The Top 100 Global Sales Leaders 2018

Dave Carter

Chief Sales Officer, Cornerstone OnDemand

Under Carter’s watchful eye, the Santa Monica, California–based enterprise cloud software developer announced in June it had lassoed backup-software provider Commvault as a major, 2,700-employee-strong client. In the same month, it closed a deal with Sylvan Learning, the nationwide tutoring provider, to outfit hundreds of brick-and-motor franchisees with discussion boards and peer-to-peer learning technology. But for the former Navy officer and Clark University economics graduate, such a diverse string of deals is merely business as usual. Since jumping ship from Accenture in 2008, Carter has commandeered relationships with E-Trade, Virgin Media and Walgreens, among an eclectic client roster that includes retailers, technology start-ups and public universities in nearly equal measure. Carter wrote in a company bio, “I take tremendous satisfaction from seeing people develop, whether they are members of my team or clients using Cornerstone’s software to improve performance.”


Mark Caylor

Corporate VP, President of Enterprise Services & CSO, Northrop Grumman

News of the global aerospace and defense technology company’s $8 billion acquisition of the missile manufacturer Orbital ATK raised eyebrows for its hefty price tag in September. But few genuinely understood the genius of the deal better than Caylor, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology–trained astronautical engineer, and perhaps the closest thing to a rocket scientist on this list. As corporate vice president of the Virginia-based defense contractor, Caylor helped guide the acquisition, which gives Northrop Grumman a competitive advantage in the race to profit from privatized space exploration while also positioning itself as a leader in ballistic missile systems in the face of rising geopolitical tension. “We can no longer treat space as a permissive environment,” said Northrop Grumman CEO Wesley Bush. “The rather rapid advance of some of our potential adversaries is quite concerning.” For Caylor, the deal will go down as one of his great accomplishments.


Mike Clayville

Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Sales, Amazon Web Services

As early as 2011, Amazon was investing heavily in its enterprise sales team, hiring more than 200 reps and laying the groundwork for a commercial sales unit focused on mid-market Fortune 2000 companies. But the company’s savviest move, perhaps, was poaching Clayville, then a vice president at VMware with a deep knowledge of cloud computing and a passion for sales that bordered the evangelical. Since then, the Seattle-based commercial sales team has built a roster of big-name customers, including Major League Baseball, Dow Jones and Monsanto, while marketing cloud-based services ranging from storage and database to networking and content delivery. “Don’t think about your selling team as a bunch of individuals,” said Clayville, an Idaho native and part-time rancher, in a 2016 interview. “Think about it as an organism. Your team is a group of people out to accomplish a specific mission.”


Andrew Clement

Vice President, Sales, Kimberly-Clark Corporation

Kleenex, Kotex, Cottonelle and Huggies—they’re chief among Kimberly-Clark Corporation’s towering $47 billion personal care empire, and, likely, legacy brands you’ve known since birth. But beyond the grocery aisles and Walgreens racks, Clement and his team of more than 300 sales professionals are driving record sales growth, churning out towels, tissue and dispensing systems to schools, office buildings and hospitals nationwide. Indeed, since rising as vice president of sales, the 15-year Kimberly-Clark veteran has tallied a whopping $1.5 billion in deals while helping to foster a move toward more environmentally friendly products. Working alongside the Forest Stewardship Council, the 145-year-old, Irving, Texas–based multinational has, for years, included the nonprofit’s logo on packages of its tissue brands to certify that companies like Kleenex abide by responsible forest management. “Sustainability has become table stakes for our types of products,” Clement told Sustainable Brands last year. “Nobody debates it. It’s who we are.”


Phil Clement

Advisor to the CEO & Former Global CMO, Aon

Clement has a way with words when talking about his craft, once describing his company’s robust history as “local jazz,” and the overall brand as the “sheet music” from which to interpret the global marketing strategy. Such eloquence shouldn’t be surprising coming from Clement, who has served 12 years as Aon’s chief marketing officer despite high turnover in an industry with an average lifespan of two years. “I ended up doing something I thought I was going to do for two years and now it’s 12 years later,” Clement told the Marketing Today podcast. “Having done the same role for 12 years, there’s some great things about it. You really get to see your ideas set into motion, but it’s not one of those things that needs to be overly romanticized.” Among the ideas he’s set in motion at the London-based professional services firm, Clement points to the company-wide implementation of Net Promoter–style management tools and a successful partnership with the Manchester United soccer team. Listening, however, will always be key. “You can’t spend enough time listening, and the bigger you get, the more important it gets,” he said on the podcast. “Unfortunately, it becomes more tempting not to, because it takes so much time.”


