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Distribution Rock Star Marty Bauerlein Jumps From AMD To D&H As Chief Commercial Officer

Steven Burke

Bauerlein, who joined AMD 18 months ago as head of North America VAR sales and commercial distribution, takes the newly created role overseeing commercial IT sales at D&H with the SMB stalwart distributor stepping up its charge into the enterprise solution provider and systems integrator market.

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AMD Channel Chief Marty Bauerlein, a 25-year distribution veteran who held top jobs at Tech Data and Ingram Micro, is joining D&H Distributing in the newly created role of chief commercial officer.

Bauerlein, who joined AMD 18 months ago as head of North America VAR sales and commercial distribution, takes the top executive job overseeing commercial IT sales at D&H with the SMB stalwart distributor stepping up its charge into the enterprise solution provider and systems integrator market.

“This is a game-changer for D&H,” said D&H Co-President Dan Schwab. “Marty is a distribution visionary that has his hand on the pulse of how to help partners and vendors grow sales. D&H’s single biggest challenge is we are not the incumbent so people are not as familiar with us as they could be. We are hoping this next phase of growth takes the D&H value proposition and unique differentiator to a broader set of partners.”

[Related: D&H Co-Presidents Dan And Michael Schwab Bullish On 2023 Outlook]

As chief commercial officer, Bauerlein, who will report to Schwab, will have complete profit and loss responsibility for the entire commercial IT business, including overseeing sales and marketing.

Schwab said Bauerlein, who has cultivated a fierce and loyal solution provider following, brings a deep understanding of what it takes to be successful as a distributor, partner and even as a vendor given his AMD experience. “Marty checks all the boxes,” said Schwab. “He has a 360-degree understanding of the channel and how D&H can best help our partners and vendors grow the business as we plan the next phase of our continued growth and success. This continues and reinforces our built-for-growth commitment.”

D&H Seeing Massive Cloud Growth

The addition of Bauerlein comes just two months after D&H reported 102 percent growth in cloud services and modern applications in 2022 fueled by the launch of the new Modern Solutions Business Unit last May.

D&H has added 200 new sales representatives in the past several years as it ramps up its built-for-growth strategy. What’s more, the distributor plans to add 50 new employees this year even with tech company layoffs on the rise.

Schwab said he is confident that Bauerlein will “accentuate and accelerate” the distributor’s growth in its cloud, modern solutions, and professional and integration services portfolio. “In addition to our success in SMB and midmarket, D&H is becoming a preferred partner for enterprise-focused solution providers and systems integrators,” he said.

Bauerlein told CRN that he he was grateful for the vendor experience at AMD but that his “heart and soul” is in the distribution business. He said the opportunity to join a distribution powerhouse that is investing to grow the business and is growing fast in cloud and modern solutions was too much to pass up.

“First off ,when I looked under the hood of the company I saw that D&H is raising the bar when it comes to solutions aggregation and industry growth,” he said. “That’s because you have genuine leadership with a vision with [Co-Presidents] Dan and Michael Schwab. They have made very big investments in cloud and modern solutions, which have been very successful.”

D&H’s Cloud Solutions Marketplace and Modern Solutions Business Unit have reshaped the competitive landscape in distribution, giving D&H a marked advantage over competitors, said Bauerlein.

“The D&H Cloud Marketplace is head and shoulders above the competitors,” he said. “I have experienced first-hand a lot of sizzle and no steak with other cloud marketplaces. D&H has done it right. They have gotten a return on their investment unlike many other cloud marketplaces.”

To that point, Bauerlein said he is going to move to capitalize on the distributor’s Cloud Marketplace and Modern Solutions Business Unit advantages in a bid to “earn market-share gains” through strong customer enablement.

“We’ve got to continue to tell the market and the world about our Cloud Marketplace and our differentiators in the Modern Solutions Business Unit,” he said. “We are hoping to earn market-share gains through our strong customer enablement. I envision D&H selling to 25,000 active MSPs and VARs in North America within the next three years. Most distributors have active relationships with 8,000 to 12,000 partners. We’re taking this to another level by offering world-class intimacy with a U.S. coverage model. We don’t outsource.”

