Distributor Exertis has appointed Phil Brown to lead the commercial business units and IT reseller base for B2B and VAD solutions.
The official title on his business card is sales and commercial director for IT but he has a pretty wide ranging brief. Apparently Exertis wants to expand its company’s partners by aligning the sales and commercial units more closely.
Brown was previously B2B sales director which saw him look after the core IT and specialist sales teams, reseller partners and B2B vendors. Before this, he was commercial and marketing director at Exertis.
In a statement Brown said: “This position will enable me to help develop the Exertis proposition and ensure that all our partners have access to a wealth of great technologies, solutions and services we offer. I can’t wait to get started.”
Exertis UK’s managing director, Paul Bryan, added: “Phil has already demonstrated his skills and attributes in the course of his previous roles with us and I am confident he will build on this in his new role. This is an important next step in our evolution as we enhance our focus in the market.”
Exertis recently announced that is it has realigned the structure of its networking team ahead of the market trends it expects to unfold in 2016.
The Marlow-based software reseller Softcat has listed in a deal that valued the business at £472.3 million.
Softcat valued its shares at 240p, and they climbed as high as 270p in early trading. It said the IPO allowed its founders to sell down their stakes and the group would receive no proceeds from the flotation.
Founder Peter Kelly set up the firm in 1993 and has described himself as a “weird and eccentric entrepreneur.” He sold just over a third of his stake, raising an estimated £88m. He retains a holding of around 33 percent, which is worth around £150 million.
Kelly ran the company until 2006 and was its chairman until three years ago, owning around half the equity before the listing.
Martin Hellawell, chief executive, owned 12 percent of the business, valued at £56 million. He sold a third of his holding.
The float also created a number of paper millionaires among its employees. Staff, excluding founders, own some 24 percent of the company.
Kelly hitchhiked around the world before joining Xerox sales in 1981. His past ventures include founding a recruitment firm, and he launched an Apple dealership in 1988 before going on to found Softcat in 1993.
Started as a mail-order software firm, it has grown to become a major reseller to Microsoft and other large providers, as well as providing data centres for small businesses across the UK.
The group’s sales last year rose 18 pe cent to £596m with profits of £40.6 million. Hellawell said in a statement: “We are delighted with the outcome of the IPO process thus far and now look forward to fully focusing on the running and future development of our business.”
Vin Murria joined the board. She is one of the UK’s longest-standing female IT entrepreneurs, she ran Advanced Computer Software until it was taken over by US private equity group Vista Partners last year in a £725 million deal.
AMD has announced that its Corporate Vice President Worldwide Component Channel Darren Grasby, 45, has been appointed to the newly-created position of president of AMD EMEA .
Lisa Su, president and chief executive officer at AMD said that EMEA was a “key region” with a broad set of important customers, partners and markets for AMD.
She said that Grasby was a proven leader who is ideally suited to drive deeper customer, partner, and stakeholder relationships across EMEA as a part of helping AMD accomplish our long-term business goals
“Over the past eight years Darren has proven to be an effective and results-driven leader. This new role will allow him to broaden his influence and reach in supporting AMD’s customers, partners and employees while also promoting and enhancing our regional reputation and prominence as an innovative technology pioneer.”
Grasby said: “I am honored to take on this role, particularly as it allows me to promote AMD’s technology leadership and highlight the innovation that is central to AMD’s business philosophy across a broad geographic region. At its core, AMD is focused on building great products to the benefit of our partners and customers. EMEA is widely renowned as a stronghold of opportunity and I’m excited to expand our pipeline for success across the region.”
One of the founders of 1990’s giants Gateway Computer has died.
In 1985, Mike Hammond, 53, met fellow co-founder Ted Waitt when they worked for a Des Moines computer and software seller.
The pair created a computer company. They set up in a vacant space on the Waitt family cattle farm thanks to $10,000 in collateral put up by Waitt’s grandmother.
Waitt once told Business Week magazine that because of a non-compete clause with their previous employer he and Hammond operated under the fake names “Max Wheeler” and “Ed Zimmerman” when setting up “Gateway 2-Thousand.”
