HP has replaced Personal Systems Group (PSG) channel chief David Booth with another seasoned sales executive, Paul Robson.
However, Robson's new role won't exactly mirror Booth's former job. Booth had been looking after both sales and marketing -– but has been promoted to the newly-created role of sales director for the channel sales team.
Robson took over the Sydney-based role of channel and customer marketing manager at HP PSG two-and-a-half weeks ago. He will manage a team of 10 divided between Sydney and Melbourne.
Robson said the new role reflected an increased focus on the Australian channel, including a conscious attempt to mitigate rumoured unrest in PSG's reseller ranks.
'Booth ... now is looking after just sales. So now we've got an increased focus on channel and customer marketing, and have created a support team to focus on just that,' he said.
'There has been an amount of “discussion” in the press, certainly, and in the process there's been a lot of issues and a fair amount of conversation.'
Robson said that, from HP's perspective, what was needed was an increased focus on offerings and opportunities and working with its partners. HP had also hired a third party to do some channel research, he said.
'The channel is such a large part of [PSG's] business and we're so committed to making it work. From an SMB perspective, it's 95 percent of our business,' he said.
Robson has an IT background, including roles in channel management for Philips Electronics and in the pre-merger Compaq, where he started in 1999 as a product marketing manager for professional workstations.
'I guess from my perspective the most important thing is to continue our commitment to our channel partners ... I want to understand what concerns and opportunities there are,' he said.
Mobility products and services in particular were likely to prove big for HP in the coming year, Robson said.