The Top 100 Global Sales Leaders 2018

Tracey Newell

Executive Vice President, Global Field Operations, Proofpoint

You can bet after Proofpoint researchers discovered new methods of distributing malware across a bevy of nationwide restaurant chains in July, executives from TGI Fridays on down to Applebees were getting in line for help. But as cybercriminal activity ripples across the hearts and minds of businesses big and small, Proofpoint had reason to be optimistic for the future of its cloud-based email protection software long before the latest hack. Since joining the company as an executive vice president in 2013, Newell has worked to solve the security problems of department store chains, hospitals and even the Golden State Warriors, whose social media came under attack by hackers and spammers in 2015.  And with the cybersecurity market expected to exceed $1 trillion by 2021, according to the research firm Cybersecurity Ventures, Newell is just getting started.


Paul Patterson

Vice President, Cloud Software Sales, NetApp

Sunnyvale, California–based NetApp has worked feverishly to transition from a legacy storage and data management company into a leader in hybrid cloud technology, with its outspoken chief executive hinting earlier this year that the multinational would soon be unveiling a state-of-the-art hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) system in tandem with SolidFire, the all-flash storage vendor it acquired in 2016. “Hyperconverged is another arrow in our quiver,” CEO George Kurian said during an earnings call earlier this year. For Patterson, who joined NetApp following stints at GLMX and the software provider Captricity, the shift to the cloud has shown immediate signs of success, with Bank of Cyprus and online travel agency Despegar among a litany of institutional and corporate customers now deploying a wide array of the company’s cloud solutions.


Steven Porter

Vice President Sales, U.S. Manufacturing, W.W. Grainger

When Porter joined W.W. Grainger in 1994 as a branch operations manager in Salt Lake City, the now 90-year-old industrial supply company was still two years away from launching its first website, a lonely landing page that linked to a catalogue. The company has since consistently ranked among the largest e-commerce retailers in the United States while embracing e-procurement platforms, multiple websites and a massive inventory management system connecting its labyrinthine network. Along the way, Porter, who in 2015 was appointed as vice president of U.S. manufacturing sales, has evolved with the Illinois-based company, leading a team of 1,100 sales professionals and tallying a whopping $2.3 billion in revenue. Indeed, as recently as this summer, Porter ‘s team helped drive sales volume for midsize and large companies by lowering web prices on hundreds of thousands of its products, a direct response to Amazon’s aggressive pursuit of the business-to-business market. As Amazon makes inroads with the B2B market, Porter’s skills will be indispensible.


Joseph Quaglia

President, Americas, Tech Data Corporation

Launched in Florida in 1974, Tech Data has rapidly established itself as one of the world’s largest technology distributors. The company’s success, however, can be attributed, at least partially, to the leadership of Quaglia, who joined the company in 2006 as a vice president and has since taken the reins as president of the Americas. In his latest role, the former Storage Networks senior vice president has led sales, marketing and purchasing operations across North America during a period in which the company’s stock has nearly doubled.


Stuart Radcliffe

Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Pearson

Since launching in 1998, Pearson has been one of the most recognizable education publishing companies in the world, thanks in part to the steady expansion of its thriving textbook and learning materials division. For Radcliffe, who joined Pearson as vice president of sales and marketing in 2014 following positions at the information services company BSI, his tenure, thus far, has been tinctured by a dizzying rollout of new digital products and a successful rebranding at the London-based company.


Dali Rajic

Chief Revenue Officer, AppDynamics

Since the blockbuster $3.7 billion acquisition of AppDynamics by Cisco in March, Rajic has leveraged his prior scaling experiences and talent as an enterprise sales leader at BMC Software to raise revenue at the nine-year-old performance management company, which runs diagnostics for customers like Kraft and Nasdaq. But beyond his sales acumen, Rajic has thrived on teamwork and meritocracy during his five-year tenure at the San Francisco–based company, where he began as a vice president of West Coast sales and gradually worked his way up. “I’ve found the ideal profile for a sales rep is intelligence, character, coachability and experience,” Rajic told Battery Ventures. “Experience was least important because we knew we could teach. In fact, we stayed away from too many deal-specific, relationships-selling reps because that is just not how a scientific sales model can scale.”


Sonia Ramsey

Vice President, NA Enterprise Sales, West Region, Level 3 Communications

As an award-winning standout at Level 3 Communications, Ramsey, by all measures, will continue to rise through the ranks following the $34 billion acquisition of the Colorado-based telecommunications provider by CenturyLink in October. Indeed, both companies were among 10 vendors awarded a so-called Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions contract this summer, a lucrative $50 billion next-generation telecommunications project intended to modernize the federal government over the next 15 years. As vice president of sales in the company’s west region, Ramsey, who resides in California, has already proven her chops by managing $600 million in revenue and overseeing a 300 employee-strong team responsible for tallying a whopping $12.5 million in deals annually. Her focus on network sales, cloud computing, security and the internet of things will serve her well as the company continues to evolve—as it certainly will—over the next decade.


Sonya Roberts

President, Cargill Proteins, Growth and New Ventures and Strategic Pricing, Cargill

Launched from a modest grain flat house in Iowa in 1865, Cargill has remained every bit as innovative in its second century as it was under founders William and Sam Cargill. Today the company boasts state-of-the-art technology, including cutting-edge agricultural analytics that in 2016 alone helped boost milk production in Italy by 11.7 percent, according Bloomberg. Roberts, who joined Cargill in 2008 as a senior marketing projects manager, has contributed to the company’s success in her current role as president of growth and new ventures, a new division focused on identifying protein-centered market segments the company had previously overlooked. “I am a firm believer that you find mentors, but that you position yourself so that sponsors find you,” Roberts told Twin Cities Business magazine.


Sativa Ross

Senior Vice President, New Business Development, Weber Shandwick

With high-profile clients like Microsoft and, until recently, Egypt, the global public relations firm has had no problem reeling in big, occasionally controversial clients. As senior vice president of new business development, Ross, a former account director at the New York–based firm, has mined a bevy of past experiences representing automotive companies like Autolite and Bendix while pursuing opportunities across her native Michigan. “Sativa is a superstar in the automotive aftermarket,” said Shannon Lara, a communications leader at the NORMA Group, a Detroit-based PR firm. “Her vast knowledge of the industry, its companies and products—as well as her extensive network—makes her a true asset to her clients.”


Peter Ryan

Chief Sales Officer, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

Following a rocky period in which Hewlett Packard Enterprise split from its parent, sold off software assets and acquired a host of data storage and infrastructure concerns, Ryan is emphasizing HPE’s focus on data centers and cloud computing. As to the Palo Alto–based company’s reluctance to embrace an end-to-end strategy, Ryan earlier this year pointed to strong partnerships with Microsoft, VMware and Citrix, among others, as evidence that something’s clicking with its customers. “We don’t aim to create everything at Hewlett-Packard and move it to our customers,” Ryan, who joined HP in 2011, told ChannelWorld in May. “In the time of transformation, it’s not enough for services companies and channel partners to consult on digital transformation but deliver those technology elements.”



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