Originally called Gateway 2000, it was one of the first widely successful direct-sales PC companies, which it copied from Dell. It emphasised its Iowa roots with low-tech advertisements proclaiming “Computers from Iowa?” The computers were built from Texas instrument parts. Gateway built brand recognition in part by shipping computers in spotted boxes patterned after Holstein cow markings.
In 1989, Gateway moved its corporate offices and production facilities to North Sioux City, South Dakota. In line with the Holstein cow mascot, Gateway opened a chain of farm-styled retail stores called Gateway Country Stores, mostly in suburban areas across the United States. It dropped the “2000” from its name on October 31, 1998
Hammond served in various capacities for the company that eventually grew to more than 24,000 employees across the globe. However more people entered the market and profit margins shrank. The company tried to expand into consumer electronics and opened retail stores, but didn’t succeed.
In October 2007, the company was flogged off to Acer for US$710 million. J. T. Wang, the company’s chairman, said in a statement that the acquisition “completes Acer’s global footprint, by strengthening our US presence.”
Hammond when on to set up Dakota Muscle to restore and repair classic cars.
Redcentric has announced chief operating officer Fraser Fisher has been appointed as the companies CEO replacing Tony Weaver who will be a non-executive director.
Weaver has been the CEO of Redcentric since 2013 when it was created by combining parts of Redstone and Maxima. Fisher gets the keys to the executive drinks cabinet in November.
Coincidentally this is when the outfit is expected to announce its results. However it does not appear that these will be bad.
Chris Cole, chairman of Redcentric, said he was happy with the company’s position.
“Redcentric is trading strongly,” he said. “The high level of recurring revenue, increasing traction in the £1m-plus contract market, and the successful integration of Calyx all combine to give the board confidence in the company’s prospects.
Fisher previously worked with Weaver at Redstone, where he was managing director, before the Redcentric demerger.
In April Redcentric acquired Calyx MS from MXC Capital for £12m and the firm said the integration “has progressed to plan”.
“The financial benefits of the acquisition will be felt in full in the second half of the year,” a statement said.
“I will be delighted to welcome Fisher as our new CEO. Fraser has a wealth of operational experience and has already made a significant contribution to the business.
AMD has formed a new business group dedicated to the company’s graphics chip business.
Raja Koduri will head the new Radeon Technologies group as its senior vice president and chief architect. Koduri will report to AMD president and CEO Lisa Su and assume responsibility for all aspects of AMD’s graphics technologies, the company said.
Su said through a statement that the company was creating the new business group to put in a place “a more agile, vertically-integrated graphics organization focused on solidifying our position as the graphics industry leader” and recapturing market share across graphics markets while going after new markets such as virtual and augmented reality.
In July, rumours swirled that AMD was considering the spinoff of its graphics chip business. AMD issued a denial after the Reuters news service reported that AMD was at the initial stage of reviewing whether to split up the company and had engaged a consulting firm to help it review such options.
Koduri, a 20-year industry vet, was most recently responsible for driving AMD’s visual and accelerated computing technology, including the development of the industry’s first graphics chip with integrated high-bandwidth memory. He has also been responsible for leading AMD’s LiquidVR virtual reality initiative.
Koduri joined AMD from Apple, where he was director of graphics architecture. Prior to joining Apple, Koduri served in graphics leadership roles at AMD and ATI.
“AMD is one of the few companies with the engineering talent and IP to make emerging immersive computing opportunities a reality. Now, with the Radeon Technologies group, we have a dedicated team focused on growing our business as we create a unique environment for the best and brightest minds in graphics to be a part of the team re-defining the industry,” he said in a statement.
Koduri, Burke and Chris Hook, director of global marketing for computing and graphics, would provide strong leadership for the new group.
Cisco is making changes to its UK channel infrastructure and bringing all its partner teams together.
Writing in his bog, managing director of commercial & partner sales in the UK, Richard Roberts, said the changes were part of the rapidly evolving marketplace.
“All elements of our Partner team will be brought together in one organisation to drive synergies and focus, The Commercial team will also be consolidated into a single, focused, centre of sales excellence.”
Angela Whitty is taking over the UK Partner organisation. She has been working with Cisco’s UK&I Services business for almost two decades.
