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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.