Lisa McLin and Michael Stephens Recognized as 2021 CRN Channel Chiefs
Two members of the Rackspace Technology team have again been named to the CRN® list of Channel Chiefs: Lisa McLin and Michael Stephens. The prestigious annual CRN Channel Chiefs list recognizes leading IT channel vendor executives who continually demonstrate outstanding leadership, influence, innovation and growth.
The 2021 Channel Chiefs are prominent leaders who have influenced the IT channel with cutting-edge strategies, programs and partnerships. All honorees are selected by CRN’s editorial staff based on their dedication, industry prestige and exceptional accomplishments as channel advocates.
Lisa McLin, Global Vice President of Alliances and Channel Chief, has received the honor four years in a row. She has worked at Rackspace Technology for over 18 years, rising through the ranks to her current leadership position. In her current role, she focuses on building strong relationships, go-to-market strategy and partner revenue across partner and alliance channels to make it easier for customers to do business with Rackspace Technology — while executing profitable revenue through the partner ecosystem.
Michael Stephens, Global Agent Channel Chief, has received the CRN Channel Chief recognition two years in a row. He oversees strategy, sales, operations and partner advocacy. Michael joined Rackspace Technology in September of 2016, after 21 years in various leadership roles at LCI International, Qwest and CenturyLink. In less than four years, he advanced in Rackspace Technology to his current position.
Regarding this year’s recognition, Lisa said: “I’m honored to be recognized as a CRN Channel Chief in 2021 alongside the other industry leaders. Being recognized by CRN is a great recognition of our partner program’s maturity and our commitment to our partnerships. The Rackspace Technology Global Partner Program focuses on our entire partner ecosystem to create a strong foundation for accelerated partnership success across Rackspace Technology multi-cloud solutions. Our mission is to embrace technology, empower our partners and customers, and meet future demands with the right solutions.”
Michael stated: “I count myself lucky to be among the CRN Channel Chiefs recognized this year. It’s humbling given the talent, programs and companies represented. I view this recognition as a reflection of a tremendous channel team at Rackspace Technology who is aligned with the world’s greatest channel community. Rackspace Technology continues to see strong growth with channel partners — and 2021 will be no different. Global expansion combined with our industry-leading solutions and expertise, and our world-class partner program will continue driving joint success in the marketplace.”
Together, Lisa and Michael and their teams achieved several significant partner program milestones in 2020, including those that required a rapid pivot to support new business demands created by the pandemic. Innovative new tactics included changing channel partner immersion and training sessions from in-person to virtual events, strengthening ecosystems by pulling in several alliance partners, creating new solutions that supported clients’ business needs, and expanding programs geographically into Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Asia Pacific (APAC) and Latin America Division (LAD).
“Our proactive response to the pandemic resulted in a healthy platform for virtual enablement, much more engaging events, higher partner participation and the discovery of new opportunities to work together,” said Lisa. “This has allowed our partners to sell more and earn more. As a result, we achieved mature global reach in 2020, and continued our year-over-year growth trajectory in partner relationships, sales and revenue in a very challenging year.”
“CRN’s 2021 Channel Chiefs list includes the industry’s biggest channel evangelists, a group of individuals who work tirelessly on behalf of their partners and drive growth through the development of strong partner programs and innovative business strategies that help bring business-critical solutions to market,” said Blaine Raddon, CEO of The Channel Company. “The Channel Company is proud to recognize these channel influencers and looks forward to following their continued success.”'