Bryan Cox

Operating Partner, Andreessen Horowitz

It was during a panel at last year’s OpenStack Days conference that Martin Casado, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, declared to a rapt audience of software engineers that infrastructure technology was on the cusp of a major “renaissance.” The prescient vote of confidence by one of Silicon Valley’s most influential venture capital firms—during a period when IT budgets were shrinking globally—may explain why, in September, the equity group tapped Cox as an operating partner.  A career enterprise-software veteran who spent time at Zendesk and VMware, Cox’s deep knowledge of licensing, online sales and renewals will no doubt bolster Andreessen Horowitz’s already bullish position on the $220 billion cloud and SaaS market as start-ups increasingly look to open-source software to compete against giants like Cisco and Oracle. “That changes everything,” Casado said during the panel. “Selling to developers massively disrupts traditional go-to-market engines.”


John D’Agostino

Executive Vice President, Global Sales, Qualtrics

Named among Forbes’ “Top 20 Companies of the Cloud” this year, the privately held experience-management company has branched out far beyond the online survey platform for academic researchers it launched in 2002 and into employee satisfaction and customer engagement. The expansion, due in part thanks to a $180 million investment round in April, has presumably led to a spike in lead generation for D’Agostino, who joined the Park City, Utah–based company in 2013 following a 17-year-stint with PTC, the Boston-based computer software and services company where he led a team of 300 sales professionals. With a client roster boasting half of the Fortune 100, including Mastercard and Kellogg’s, it’s not hard to imagine a bright and bustling future for D’Agostino as Qualtrics makes major inroads globally. Next up: Japan and greater Asia, then France, Germany and Europe.

Robert Dale

CW Senior Vice President, National Account Sales, ADT Security Services

Wall Street took notice in July when private equity firm Apollo Global Management prepared paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission to take ADT public. With a $15 billion valuation, analysts quickly predicted an initial public offering for the 143-year-old security firm would be among the biggest of 2017. For Dale, who launched his career at ADT 35 years ago before departing for Protection 1, a security rival that recently merged with the firm, a financial windfall could allow his Florida-based sales team to more aggressively compete with upstarts like Vivint. It may also lead to lucrative partnerships with innovators like Amazon, which the firm teamed with in January to enable Echo voice recognition on its security system.


Nimesh Dave

Executive Vice President, Global Cloud, Ingram Micro

Acquired by the Chinese conglomerate HNA Group in 2016, Ingram Micro has remained a solid revenue generator, in part thanks to Dave’s indefatigable effort to expand the company’s global cloud solutions across emerging markets. Indeed, since joining the Irvine, California–based information technology company in 2012, the former Tech Data executive has helped position Ingram Micro as a vendor of increasingly sophisticated platforms, including the launch earlier this year of its Cloud Referral Program across 20 countries in a bid to simplify the cluttered cloud-services marketplace. “Cloud is the future of at least half of technology,” Dave told the retail computing news site CRN in July. “We’re seeing extremely high adoption.”


Que Thanh Dallara

Chief Commercial Officer, Honeywell

Since joining Honeywell in January, Dallara has sought to further align marketing and sales within the 131,000-employee company while also raising the profile of its growing software division, where analysts believe more than half of its growth over the next five years will originate. Previous roles at Microsoft and the Switzerland-based electronics manufacturer TE Connectivity provided her intimate knowledge of consumer software and big data analytics—two areas she’ll no doubt return to in her position at Honeywell. “Que brings a strong background in strategy, software, business development and general management to Honeywell, and she is well-qualified to help lead our ongoing transition toward becoming a premier software-industrial company,” Honeywell CEO Darius Adamczyk said shortly after she joined in January. “Throughout her career, Que has demonstrated her proficiency in driving breakthrough growth, especially in connected enterprises and software offerings.”


Pablo Dominguez

Vice President, Global Business Operations, AppNexus

In its bid to compete for digital advertising against Goliath-size rivals Facebook and Google, AppNexus spent the better part of the past three years bulking up with the acquisitions of smaller ad-tech players like MediaGlu and Yieldex. But for Dominguez, who joined the cloud-based software company in 2014, an innovative sales compensation strategy and accurate forecasting technology are the silver bullets that have allowed AppNexus to thrive on such a competitive playing field. “The question is, is there a better way for people with data-driven insights to provide an actual forecast number that is more accurate versus wasting the commercial team’s time?” he said last year. “The answer is undoubtedly yes.”


Chris Donato

Senior Vice President, North American Applications, Oracle

As cloud computing soars in popularity among SMB and enterprise clients, so too does Oracle’s applications software, the company’s co-chief executive, Mark Hurd, told Recode’s Kara Swisher earlier this year. To be sure, revenue tied to the 40-year-old computer technology company’s e-business suite of applications, as well as hundreds of others, has increased by double-digits annually as business clients move to the cloud. As senior vice president of North American applications, Donato has been at the forefront of the shift, benefitting greatly from, among other deals, a headline-grabbing coup in May with AT&T that will lift the telecommunications giant into the cloud while outfitting some 70,000 technicians with Oracle’s Field Service application. “In the first six months [of 2016], we didn’t close one lift and shift, taking our own applications and moving it over into our public cloud,” Donato said during an Oracle panel discussion that year. “In the past five months, we’ve done seven or eight, and most of those sale cycles moved pretty quick… So I think we’ll do a nice job competing against Microsoft and AWS.”



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