'I'm a beekeeper, famed for my honey': The unusual hobbies and claims to fame of 34 UK vendor leaders

Vendor leaders including Microsoft's Orla McGrath and Dell's Rob Tomlin reveal something most people won't know about them

Doug Woodburn
clock • 1 min read
'I'm a beekeeper, famed for my honey': The unusual hobbies and claims to fame of 34 UK vendor leaders

By day, they lead the UK partner strategies of the world's largest IT vendors.

But outside of work, the 34 UK channel leaders featured in CRN's inaugural Vendor Power list have an impressive array of hobbies, talents and claims to fame, from beekeeping and hip hop DJing to Championship football refereeing.

As part of their Q&As, we asked each vendor boss to tell us something about themselves that most people wouldn't know.

Many opened up on their former athletic and sporting glories, with one revealing that he nearly cracked the 4-minute mile as a student athlete. Another once completed five back-to-back marathons in the Sahara Desert, while a third played for and captained England in hockey in his youth (despite being Scottish).

Other vendor bosses told of brushes with fame, with one appearing on 1980s soap opera Crossroads and another picked as one of the faces of a print-based marketing campaign for Center Parcs.

"Val Kilmer from Top Gun enjoyed a barbecue at my house in Woburn some 12 years ago," another divulged.

Several used the question as an opportunity to open up on their previous careers, with two (here and here) revealing they started off their working life as chefs for sporting events. One spent most of his working life with the Royal Air Force, while another successfully ran a motorbike track day company before it was wiped out by the 2008 financial crash.

Unusual hobbies were another talking point, with one vendor leader revealing they have officiated matches in the Championship, one their passion for collecting hip hop/rap vinyl records and one qualifying as a pilot in their 20s. Another budding beekeeper said they are "well-known" within their company for their honey-making skills.

Who made the CRN Vendor Power list?

View all 34 vendor leader Q&As here.

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