The current director of UKI partner and commercial sales, Sean Collins, has joined Roberts’ team to focus only on UK commercial customers.
“Sean’s team will be totally focused upon further quickening our growth in this critical market alongside our Partners,” he wrote.
Adam Grennan the country leader for Ireland, will be brought into the UK fold.
Cisco has been cutting staff. More than 400 employees from its Nexus 7000 data centre have gone and there are rumours that half the staff at Ubiquisys may be axed, and there are now rumours the Intucell acquisition may be facing an uncertain future
Troubled smartphone maker BlackBerry has named former Cisco Kid Carl Wiese as head of global sales – a move which is expected to shake-up the company’s channel.
Wiese has spent the past 12 years at Cisco, first heading advanced technology sales and later its collaboration-product sales efforts. Those teams focus on aspects such as security and web conferencing, areas that BlackBerry is trying to expand within.
Wiese, who has previously worked with Apple, Avaya, Lucent and Texas Instruments, will be responsible for driving its go-to-market strategy and global sales efforts.
BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen said in a statement said that Wiese had extensive experience in enterprise software and emerging technology solutions, which will be instrumental as BlackBerry moves toward stabilising revenue. Or in English, making money again.
The move comes less than three weeks after BlackBerry posted weaker-than-expected sales growth from its software business in the first quarter.
Chen, who set a software revenue target of $500 million for the current fiscal year, has built his turnaround plan around a software growth strategy, hoping sales from device-management software and fledgling areas like the Internet of
Things can replace BlackBerry’s traditional service fee structure and falling revenue from smartphone sales.
BlackBerry declined to comment on whether Wiese’s appointment, which followed his successor John Sims’ exit was tied to weaker-than-expected software revenue growth. But it is expected that he will look to the channel to improve the company’s bottom line.
BlackBerry is also widely expected to debut a new Android-based smartphone this year in an attempt to boost its hardware sales.
The dark satanic rumour mill has manufactured a hell on earth yarn that the high profile exit of Renee James, president of Intel and head of the software group was because of the silly McAfee deal.
When Chipzilla wrote a check for McAfee many people wondered why, and suspected it was about getting security onto the chip and other such plausible reasons. However since very little has emerged as a result of this deal, there were whispers that suggested that the whole McAfee thing was stupid.
Officially James is leaving to pursue an “external CEO role.” James will remain with the company until January to help out.
However that is not really how it works. Executives don’t announce what they are doing and they certainly don’t stay on if they are going to work for a rival.
Citibank research analyst Christopher Danely, James wasn’t doing all that well at her main job.
James was largely responsible for leading Intel’s $7.7 billion acquisition of McAfee in 2011, a merger that made absolutely no sense to anyone but a McAfee shareholder.
Intel’s software business had grown just 2.5 per cent in the last three years, Danely pointed out.
When Intel bought the McAfee business it generated 2010 revenue of $2.1 billion with operating margins of roughly 11 percent. McAfee revenues have remained roughly flat since the company was bought, while operating margins have declined to the mid-single digit range, Daneley said.
It is starting to look like James took the fall for the waste of money on McAfee and underperforming software group.
It is also possible that Intel will have to do something with its underperforming security arm. Last week it borged McAfee and stopped it being independent any more, as our sister publication TechEye faithfully reported.
Dell has appointed a vice president of sales strategy and operations – and it’s charismatic Scotsman, John Byrne, who has bagged the job.
John Byrne could well be described as an industry veteran and is well known to practically everyone in the UK channel business.
After a long stint at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), John decided to take some time off with his family.
But you can’t keep a John Byrne down for long, and he said: “Great to work at a company led by an industry legend like Michael Dell.”
ChannelEye sends our best wishes to him.
EMC has confirmed Kevin Sparks is to replace Russell Poole as director of alliances and channels for the UK and Ireland.
Poole has been doing rather well for himself climbing the greasy pole within EMC. He replaced Terry Beale as EMC’s head of channel just last August has been promoted to the position of senior director, enterprise sales for EMEA.
Sparks joined EMC five years ago and was most recently the vendor’s cloud and service provider sales manager. He has 22 years of experience in technology sales and marketing, including leadership roles at Ericsson and BT, before joining EMC.
