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The 25 Most Influential Executives Of 2010 | Nov 22, 2010

CRN’s annual ranking of IT’s 25 most influential executives includes the leaders who have had the greatest impact on the IT channel and the solution provider business in the last year. Here’s a look at who made the cut in part 1 of our Top 100 Executives Of 2010.

1. Paul Maritz, President and CEO, VMware

No one — and we do mean no one — has powered more high-margin sales and profits for partners this year. Think about this: VMware virtual machines now outnumber physical servers. Virtual deployments are expected to be up 28 percent this year. VMware, meanwhile, is posting sales gains at a 40 percent-plus clip. This year, Maritz and company delivered more product innovation than some companies do in a lifetime, giving VMware market leadership in the cloud market. Maritz has the technical chops to know where the market is going and he isn’t afraid to make the necessary big bets.

2. Paul Otellini, President and CEO, Intel

He has done the near impossible: making the chip giant that dominated the PC market relevant in a world of smartphones and cloud computing. That’s what his $7.68 billion McAfee buy is all about.

3. Leo Apotheker, President and CEO, Hewlett-Packard

He’s already reaching out to partners and has big plans to make the $125 billion company a software power. Look for him to bring enterprise-software focused partners into the HP channel fold.