Bauerlein said D&H’s employee-owned, privately held model has given the distributor an advantage over publicly held and private-equity-owned competitors.

“D&H is not on a 90-day shot clock,” he said. “They can make investments for the long term. Look at the growth that is coming from D&H compared to some of the public and private-equity-backed distributors. D&H is industry leading in all the areas they play in versus the competitors. D&H is growing the cloud business by triple digits and the endpoint business massively in a down market. They are also growing their modern solutions business at a double-digit rate. D&H has momentum in the market and vendors are getting speeding tickets lining up outside their offices to discuss growing their business and business opportunities with D&H.”

Bauerlein Back In The Disty Market

The move to D&H brings Bauerlein back to the distribution market where he spent 15 years at Tech Data in top sales positions, most recently as senior vice president of sales in North America from 2015 to 2021. Before that, Bauerlein spent 10 years at Ingram Micro, where he was a director of sales in the company’s largest VAR division.

Bauerlein started his career in IT 30 years ago working at Cybra, a Fortune 500 RFID-focused enterprise software provider that was also a reseller of a wide variety of IT products.

Solution providers told CRN that Bauerlein’s impressive track record building long-term strategic relationships is sure to benefit D&H in the intensely competitive distribution market.

Kevin Shank, a 31-year channel veteran who three months ago took the CEO job at CRN Solution Provider 500 powerhouse Compucom, No. 49 on the 2022 CRN Solution Provider 500, said he sees the Bauerlein hire as a “game-changer” for D&H.

“Marty brings a tremendous Rolodex of key relationships in the technology market to D&H,” he said. “Having Marty at D&H elevates their access to key opportunities. As a result of Marty coming on board, I am going to now look at D&H for potential future opportunities.”

Scott Ward, senior vice president of technology sourcing operations for Computacenter, the $9 billion global solution provider behemoth, sees Bauerlein bringing a loyal partner network following to D&H. “That is the value to D&H,” he said. “Marty has a very loyal following. You trust him. That’s a small but big word in this business.”

Ward, a 30-year-plus channel veteran, said Bauerlein has always been willing to do what is best for the partner, building a long-term relationship that is based on trust and doing the right thing for the customer. “Marty is very honest and open, even when it might not benefit his business, which speaks a lot to his character,” he said “Marty’s energy, relationships and passion is a great fit for D&H. I am very happy he is going to D&H.”

Brad Moore, the owner and CEO of Sterling, No. 58 on the 2022 CRN Solution Provider 500, also called the D&H hire a distribution “game-changer” that is going to reverberate through the market.

“Hiring Marty is a huge get for D&H,” said Moore. “I base that upon how well-known, how well-respected and how well-liked Marty is in the industry. From a VAR perspective, we all think very highly of Marty. I know a lot of owners in this industry, and the respect and admiration for Marty is universal. I would bet that companies like mine are going to be a lot more receptive to doing more business with D&H.”

Schwab said he sees the blockbuster hire as a sign of the distributor’s momentum with its built-for-growth strategy and the advantages that it provides partners and vendors as an employee-owned, privately held company, especially during turbulent economic times.

“This highlights that D&H is an attractive destination for people who want to work at an employee-owned, privately held company that values its people, above all else, and takes a long-term view,” he said. “We already feel that we have the best team in the industry. This just adds another great piece to the puzzle to help us win in the market.”

Bauerlein, for his part, called joining D&H the “most exciting moment” of his career. “I’m excited to contribute to the winning culture, raising the bar with customers and vendors,” he said. “I have never been more excited to compete and win with the D&H team. The D&H co-owners are winners. That’s no joke. They want to win. And that’s who I want to be associated with.”

Steven Burke

Steve Burke has been reporting on the technology industry and sales channel for over 30 years. He is passionate about the role of partners using technology to solve business problems and has spoken at conferences on channel sales issues. He can be reached at sburke@thechannelcompany.com.

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