CDN’s Top Newsmakers of 2012 – Part One
In past years, the CDN editorial staff has had some knock-down battles over who should make our annual Top 25 Newsmakers in the channel list, but this year, the discussion was downright civilized, and the top choices seemed obvious Who came out on top? Do you agree with our picks? Read on, and find out.
By Jeff Jedras
#1 Max Long, Microsoft Canada
In just one year, Microsoft Canada gutted its executive ranks, hosted the Worldwide Partner Conference, opened a Microsoft store and launched Windows 8 and the Surface. It was a year of transition and upheaval, but subsidiary president Max Long kept the ship on course.
#2 Peter Galanis, HP Canada
Stepping in to replace longtime HP Canada president Paul Tsaparis, Peter Galanis had tough shows to fill. And that’s before you add a corporate restructuring, continuing revelations about the purchase of Autonomy Plc, and investor pressure to improve earnings. Galanis provided a more public face to the company, and oversaw a major executive shuffle.
CLICK TO READ: HP Canada enterprise group has been gutted
#3 Greg Davis, Dell Computer
Five years after embracing the channel, Dell is a different company, and channel chief Greg Davis has helped direct the transformation. A busy year of acquisitions helped position Dell not as a PC vendor anymore, but an infrastructure and services player with the channel as a key route to market.
CLICK TO READ: Dell’s channel focus is not so much on PC
#4 Thorsten Heins, Research in Motion
Just taking over BlackBerry maker Research in Motion from co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie would be enough to land German-native Thorsten Heins a high spot on our list. But this was also a year that RIM’s new CEO had to assuage users over outages, investors over earnings, and everyone over yet another delay in the launch of BB10. And somehow, he’s still hanging in there.
CLICK TO READ: Five things you need to know from BlackBerry World 2012
#5 Liseanne Forand, Shared Services Canada
In 2011, Shared Services Canada was announced to great fanfare. In 2012, the hard work of making it a reality began. As head of Shared Services Canada, Liseanne Forand had to wrangle government departments, placate concerned suppliers, and deliver the cost-savings for government IT procurement and service delivery that her political bosses have promised. It’s a work in progress, but one the channel is watching.
#6 Eric Gales, VMware Canada
Eric Gales might have been at the top of our list if he’d kept his old job. But after an executive shuffle at Microsoft Canada, the former subsidiary president found his way to VMware Canada as country manager, where he’ll work with former CDN Top Newsmaker Grant Aitken.
CLICK TO READ: VMware Canada makes it official: Gales is in charge
#7 Mary Peterson, SAP Canada
SAP has a corporate goal of driving 40 per cent of global revenue through the channel by 2015 and, in Canada, it’s up to channel chief Mary Peterson to deliver. Peterson has opened all of the market save a few named accounts to the channel, she’s recruiting non-traditional partners, and she’s giving them more offerings to sell, in areas such as big data and predictive analytics.
CLICK TO READ: SAP Canada’s new channel chief outlines 2012 priorities
#8 Nitin Kawale, Cisco Canada
In a year when Cisco Systems was looking to “cut the fat,” Canadian subsidiary leader Nitin Kawale got a gold star for arranging a meeting for CEO John Chambers with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Chambers had much praise for the ease of doing business in Canada, and promised major investments in the Canadian business going-forward.
CLICK TO READ: Cisco donation to further Canadian e-governance
#9 Bruce Ross, IBM Canada
It was another busy year for Big Blue and its Canadian subsidiary president, Bruce Ross. They got a new Canadian channel boss, Nancy Briglio, and a new worldwide channel chief in Mark Hennessy. And everyone had a new boss in CEO Virginia Rometty. IBM also acquired Toronto’s Varicent Software.
CLICK TO READ: Ontario city nabs IBM’s new $90M data centre
#10 James Politeski, Samsung Canada
It was a monster year for Samsung in Canada as it became Microsoft’s go-to OEM vendor for showcasing the Windows 8 Metro interface. Samsung Canada president James Politeski took over early in 2012, and oversaw the creation of a tier-3 channel model where its direct sales force drives demand to the channel.
#11 Nick Tidd, Condusiv Technologies
A long-time feature on our newsmakers list, Nick Tidd left his leadership role with D-Link North America over a disagreement with the company’s channel direction. Later in the year he landed at Condusiv (formerly Diskkepper) as senior vice-president of global sales, and he says after years in hardware, he’s loving the margins in software.
CLICK TO READ: Nick Tidd lands a big new job
#12 Jeff Volpe, Viewsonic Corp.
ViewSonic celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2012, and president Jeff Volpe has been around for most of that time. This year the vendor made moves around mobile displays and wireless technology, and gave channel partners more SKUs to sell. It also has high hopes for its ViewPad tablet.
CLICK TO READ: Viewsonic president looks back on 25 years