An executive switcheroo in the top ranks of HP Canada (NYSE: HPQ) means the vendor’s channel community will soon be working with a new channel chief, Greg Chappell, while the current channel chief, Dave Frederickson, will pursue a new challenge within the HP organization.
In a transition that is already underway and should be completed early in the New Year, Chappell is taking over Frederickson’s role as vice-president, solution partners organization, HP Canada. In turn, Frederickson is taking-on Chappell’s old role as vice-president, Enterprise Storage and Servers Group (ESS).
“From a company perspective, what HP Canada is always looking toward is trying to ensure its people have opportunities to develop in cross-functional areas, to have a better understanding of the challenges that exist in the business on an ongoing basis,” said Frederickson.
Frederickson has been in the channel chief position since May 2004, and has been a regular fixture on CDN‘s Top 25 Newsmakers list. In 2008, the vendor paid-out 30 per cent more through PartnerOne than in 2007, and grew its partner business by 15 per cent. He says though that after five years in the channel, and having just completed his executive MBA, he was keen to take on new challenges.
“I was looking for an opportunity to get involved in the profit and loss and deep-strategy side in product technology, while still working closely with partners and developing relationships with end-customers as well,” said Frederickson. That’s an opportunity he’ll get leading the ESS group and reporting to Paul Tsaparis, vice-president, technology solutions group, HP and managing director, HP Canada.
Chappell has led the ESS group for HP Canada since it was formed in 2004, and has been with HP for more than 25 years. In the partner role, he will report to Derek Smith, vice-president and general manager, personal systems group, HP.
“I’ve been running business units for in excess of 10 years, and this is a great opportunity for me to get back out in front of our partners and our customers on a daily basis, and share some of my experience to help them in being more successful in meeting their business goals,” said Chappell.
While he’s new to the channel chief role, Chappell says he’s no stranger to the channel. He began his career in 1983 as a channel sales representative for Digital Equipment Corp. (later acquired by Compaq, which was subsequently acquired by HP), advancing over time with increasing channel responsibility as a sales manager and marketing manager before running the OEM business for Digital Canada. And, of course, as vice-president, ESS, Chappell led an organization that did a large percentage of its business through the indirect channel.
“I’ve worked hand-in-hand with our partner organization for many years,” said Chappell.
As he moves into his new channel role, Chappell says he would characterize his go-forward strategy as “continued evolution and not revolution” of the work Frederickson and the solution partners organization has already begun. This includes investing to ensure SMB partners are better able to leverage the benefits of Partner One, rolling-out the new Preferred and Elite designations, and placing increased emphasis on competencies.
“One key is investing to expend the coverage of our partner community,” said Chappell. “We’ll invest in more sales people and more specialists to extend our reach.”
He adds that he sees HP Canada’s partners as some of the leading entrepreneurs in the technology business today.
“They run large businesses and SMBs very effectively,” said Chappell. “I think my experience running a large business within HP positions me to help me work with our partners to solve our business issues and achieve growth.”
And as Frederickson moves on to new challenges in the ESS business, he says key to the success HP has had with its ESS business over the years has been the very strong growth driven by the channel business. He sees his channel background as a plus as he works with the ESS team to understand how they can creatively add more value to the customer.
“I think the experience and opportunities I’ve had with the channel afford me much greater depth, allow me to get ramped-up more quickly, and let me add more value to the team,” said Frederickson.