IBM Searching For Channel Chief As VP Donohue Steps Down


IBM is on the hunt for a new channel chief as Bill Donohue has stepped down from his post. Donohue, who held the title of vice president, business partner and midmarket sales, and has been with the company 32 years, revealed his retirement Tuesday, according to sources familiar with the situation.

Jim Gregory, vice president of competitive sales initiatives, North America, at IBM, will fill in for Donohue while the company searches for a replacement, sources told CRN. Donohue has held his most recent position at IBM since May 2012.

Donohue was not available for an interview. IBM, Armonk, N.Y., declined to comment.

[Related: IBM: STG Sales Force Must Include Partners In All Deals]

Donohue made a name for himself at IBM as a tech-savvy executive who knew the channel inside and out. "Too often you get an executive who starts working in the channel with no experience on how it works. That wasn't the case with Bill. He understood partners and what was important to the channel," said Michael Gray, COO at Champion Solutions Group, an IBM partner based in Boca Raton, Fla.

Over the course of his career with IBM, Donohue held a variety of sales and marketing roles, including in the financial services sector, working with independent software vendors, and more recently as a sales executive with the Systems and Technology Group. According to Donohue's LinkedIn profile, from 2005 to 2007 he served as vice president, worldwide sales, for System i. From 2001 to 2005, Donohue was vice president, System p sales.

In his most recent position, Donohue was responsible for IBM's channel strategy and revenue plan, and he headed the sales and marketing initiatives through IBM business partners in North America.

"Bill was in the front seat of IBM for a long time," Gray said. During his tenure Donohue saw the company go through major upheavals, downsizing, and former chairman and CEO Lou Gerstner's years of transforming IBM from a hardware-centric company to an IT services business. "Donohue was the guy who would roll up his sleeves, get in the trenches and help you get the job done," said Gray.

PUBLISHED AUG. 27, 2013