It didn’t take Dell long after closing its $24.8 billion private equity buyout to shake things up. On Nov. 18, the vendor appointed a new global channel chief, restructured its sales operation and named a new head of its North American organization.

In an emailed letter to channel partners obtained by The VAR Guy, Greg Davis, Dell partner program founder and channel chief since the program’s formal inception in 2007, said Cheryl Cook, formerly Dell’s Enterprise Solutions vice president, will assume the channel leadership role as Global Channels and Alliances vice president.

Davis will move to Software and Peripherals as vice president.

“Cheryl brings a wealth of experience in Enterprise Technology sales, both direct and Channel sales to the role,” Davis wrote in his note to partners. In addition to leading Dell’s enterprise go-to-market strategy and sales coverage, Cook’s background includes a stint as Americas sales senior vice president at Sun Microsystems, where she headed Sun’s Americas channel organization.

In her new role, Cook is responsible for defining and delivering innovative channel programs, training and certification, global marketing programs and supplying a steady hand to the vendor’s channel, alliances, strategic ISVs and OEMs.

Sales Restructuring

Dell also has restructured how channel sales fits into its overall sales operation, placing direct and indirect sales under one umbrella in effort to improve sales engagements in the field and set a stronger foundation for channel sales.

“We’ve heard from you that there was room to improve engagement with Dell’s core sales teams,” wrote Davis, “So, as the next step in our growth together we are moving our channel sales organization deeper into Dell’s regional organizational structure.”

Here’s what’s changing with the channels reorganization:

  • Regional channel leaders now will report to regional Dell sales leadership. In North America, Channels Vice President Frank Vitagliano and Global Commercial Channel Sales and Programs Vice President Jim DeFoe now report to Dell’s head of North American sales.
  • Similarly, Laurent Binetti in EMEA and Richard Lee in Asia Pacific/Japan will report to regional sales leads.

Staying the same:

  • Channel strategy of focusing on the data center, investing in training, ease of doing business and partnership stays as it was.
  • PartnerDirect will stay as the umbrella program for end-to-end and point solutions.

Davis said that by directing Dell’s regional channel heads to report to regional sales, “they will be able to integrate more closely with our sales and product teams, which will allow for faster feedback between partners and business unit leaders.” Translated: Dell is trying to shore up its field engagement to reduce channel conflict and strengthen channel sales.

According to a CRN report, Dell also named Bill Rodrigues, formerly its Global Business vice president and general manager and a 14-year company veteran, as president of Dell North America, a business unit that accounted for some $24 billion in revenue in 2012. Vitagliano and DeFoe will report to Rodrigues, according to the account. Rodrigues replaces Paul Henri Ferrand, who held the post for the past 16 months, the report said.

“It’s been a privilege to work with you all to build Dell’s channel program from the ground up,” wrote Davis. “Your input has played a vital role in bringing us to this point today where the PartnerDirect program is strong and stable enough to push further into Dell’s go-to-market strategy.”