HP Talks Future of PSG, Names New Channel Chief

By Jessica Davis  |  Print this article Print

HP has named Mike Parrottino as its new U.S. Channel Chief. The promotion comes at a turbulent time for HP as executives and the board contemplate spinning off the company's Personal Systems Group. HP's Stephen DiFranco also tells Channel Insider that SMB VARs can expect a little more demand generation support in the months ahead.

HP has named a new channel chief to replace the recently promoted Stephen DiFranco and is moving to transition HP’s direct SMB sales efforts into a demand generation program for HP channel partners.

Mike Parrottino will move into the job of leading U.S. PSG Channel Sales, effective immediately,  Stephen DiFranco, senior vice president and general manager for the Americas region of HP’s Personal Systems Group (PSG), told Channel Insider. DiFranco served as HP’s Americas channel chief for the last couple years and was promoted  in July to his new job. One of the first orders of business was to hire his replacement.

Parrottino is a 24 year veteran of Compaq/HP and in his new role he will report directly to DiFranco and work together with HP sales leaders. These leaders include: Frank Rauch, ESSN; Scott Dunsire, IPG; Mike Parrottino, PSG; Steve Erdman, Americas Software; Tracy Galloway Attach and Services; and Matt Smith, Americas Channel Marketing.  This group will serve as a channel governance leadership team to drive sales, marketing programs, communications and policies for our U.S. channel.

"It was an easy decision to ask Mike to step in and run USA channels," DiFranco told Channel Insider. "He was running HP’s tier two organization before this promotion."

At the same time HP is making changes to an SMB sales organization based in Rio Rancho and run by John Hood. The organization there focused on sales to SMB companies that wanted to purchase directly from HP.

"I’ve asked John to take on the role as U.S. SMB sales leader and direct a broader set of SMB business sales efforts," DiFranco said. The start of that will be to drive demand generation work previously performed by the group into the channel.

"SMBs  wanted to buy from VARs and need the local support VARs can deliver," DiFranco said.

Hood will lead the group in its broader mission. Before joining HP, Hood worked for Dell managing call centers in Panama and Japan.

DiFranco noted that his appointment of a new channel chief was delayed due to the big changes HP announced in August, including dropping the bombshell that it was investigating potentially selling or spinning off the Personal Systems Group, PSG, its PC and client division, and that it planned to discontinue its TouchPad tablet after only 6 weeks on the market.

DiFranco expressed regret that the news was not more transparent to partners before it was made public, and pledged that his organization wanted transparency to partners.

"We’ve been on the road meeting with channel partners and having them take their customers out to dinner so we can meet with them too," he said. Discussing a potential future where PSG would maybe be unfettered from the mother ship, DiFranco said that the organization could be more agile and be better able to take advantage of opportunities.

"I’m very excited about the future," he said. "This could give us the opportunity to be more competitive in what’s a very competitive environment." He pointed out that PSG is a $40 billion division that is profitable on its own. If independent, more of those profits could be directed back to PSG.


Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com