He has to evolve EMC’s channel business in the UK&I which has been getting better of late and might be showing signs of opposable thumbs.
EMC has been trying to transform its relationships with the channel and distribution businesses over the last few years. Sparks’ will “work closely with the partner community to help them find additional value from their relationship with EMC” which we guess means a generous drinks cabinet for thirsty channel partners.
There was a time when putting the word Dell next to the word channel would produce sheer disbelief in a reader.
But those times are no more.
Today Dell said it has bolstered its channel team as well as announcing incentives and rebates for its channel partners.
The company said it has introduced a programme called “AllStars”, intended for its networking channel to do more business with the companies. Its partners get customer support and initiatives like training. The programme also gives premier and preferred partners in Europe access to C-level sales and marketing councils.
It also said that it has introduced the Vostro 15 3000 business networks aimed at SMEs and giving channel partners incentivies.
Dell has also appointed our old mate Sarah Shields as UK sales executive director and general manager for the UK. Sarah will look after a number of different routes to market.
Sarah said: “Our partners continue to pivotal… I look forward to continuing to build Dell’s offering to ensure that it meets the need of our partners across the UK.”
And Ralf Jordan has been appointed as executive director of EMEA broadline distribution.
The bloke who created an empire based on really expensive management software, which no one was quite sure what it did, has died.
Klaus Tschira, one of the co-founders of European software giant SAP, has died unexpectedly at the age of 74, his foundation said.
Tschira, a trained physicist, left IBM to found SAP in 1972 together with four IBM colleagues: Hasso Plattner, who is still the company’s chairman, Dietmar Hopp, Hans-Werner Hector and Claus Wellenreuther.
SAP began by developing software that could process data in real time rather than overnight in batches, and went public in 1988.
It is now Europe’s biggest technology company, with revenues of $18.9 billion and had more than 74,000 employees in 2014.
He also founded the Klaus Tschira Foundation (KTF) in 1995 as a non-profit organisation to support projects in natural and computer sciences and mathematics.
Tschira, a billionaire, stepped down from SAP’s supervisory board in 2007. He is survived by his wife Gerda Tschira and two sons.
Giant Korean company Samsung looks set to shuffle its leadership following a year which has seen its mobile fortunes dip.
The Wall Street Journal, quoting people “familiar with the matter” is tipping the toppling of mobile head JK Shin – he’s the co-CEO of a company that has made in its time everything from motor cars to aircraft jet engines.
And if Shin loses his job, it could be to another co-CEO, BK Yoon, a man in charge of its TV and washing machine businesses.
The job could however go to its third co-CEO, Kwon Oh-hyun. He’s a semiconductor man and also looks after Samsung’s display panels.
The reason why Samsung has this unusual triumvirate in place is because its chairman Lee Kun-hee had a heart attack this year and is out of play at the chaebol.
Samsung is under pressure from companies in China and in India that don’t have the large overhead it has in terms of manufacturing and headcount.
In the UK, heads have already rolled and the company is still looking to appoint a replacement after the last appointee only lasted a few months.
IBM has reshuffled its senior management in a bid to turn around the outfit’s flagging fortunes.
Martin Jetter, who was credited with fixing Biggish Blue’s Japanese operation has been shifted to senior vice president and head of its global technology services unit.
Jetter, who currently heads IBM’s operations in Japan, will initially report to Erich Clemanti and will succeed him as head of the services unit on January 1, when Clemanti will move to another unnamed senior leadership role.
IBM CEO Ginni Rometty said that Jetter was Big Blue’s Mr Fixit and led a remarkable transformation of IBM Japan, returning it to growth. Previously he did the same thing with IBM Germany and GBS in Europe. “In each case, he and his team have moved quickly to embrace new approaches and new thinking,” Rometty said.
IBM has been falling behind as it struggles to keep up with shifts in the industry as hardware becomes increasingly commoditized. Lately, the outfit which was once best known for mainframe computers, has been moving to higher-margin businesses such as security software and cloud services, but growth in those areas has failed to offset other company weaknesses.
Last month, IBM paid $1.5 billion to Globalfoundries to take its loss-making semiconductor unit off its hands.