The Top 100 Global Sales Leaders 2018

Marius Haas

Chief Commercial Officer and President, Enterprise Solutions, Dell

Since the acquisition of EMC by Dell in 2016, the largest deal in tech industry history, the only surprise so far is that, “there weren’t any big surprises,” Haas said in an interview earlier this year. Indeed, with such a seamless transition, Haas, who joined the company in 2012, has wasted no time taking a shot across the bow at chief rival Hewlett Packard Enterprise, which unloaded its software unit last year and spun out its consulting services unit with IT giant CSC following years of highly scrutinized losses. “Let the results do the talking,” said the former KKR & Co. advisor, who also served as a senior vice president at Hewlett-Packard earlier in his career. “I don’t think anyone at HP would be very pleased with the results that they’re showing.” As a counter, Haas contends that Dell’s end-to-end portfolio of products, from personal computers to cloud services, will prove to be a critical factor as the company expands over the next several years. “We think that we have, clearly have, a much stronger and broader portfolio,” he said. “We clearly have a much stronger and broader sales coverage. So as long as we stay focused around our execution and embracing our customers, we’re going to win. Which we already are.”


Mike Hayes

Senior Vice President, Sales & Sales Strategy, Georgia-Pacific

The Atlanta-based subsidiary of Koch Industries, best known for its Quilted Northern toilet paper and Brawny-brand paper products, unloaded its pine chemicals business in August and acquired a Cincinnati-based corrugated packaging company that same month. But pulp, paper and plywood will always be at the center of the 90-year-old operation, which began with a single lumberyard in Georgia. Indeed, since 2012, when Hayes took the reins as senior vice president of sales, the former Sara Lee marketing executive has helped shape sales strategies for the company’s booming lumber, cardboard and cellulose businesses—not to mention the office buildings, hospitals, schools and businesses that loyally return to its legacy brands.


Steve Horan

Senior Vice President of Sales Foundations, US Foods

The Rosemont, Illinois–based food-service distributor went public early last year after federal regulators nixed a proposed merger with Sysco Corporation, its larger rival. In the months since, US Foods has eliminated jobs at its corporate headquarters and acquired at least nine other companies, but Horan’s team of more than 4,000 sales professionals continues, through it all, to post steady gains, tallying $6.2 billion in sales for the second quarter of 2017. That the former regional vice president of sales has succeeded in leading the company’s marketing initiatives in the face of such rapid change speaks to the 20-year US Food vet’s focus and in-it-to-win-it determination.


J. Phillip Holloman

President and Chief Operating Officer, Cintas

Holloman’s road to the top of Cintas began as an international business supplier in his hometown Cincinnati in the late 1970s, and over the years—with stops along the way as vice president of engineering and vice president of global supply chain—he has never wavered from his commitment to the 88-year-old uniform and sanitation company. Named among Fortune’s annual “Most Admired Companies” list for eight-consecutive years since Holloman took control of the 35,000-employee business, Cintas had continued to expand aggressively into new markets under his leadership. “I would say the biggest key to success is realizing that you will never be doing just one thing,” Holloman told the University of Cincinnati’s alumni magazine in 2012, four years after being named as CEO. “While you’ll go through college and training to find your first position, those responsibilities will inevitably adapt. It’s helpful to be on the lookout for skills and knowledge you might be able to use in the future.”


Dan Houston

Vice President of Global Sales, TIBCO

Following the dot-com bubble burst in 2002, TIBCO, the 20-year-old integration and analytics software provider, stayed relevant by inking major deals with Vodafone and Delta Airlines, among other companies who looked to the Palo Alto company to help streamline their vast operating systems. Fifteen years later, TIBCO has continued to adapt in a rapidly changing business landscape by embracing new technologies, including cloud integration. In particular, under Houston, who joined TIBCO in 2007, the global sales team has aggressively promoted predictive and streaming analytics software to the oil and gas, smart grids and utilities sectors while also marketing the JasperSoft Business Intelligence tools it acquired in  2014.


