Recent departures, appointments and subsequent fold-ups within the company call for an examination of ecosystems.

Allison Francis

August 18, 2022

3 Min Read
Evolution of Man

Distribution giant TD Synnex just announced some rather drastic personnel changes, starting with the exit of two top executives. Industry veterans Sammy Kinlaw and Chun Lee are leaving the company. The pair oversaw the distributor’s North America CommunitySolv partner community organization. 


Sammy Kinlaw

Their departures are part of a company restructuring plan that moves oversight of the communities from the marketing team to sales. Under this plan, Kaye McMillan, vice president of sales development, will now head TD Synnex’s Communities team. Her title is vice president of partner communities and sales development.

“Sammy Kinlaw set [TD Synnex] up for future success by reviving the communities strategy and embracing true partner forward-thinking communities,” Janet Schijns, CEO, JS Group, told Channel Futures. “The decision to move this into sales is simply a logical next step in the evolution of the communities for TD Synnex. [It is also a] testimony to both Sammy and Chun’s success in getting the communities strategy working for TD Synnex.”

Death of the Partner Community?


Chun Lee

So, the next question must be, can sales take over this ecosystem? Will TD Synnex monetize it via partner sales, not sponsorships? How will the company monetize it? Is this the death of communities? Or is it simply an evolution?


JS Group’s Janet Schijns

“I think it’s more the evolution of communities into an ecosystem,” said Schijns. “And by an evolution, I mean that communities that are successfully organized are now being challenged to go to the next level. [This is] where partner-to-partner ecosystems are forming, and solutions across the enterprise are more complex. The former communities that focused on more single-threaded purposes as a result dated very quickly. But, the best firms are now evolving those successfully organized communities by now taking that structure and ramping it up to produce even more sales.” 

The Path to Evolution

The effort to get those communities to be ecosystems is what matters. Kinlaw and Lee attempted to do this at TD Synnex, according to Schijns. When a community evolves into an ecosystem, they can then move into production mode in sales. 


TD Synnex’s Kaye McMillan

With McMillan at the helm, it will indeed be interesting to see how the partner community component plays out. Will folding the TD Synnex partner communities under the sales umbrella open more avenues for partners to drive sales growth? Or will this be the indicator of the end of communities? Only time will tell.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Allison Francis or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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About the Author(s)

Allison Francis

Allison Francis is a writer, public relations and marketing communications professional with experience working with clients in industries such as business technology, telecommunications, health care, education, the trade show and meetings industry, travel/tourism, hospitality, consumer packaged goods and food/beverage. She specializes in working with B2B technology companies involved in hyperconverged infrastructure, managed IT services, business process outsourcing, cloud management and customer experience technologies. Allison holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations and marketing from Drake University. An Iowa native, she resides in Denver, Colorado.

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