IBM Veteran David La Rose Is Back in the Saddle
David La Rose, IBM’s new global channel leader, hails from Australia where he began his career with IBM. No stranger to the channel, he has worked with outgoing global channel chief John Teltsch, on and off for half of his almost 30-year career at IBM.
La Rose has some impressive shoes to fill. He freely showers praise on his colleague who he admits has done an incredible job transforming the programs, the barriers to entry into the IBM partner ecosystem, simplifying the experience and helping partners grow in strategic areas.
So, where from here for La Rose?
Channel Futures caught up with La Rose to find out what lies ahead for him as the IBM channel chief and his near-term objectives.
Channel Futures: You haven’t even had time to warm up the seat that you’ll be sitting in as the general manager of the IBM Partner Ecosystem, so introduce yourself to our partner readers.
David La Rose: A brief background: I’m a 30-year IBMer and have spent about one-third of that time in Australia, moving through the ranks with various responsibilities, and two-thirds of that time outside Australia. The majority of the time outside of Australia has been across Asia — in Japan in the systems group, eight years in Shanghai as IBM built its growth market units. That was an incredible experience as I was part of an ecosystem that was on a massive expansion program into new territories and countries as we expanded our portfolio.
More recently, I ran the channel for Europe, having spent time running Eastern Europe as the general manager, after which I came back to Australia as managing director for Australia and New Zealand. This [channel ecosystem] job is really a coming back for me. I’ve been in and out of the channel three or four times in my career and the channel has always been a special part of the IBM company.
In the early days, when we had consumer products and x86 products, that’s where I spent a lot of my time but, really, I’ve never seen a better time to come back into the ecosystem and I’m delighted to be able to lead it. We have so many things going on, including Red Hat, a very exciting opportunity for us to scale this hybrid multicloud offering that we now have.
CF: What are your top objectives going forward?
DLR: Five days into the role, there are four things that are top of mind.
The first and foremost is delivering growth to our partners, particularly for the next quarter. That’s our primary responsibility here and over the course of the next eight weeks where I’ll spend a lot of my time.
The second priority is exploring how Red Hat can scale inside the IBM portfolio and how we can leverage the partner network that Red Hat has to continue to scale the IBM portfolio, particularly, the services element of that.
Red Hat is going to be an independent unit inside of IBM. It’s…