Jessica Hunt

EVP, GM of North America, Head of Global Marketing, Sales Strategy, Axiom

Axiom routinely touts its reputation as a “disruptor,” even going so far as tallying the number of times it was described as such by the media (76 times in 2015, according to its website), but increasingly the legal-services provider has emerged as a mainstream leader in a rapidly growing field of virtual law firms. With a blue chip client roster that includes Hess Corporation, Hewlett-Packard and Dell, the 18-year-old, New York–based firm has made inroads through the deployment of technology, thanks in no small part to Hunt, a digital-media whiz who joined Axiom in 2014 following nearly a decade at Gerson Lehrman Group, where she launched a steady stream of enterprise markets. At Axiom, Hunt routinely returns to the power of technology, including machine learning and other analytics tools, to uncover the hidden value of legal contracts. “I find corporations don’t tend to think that the contents of many of their contracts are actually a corporate asset in the way they will certainly in 10 years, but maybe in five,” she said during a panel discussion at the Converge conference in 2015. While Axiom’s days as a so-called disruptor may be numbered, Hunt is just getting started.


Eric Johnson

Chief Sales Officer, Marketo

Following the departure of two chief marketing officers in less than a year, Johnson has emerged as the marketing software company’s ace in the hole. As chief sales officer, he’s taken swift measures to align the sales and marketing arms of the California-based company while also helping to shepherd the integration of ToutApp, the sales intelligence and email tracking software firm it acquired in April.  “Fundamentally what the marketer wants and needs is to be able to connect and engage with the sales organization,” Marketo CEO Steve Lucas told Fortune following the deal. “Our ability to reach a massive number of the world’s biggest brands and extend the reach of this company we’re acquiring is straightforward.”


Peggy Johnson

Executive Vice President, Business Development, Microsoft

Since joining Microsoft in 2014 following a storied 25-year career at Qualcomm, Johnson has helped spearhead the acquisition of 33 companies as executive vice president of business development, including the monumental sale of LinkedIn. With an eye toward artificial intelligence, cloud innovation and infrastructure, expect Microsoft to continue investing in new technology start-ups like the Montreal-based machine-learning company Maluuba, which it acquired earlier this year. “We started a separate fund focused on funding start-up companies who are utilizing AI for good,” Johnson told Fortune in April, adding that Microsoft’s research arm boasts 5,000 professionals focused solely on AI. “We’re looking at solving some of the big issues society faces, whether its funding solutions to diseases or climate change.“


Frank Jules

President, AT&T Global Business, AT&T

As president of global business at AT&T since 2012, Jules has keenly leveraged enterprise, mid-market, government, education and health-care markets for annual revenues in excess of $45 billion through the sale of landline and wireless services, enterprise mobility applications and network management. A 15-year veteran of the telecommunications giant—who launched his tenure at the company as a president of its enterprise markets division—Jules has successfully overseen sales, customer services, advertising, marketing and development on a global scale. 


Paul Julian

Executive Vice President and Group President, McKesson

Under Julian’s leadership as president of McKesson’s pharmaceutical division, the longtime health-care professional reclaimed the San Francisco–based company’s title as largest pharmaceutical distributor in North America from Cardinal Health. The feat, a major coup delivered in the early 2000s, was only the tip of the iceberg for an executive routinely cited as the brains behind a massive technology upgrade that involved the implementation Six Sigma–style management tools company-wide in 2008. Now, as executive vice president and group president, Julian has retrained his sights on the specialty drug-distribution market and cancer treatment services, the latter in which the company has invested heavily with a series of high-profile acquisitions. “The specialty market—and community oncology, in particular—is a core strategic focus for McKesson, and we look forward to further strengthening our position by empowering the science and delivery of community-based patient care,” Julian told the magazine Healthcare Global in an interview prior to the acquisitions.


Dave Justice

Senior VP, Global Security and Enterprise Networking Sales, Cisco Systems

Russian election interference, security breaches within the intelligence community and malware attacks on universities nationwide ranked prominently among a string of high-profile cybercrimes in 2017 that convinced wary enterprise clients to increase security spending. For Justice, who has focused on Cisco’s portfolio of security products since 2016, increased awareness of the looming threat has led to a surge in new business. Indeed, the cyber-security market is expected to exceed $1 trillion by 2021—up from just $3.5 billion in 2004—according to Cybersecurity Ventures, a Silicon Valley–based research firm, and Cisco is expected to lead the charge. “Security is top of mind for business leaders and their boards of directors everywhere,” said Justice, who rose to Senior Vice President of Global Security in May. “Cisco has solidified its position as the largest security vendor in the industry.”



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