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Pax8 Adds to Big-Name Exec Roster with Longtime Intel Leader

Despite taking the Pax8 gig, the new hire promises to keep sending out his popular "Motivation Monday" emails.

Jeff O'Heir

August 16, 2023

4 Min Read
Eric Townsend lands at Pax8.
Andrii Yalanskyi/Shutterstock

Anyone who’s witnessed one of the presentations Eric Townsend has given for Intel or Dell at a channel event will remember the enthusiasm, energy and passion he brings to delivering meaningful information aimed at helping partners improve their businesses and understand new technologies. Starting Monday, Townsend will bring those traits to Pax8 as its new global vendor business development director.

Townsend will work under Nikki Meyer, Pax8’s corporate vice president vendor experience, to help manage vendors, especially as the company transitions to its new marketplace, which the company expects to launch sometime next year.

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Pax8’s Nikki Meyer

“Eric’s wealth of channel experience, combined with his forward-thinking and inventive approach to challenges, is set to bring an exceptional level of value as we continue to expand our global strategic alliances with our most significant vendor partners,” Meyer said. “His ability to think outside the box and his knack for tackling complex problems creatively will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in efforts to scale and enhance these crucial partnerships.”

In other moves, Pax8 recently promoted Craig Donovan as its new chief experience officer in charge of the newly created Experience Team that will oversee the experience of Pax8’s vendors, MSP partners and SMB end-users.

Here’s our list of channel people on the move in July.

Townsend’s duties include managing strategic programs, nurturing relationships with “galactic”-level vendors, driving operational improvements and working with the team to identify new vendors.

“We have great vendors we work with now and we have great ones that we’ll work with in the future,” he said. “I’m lucky to be working on that team and able to say, ‘OK, how can we make the experience with Pax8 better and how can we bring the right vendors on?’”

Eric Townsend Known for Years at Intel and Channel Presentations

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Pax8’s Eric Townsend

Townsend spent 18 years at Intel, having spent the last four as its MSP and CSP broad channel marketing director. His close interaction with MSPs, CSPs and other providers of all sizes, he said, gives him a unique perspective of the different business needs a wide variety of partners have.

In that marketing role, Townsend often partnered with the Dell Expert Network, speaking before MSPs and other providers about business strategies, market insights and new technologies. Despite the energy he brought to the stage, Townsend often would shift his attention off of it to interact with audience members, making sure they were getting the info they needed.

That illustrates a few more of Townsend’s qualities, said Frank Raimondi, vice president of Nodeware channel development, who spent more than five years as the worldwide channel alliance manager at Intel, where he worked with Townsend.

“He listens,” Raimondi said. “He’s definitely got a partner-first mentality. He’s worked with multiple vendors, so I think he would be a good fit into the [Pax8] ecosystem there. I have no doubt that he’d be productive in that kind of a role.”

In Good Company

Besides working with the vendor partners and Meyer, Eric Townsend said he is just as excited for the opportunity to work with some of the people he considers among the channel’s best: Rob Rae, corporate vice president of community and ecosystems; Dave Powell, vice president of sales strategy; Ryan Walsh, channel chief and chief strategy officer; and Nick Heddy, chief commerce officer, to name a few.

“I’m fortunate because I’m going into an organization that has great people; there’s already impactful leadership there. And you’ve already got systems in place that are amazing,” Townsend said. “I’m going to help contribute to the vendor strategy that’s already there by looking at how we can enhance the partnerships we have, what can we do to be more efficient and add even more value.”

Townsend also points to the AI and data-driven technologies behind the marketplace, which he saw rolled out at the Pax8 Beyond partner conference in June, as a prime incentive to take on his new role.

“With that cutting-edge technology, it was like seeing the shaping of how IT services are done,” he said. “It was like, ‘This is where it’s happening; this is the next level of excellence.’”

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Jeff O’Heir or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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About the Author(s)

Jeff O'Heir

Jeff O’Heir is a journalist and editor who has spent much of his career covering the business leaders, issues and trends that define the IT and consumer technology channels. His work in print, online and on stage has showcased, educated and connected small and large solution providers, MSPs, channel pros and vendors. During his career, Jeff has also covered engineering technologies and breakthroughs, crime, politics, food and the arts.

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