushing unique technologies and channel strategies into the spotlight and finding tremendous success for their companies and their channel partners while they do it.

As part of CRN's Top 100 Executives Of 2019, these are the people who pushing boundaries and turning the IT market on its ear.

25. Eric Martorano


Accordo Group

Channel veteran Martorano is no stranger to growing a business. The former Microsoft and Intermedia executive was tapped last year to lead Accordo Group, where he’s been hard at work building out the company’s global presence.

24. Lior Div

Co-Founder, CEO


Div brought Cybereason into several new countries and expects to grow the company’s headcount by at least 25 percent in 2019. He also hired AppDynamics and Meraki channel superstar Ghazal Asif to drive broad global expansion of the partner ecosystem.

23. Peter Bauer



With Bauer charting the course, Mimecast debuted a web security service to guard against malicious activity initiated by user action or malware while blocking access to websites deemed unsafe. He acquired Simply Migrate to help customers and prospects move to the cloud more quickly and reliably.

22. Tom Turner

President, CEO


Under Turner’s leadership, BitSight developed a tool that lets customers model security scenarios and project the impact of changes to processes, technologies and culture. The company has leveraged its data collection and processing engine to provide AI-driven risk prioritization.

21. Scott Kinka

Chief Technical, Product Development Officer, Founding Partner

Evolve IP

Kinka has plenty of experience bringing MSP and cloud offerings to the midmarket. His company has spent the past couple of years on an acquisition tear, and Kinka has been a big part of that transformation as cloud service provider Evolve IP expands into new countries.

20. Bryan Palma

President, COO


Palma is reinventing BlackBerry for the IoT era. He is leading the charge on a disruptive strategy to secure everything from connected cars to corporate documents and emails. Expect big things from Palma, who has the technology and channel smarts to deliver a new era of growth for BlackBerry and its partners.

19. Lisa Su

President, CEO


Su has given her largest competitor new headaches as AMD forges ahead with new groundbreaking processors based on the 7-nanometer manufacturing process. Since becoming CEO in 2014, Su has demonstrated that a smaller chipmaker can drive technology leadership and sweep up market share.

18. Jed Ayres

President, CEO

IGEL North America

Top IT vendor executives seldom have real channel chops, and few have as seasoned a channel exec as Ayres at the top. Ayres is using skills honed over years as a solution provider to transform IGEL into a secure endpoint management software power that is giving bigger rivals fits.

17. Carolee Gearhart

Global Channel Chief, VP, Worldwide Channels

Google Cloud

Since joining Google last July, Gearhart is credited with helping to revamp the Google Cloud Platform, G Suite and Chrome channel businesses by championing a new managed service provider focus and adding other programs that better highlight partners’ expertise.

16. Christoph Schell

President, 3-D Printing, Digital Manufacturing

HP Inc.

Schell is leading efforts to transform the $12 trillion manufacturing market with HP Inc.’s Jet Fusion 3-D printing systems, which offer groundbreaking technology and economics for everything from prototyping to short runs to volume production of plastic parts.

15. David Goeckeler

SVP, Networking, Security Business

Cisco Systems

Goeckeler, a 17-year Cisco veteran, is no stranger to shaking up the market. He is responsible for more than $32 billion of the company’s global technology business and leads a global team of over 25,000 engineers while overseeing networking and security strategy.

14. Dr. Tom Bradicich

VP, HPE Fellow, Global Head of IoT and Edge Center of Excellence and Labs

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

The IoT visionary is making sure HPE and its partners capture the first-mover advantage. His latest invention: the Channel To Edge Institute that educates partners on how to take advantage of the edge computing opportunity.

13. Yevgeny Dibrov

Co-Founder, CEO


Dibrov has grown Armis into a player in the IoT security market that competitors must reckon with. With more than two dozen Fortune 100 customers, Dibrov has expanded the purview of Armis to anywhere IoT creates new security challenges.

12. Anthony Lye

SVP, GM, Cloud Business Unit


NetApp wants storage partners to think cloud when it comes to implementing its technology. Lye leads the strategy that makes cloud a successful part of NetApp’s and its partners’ businesses while disproving the notion that legacy infrastructure vendors can’t do cloud.

11. Kumar Sreekanti

Chief Technology Officer, Hybrid IT Business

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Sreekanti is driving HPE’s hybrid IT strategy and future road map. As cofounder and CEO of AI-big data pioneer, BlueData, which HPE acquired last November, and a former R&D leader at VMware, he certainly has the technology chops for the job.

10. Sanjay Mirchandani

President, CEO


Solution providers have long lauded Commvault for the strength of its technology portfolio. Now they are also applauding Mirchandani’s moves to bulk up the company’s sales and channel organizations to better bring that technology to market.

9. David Hughes

Chairman, CEO

Silver Peak

Hughes has been at the helm of network optimization player Silver Peak for 15 years. Under his leadership, the company has been receiving rounds of investment, growing more channel-friendly by the day, and driving its vision for SD-WAN.

8. John Street



With the success of his latest venture, Pax8, Street has proven that few can read the tech tea leaves as well as he can. He once told CRN that people thought he was crazy for starting a cloud distribution business from scratch. But the market sided with him and the company has been growing rapidly.

7. David Friend

Co-Founder, CEO

Wasabi Technologies

Friend is the very definition of “disrupter,” as Wasabi promises enterprise-class cloud storage at about one-fifth the cost and about six times the performance of the larger cloud storage providers. He has partnered with top data protection vendors to make Wasabi’s technology as ubiquitous as possible.

6. Jeff Ready


Scale Computing

Ready is expecting Scale Computing revenue to grow triple digits this year as the hyper-converged infrastructure specialist added 150 net-new channel partners over the last year. Ready is doubling down on R&D and market expansion around edge computing, with partners top of mind.

5. George Kurtz

Co-Founder, President, CEO


Kurtz spearheaded a partnership with Dell and SecureWorks to provide endpoint protection, managed security and incident response around Dell’s laptops and desktops. He also took CrowdStrike public in a $612 million IPO that made it one of the most valuable in cybersecurity.

4. Jensen Huang



As the founding CEO of Nvidia, Huang has transformed the chipmaker from a graphics card vendor for the enthusiast PC market to an artificial intelligence powerhouse. With Nvidia’s impending acquisition of Mellanox, Huang has made it clear that the future of the GPU is in the data center.

3. Jeff Clarke

Vice Chairman, Products, Operations

Dell Technologies

The 32-year Dell veteran is a key visionary for the $91 billion infrastructure giant in terms of product portfolio and operations. Clarke revamped Dell’s storage, server and hyperconverged infrastructure road map through simplification and innovation.

2. Keerti Melkote

President, Intelligent Edge Business Unit

Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Melkote’s mobile- and cloud-first wireless vision forever changed how networks are built. Now he’s making sure HPE will dominate the intelligent edge era with a distributed network of the future that collects data and drives business outcomes.

1. Michael Gold



Gold has been at the helm of Intermedia for four years as the cloud communications giant has continued to shake up the UC and collaboration markets.

Privately held Intermedia has made it its mission to help channel partners more easily add UCaaS to their repertoires through three partner models—a reseller model, an agent model, and a new co-branded reseller option aimed at MSPs who want to keep their all-important customer relationships, set their own pricing and margins, but also want to leverage Intermedia’s strong brand name in the UC realm.

Under Gold’s leadership, channel-first Intermedia now gives partners more choice in how to go to market. Gold has been integral in transforming the company from a largely directto-business company to a first and foremost channel-driven organization that does more than 80 percent of its business through partners.