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Dell welcomes former staffer Dagher as global channel chief

After a three-year spell running Cisco Canada, Rola Dagher returns to step into the shoes vacated by Joyce Mullen

Dell has revealed who will be stepping into Joyce Mullen’s shoes from early next month with an appointment designed to build on the momentum the firm has made in the channel over the past few years.

Rola Dagher rejoins Dell after a three-year spell as president of Cisco Canada and is returning to a business where she spent five years in senior roles in the enterprise and infrastructure group. Before that, a 13-year spell at Bell Canada gave Dagher a chance to get to know the channel and appreciate the benefits of working with partners.

Bill Scannell, president of global sales and customer operations at Dell Technologies, said that as soon as Mullen told him she wanted to leave, he drew up a list of internal and external candidates, but Dagher was already at the front of his mind.

“The first person I called was Rola,” he said. “Of all the candidates we looked at internally and externally, she was the strongest. She has lots of channel experience.”

At the same time as unveiling Dagher, Dell is also making some changes to its channel structure, choosing to align indirect sales to its North American and International sales leaders, John Byrne and Aongus Hegarty. The firm’s current president of the LATAM region, Diego Majdalani, will also get a chance to make a difference as its international channel lead.

Scannell said the reaction from the channel to these changes has been positive. “They said this is great, but why did it take you so long?” he said.

Dagher said her priority was to listen to partners and she would be introducing herself via digital formats to get to know the firm’s channel.

“I am extremely excited about this position and will be looking at taking it from good to great to excellent,” she said, adding that Mullen was leaving the firm with strong foundations in place and her task was to help support further growth in the channel.

“I grew up in the channel and the channel is our powerhouse,” said Dagher. “Partners are the foundations of our success. My objective is that we can always do better. Comfort and growth don’t coexist, so how can we stay uncomfortable?”

Dell has been supportive of partners throughout the coronavirus and is now looking to help them react to the emerging “new normal”.

Dagher added: “Today, more than ever, we have to lead with humanity and we have to be more understanding.”

Scannell said that from the very start of the pandemic, Dell’s leadership had been clear that they needed to help partners and customers.

“I told the team when Covid really started to hit that partners and customers will judge us in five to 10 years on how we deal with them today,” he said.

Despite the coronavirus, Dell’s channel sales were up by 6% for the three months ended 1 May, and both Scannell and Dagher were optimistic about the months ahead.

“We are seeing this huge flock to quality and seeing customers and partners want to do business with fewer strategic partners that are going to be there for the long road,” said Scannell.

“We are market leaders and the opportunity to win in a market that is consolidating is immense.”

Scannell added that partners were also recognising that the future was looking good: “They are bullish and we are bullish, and we are there to win.”

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