Bull's Eye Awards: Chief Executives of the Year
When Mark Hurd joined HP as CEO nearly five years ago, there was, as there always is with such change, a period of initial uncertainty and apprehension within HP’s partner ranks. Top of mind: What does the new guy think about indirect channels and will his hiring be a good move or a bad move for my business? When HP bought services giant EDS in the spring 2008, even more eyebrows were popping in the channel.
But fast forward to today, and you’ve got to hand it to Hurd. There have been some fits and starts, but partners are benefiting greatly from the soup-to-nuts data center story at HP – and even in the abysmal economy are making money. Hurd has engendered the good will and loyalty of many channel partners with his willingness to meet with them regularly in an advisory council setting. Partners have called HP’s Executive Roundtable series one of the most effective channel support programs in the industry, effectively providing solution providers with insights and tips they need to uncover millions of dollars of net new revenue.
One area that got special attention in early 2009, which Hurd backed, was the move to help partners target and win new business in the $55 billion SMB space. HP added expanded deal registration and special rebates for consultations for partners working with SMB end users. HP’s SMB Elite marketing tool is meant to help partners deliver superior SMB customer experiences. SMB Elite partners get "Elite" HP branding, dedicated SMB sales support and marketing funds for demand generation activities, as well as priority SMB-specific customer leads and an enhanced partner locater.
Hurd has maintained commitments to the channel and has been publicly supportive of his team’s indirect efforts. For that reason, he is the Contender among this year’s Bull’s Eye Award’s CEOs of the Year.