Amidst a new round of layoffs, longtime Dell Technologies channel sales and marketing executive Paul Shaffer has left the company after 21 years. Shaffer’s departure comes at the same time as Dell’s global channel chief Joyce Mullen departs the company, who was also a 21-year Dell veteran.
“A very long chapter of my life and career has closed as I finished my last day at Dell Technologies,” said Shaffer in a LinkedIn post on Sunday. “I wanted to thank my current channel sales team and my NSP [national solution provider] partners for the last eight years. No doubt about it, the best eight years of my career.”
Shaffer was vice president of sales, Global Commercial Channels at Dell EMC, responsible for teams managing over US$2 billion in business-to-business and business-to-consumer product lines, according to his bio. He was also head of North America Field Sales for large national solution providers such as PCM, Insight Enterprises, SHI and Softchoice.
“He was one of the good guys for the channel,” said one top executive from a national solution provider and Dell Titanium partner, who did not want to be identified. “He was always reliable. Always ready to jump on a call with us. … It’s a loss for a channel partner like us because our top vendor, by far, is Dell.”
The executive said although he’s confident Dell will find a suitable replacement, he hopes the US$91 billion infrastructure giant continues to double down on partners during the coronavirus pandemic. “There needs to be a top-notch replacement for Joyce because she was great at what she did, so was Paul,” said the executive. “We just want Dell to keep pushing the message internally and externally that the channel will be accounted for in terms of finding new leadership.”
Dell did not immediately respond to comment by press time on a replacement for Shaffer.
Shaffer’s exit comes after Dell’s global channel leader Joyce Mullen’s last day was officially Aug. 14.
“I’ve had great opportunities at Dell Technologies, and I’m really grateful for that, but I want to do it again at another company,” said Mullen in an interview with CRN last month announcing her departure from Dell after 21 years.
Longtime Dell EMC executive Bill Scannell, president of global sales and customer operations, is leading the search for a new global channel chief. “It’s my No. 1 priority right now,” Scannell recently told CRN.
Thousands of Dell solution providers also partner with VMware, which is majority owned by Dell Technologies.
VMware’s global channel chief Jenni Flinders left the company in June, followed by the recent departure of Shawn Toldo, vice president of VMware’s Worldwide Partner Organization, who was part of VMware’s recent layoff round.
In late July, Dell Technologies confirmed it’s laying off an unspecified number of employees. However, the company said in a statement to CRN that the layoffs are not related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Like all businesses right now, we’re taking a number of proactive steps to prepare for the uncertainties presented by COVID-19. We recently made some workforce reductions that reflect decisions made in early 2020 as part of regular evaluations of our business structure, and weren’t related to the pandemic,” said Dell in a statement emailed to CRN.
Shaffer held a variety of executive positions at Dell since his tenure began in 1999, including executive director of Worldwide Channel Marketing for North America Programs and U.S. and Europe Operations, according to his LinkedIn. He was also executive director of sales for national solution providers and distribution from 2012 to 2016.
Shaffer did not respond for comment by press time. According to his LinkedIn post, he has yet to find a new job.
“I am looking forward to a long drive through Colorado and Montana seeing friends and family before looking for the next chapter in my career!” said Shaffer. “I will be cheering on Dell Technologies from afar and looking forward to seeing continued success.”