Keith Karlsen

Free! 1 hour

19+ years of C-level experience in sales, marketing, business development, and strategy, and as EVP ran a P&L of $300M.


Keith Karlsen

Keith Karlsen has significant C-level expertise in sales, marketing, business development and strategy. During his more than 19 years as a senior executive, as an EVP he ran a P&L of more than $300 million.

Karlsen leads consulting engagements that leverage his broad functional background extending from product development and management to marketing, sales and sales management to general/executive management.

Much of Karlsen’s consulting focuses on strategy, business planning, market analysis and development, go-to-market plans, channel development, business analysis and due diligence. He also provides senior executive coaching in his areas of expertise.

Known for his business acumen and P&L management, Karlsen employs an inspirational leadership style. He is passionate about helping SOLIDleaders’ clients enhance incremental revenue and growth via aggressive development of new markets, channels, products, customers and partnerships. Karlsen is drawn to active involvement in an organization’s design and implementation of its overall strategy and direction, as well as its execution and implementation.

Karlsen is able to drive results by being adept at strategic negotiations and leveraging internal and external organizations. He combines these skill sets with market savvy and a strong business intuition to target organizational structuring in ways that accelerate growth and boost profitability. In recent years, Karlsen has created and managed new initiatives within existing companies that have produced double- and triple-digit revenue growth annually.

From 2002 to 2009, Karlsen was a senior executive at D-Link Systems. As EVP for North America, he oversaw an annual budget of more than $100 million and led a staff of more than 125. By developing new products, channels and markets, Karlsen drove D-Link’s strategy and successful execution into business markets, both SMB and enterprise, with more than 37 percent CAGR. He increased brand exposure and developed and expanded private label business. Total revenues across six channels exceeded $300 million, increasing 35 percent the first year and subsequently averaging 12 percent CAGR. Karlsen also started a sales organization in Mexico that grew revenues by more than 127 percent CAGR since its inception.

As D-Link’s SVP for Market Development, Karlsen built and directed two new divisions (OEM and broadband) and oversaw product management while maintaining responsibility for business development. He restructured both divisions and grew revenues by 45 percent and 37 percent CAGR, respectively. As VP of Business Development, Karlsen started a new business function and organization focusing on expanding U.S. business. He developed and managed key partnerships with suppliers in support of the emerging product strategy. Karlsen also negotiated key business agreements as product offerings expanded to take advantage of new market opportunities.

From 1998 to 2002, Karlsen served as Senior Director of Business Development and Strategy for Gateway. He created and managed a new business development and strategy team targeting emerging consumer and SMB markets by going “beyond the box.” As Director of Product Marketing, Karlsen was responsible for creating and managing a marketing team supporting a growing $4 billion product line. Key segments included SMB, education, and state and local governments, as well as enterprise accounts.

From late 1983 to 1998, Karlsen held several upper echelon marketing positions at NCR/AT&T. He began his career as a systems engineer in the Financial Services Division of EDS.

Karlsen holds an MBA from the University of Dayton and a BA in Economics from Wheaton College. He has completed additional masters-level management courses at the University of South Carolina, Pepperdine University, Northwestern University and Cranfield University in Birmingham, England.