Category: Moving People

Best Buy to sell European op to Carphone Warehouse

best-buy-carphoneBest Buy has decided to unload its 50 percent share in Best Buy Europe to its joint venture partner Carphone Warehouse in a deal valued at £500 million.

Under the terms of the agreement, Best Buy will receive £420 million in cash and £80 million in Carphone Warehouse stock, subject to a 12-month lock-up restriction. Best Buy also agreed to pay Carphone Warehouse £29 million to settle obligations stemming from existing agreements, some of which will be terminated when the outfits close the deal.

The transaction has already been approved by the boards of both companies and it should be finalized by June 2013.

“After reviewing the business and spending time with our partners, we concluded that the timing and economics were right to enter into this agreement with CPW,” said Hubert Joly, president and chief executive officer of Best Buy.

Joly went on to say that the transaction will allow Best Buy to simplify its business, improve its return on invested capital and strengthen its balance sheet.

“Each international market is different and the sale of our European operations should not suggest any similar action in our other international businesses,” said Joly.

The joint venture was launched in 2008, with Best Buy paying $2.15 billion for its share of Best Buy Europe.

Ingram Micro names new finance VP

IMIngram Micro has appointed Gina Mastantuono as executive vice president of finance.

Mastantuono will now be responsible for the company’s financial planning, analysis, controllership, SEC reporting, treasury and tax and will report directly to Bill Humes , chief operating and financial officer at Ingram Micro.

Prior to joining Ingram Micro, Mastantuono was at Revlon for six years, serving most recently as senior vice president, chief accounting officer, controller and international chief financial officer.

Before Revlon, she held various finance executive roles, including four years with InterActive and four years with Triarc Companies,

She is also a Certified Public Accountant and has 21 years of finance experience.

Mastantuono attended the State University of New York, where she earned a bachelor’s of science degree in accounting and business administration.

Brother UK gets new MD

Phil Jones with PrinterPhil Jones has been named as the managing director of Brother UK.

The announcement follows Mr Jones’ promotion in March 2012 to deputy MD, a role that saw him take responsibility for the company’s 180-strong workforce and £100 million of sales.

Jones has worked his way up through the company, originally joining as a fax machine salesman in 1995,  later becoming sales & marketing director.

Commenting on the appointment, Mr Jones said he was “thrilled” to be given the responsibility to lead Brother in the UK as MD.

“Having joined the business back in the early 1990s with little leadership or business management experience, my journey really underlines Brother’s commitment to investing in people and backing talent – a culture that I’m determined to continue building during my tenure,” he added.

Mr Jones, 45, lives in Warrington with his wife and two teenage children. He is a regular speaker and blogger on leadership, innovation and personal growth and a keen road cyclist, it is claimed.

Microsoft shakes up UK Channel management

msMicrosoft has confirmed that it has made changes to its UK channel senior management team.

The company released a statement late yesterday afternoon following rumours of the shake up, confirming that Clare Barclay, had been promoted from her current position as Senior Director of SMB to General Manager of SMS&P Small, Medium Solutions and Partner Group).

Barclay, who in February told ChannelEye that Microsoft’s resellers where embracing the cloud, replaces Barry Ridgway who has accepted a new role as the SMSG (Sales, Marketing, Services Group) Vice-President for Microsoft in Latin America.

Clare joined Microsoft in 1998 as a Marketing Manager in SMS&P, having come directly from the Channel. She then progressed to roles within Partner Sales, prior to broadening her career in Services and EMEA.

She said in a statement she was “thrilled to be given the opportunity to lead the SMS&P business and work more closely with Partners and Customers”.

However, it’s not good news for all Microsoft’s employees. Yesterday one of the company’s creative directors at Xbox resigned following a Twitter mishap

Adam Orth, who had worked at the company since February last year, was forced to voluntarily resign after Game Informer shared a rumour that the next Xbox would require an active internet connection at all times, last week.

Orth then followed up the article making some very open comments on the matter on Twitter.

His comments seemed to have upset head honchos at the company, which, according to Game Informer, read him his rights before forcing him out.

Avnet says bye to Magirus man

avnettsAvnet has waved goodbye to Fabian von Kuenheim.

The CEO of Magirus, which was acquired by the distie in October last year, is said to be moving on to pursue “new entrepreneurial challenges”.

Avnet said in a statement that von Kuenheim had played a key role in the initial integration of Magirus into the company. It added that he would continue to provide advisory support to Avnet for a transitional period until September 2013.

Graeme Watt, president of Avnet Technology Solutions, EMEA said the Magirus integration was going to plan and the company was “making good progress” on realising the short- and long-term goals it had set out to bring together the two companies.

He said he was grateful to the work von Kuenheim had done to help with this.

von Kuenheim, who has been with Magirus for 25 years, thanked his staff and said he was proud of what the company had achieved.

Acronis makes Craig Dynes the head beancounter

AcAcronis has taken on Craig Dynes as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
Dynes will join the data company from his previous role as CFO and SVP of Pegasystems, bringing 30 years of experience to his new role.

Dynes will be responsible for directing Acronis’ long-term strategic growth investments and providing global leadership for financial planning, administrative and business planning, accounting and budgeting requirements.

Acronis said that Dynes’ “extensive background in all aspects of finance”, including treasury, strategic planning, acquisitions and business model transformation made “him a key member of the senior management team”.

Dynes joined Pegasystems in 2006. From 2004 to 2006, he served as CFO of Demandware, at that time a venture-backed enterprise software firm. Prior to that he served as President and CEO of Narad Networks, a manufacturer of equipment for the cable television industry from 2003 to 2004.

From 1997 to 2002, Dynes served as CFO of SilverStream Software, an application development software company. He is also claimed to have held senior financial positions at Sybase and Powersoft.

Intel UK country manager off to pastures new

Graham Palmer, IntelA long standing senior executive at Intel UK is being promoted soon.

Graham Palmer, country manager of Intel UK, will become the country manager of Intel Canada, according to reliable sources.

Palmer has risen in the ranks at Intel over the 24 years or so he has worked at the chip giant. Known to practically everybody in the UK IT industry, he has held the post of country manager here for several years now.

At press time, Intel could not be contacted. A new UK country manager is expected to be appointed in the next week or two.

 

 

Brother briefs channel man to boost relationships

Brother UK's Michael AndersonMichael Anderson has been appointed market development manager at Brother UK, with a brief to push its reseller sales.

Brother said that it has a strong product pipeline set up for 2013, and wants to capitalise on sales opportunities. Anderson’s brief is to support its reseller community.

Anderson has been promoted from inside Brother UK – he has worked there for three years, and will look after the development of its channel push, its marketing strategies and customer sales initiatives.

He said: “Brother has strong and successful partnerships with resellers and we plan… investment to these relationships over the next 12 months.”

He will report to Brother UK marketing head James Lawton-Hill.  Brother UK has 79 percent of the A3 inkjet market in the UK.

PEER 1 Hosting makes King a Channel chieftain

PeerPEER 1 Hosting has appointed Mark King its EMEA Channel Executive.

The global IT hosting provider has said that Mark will lead the EMEA channel programme, with his efforts focused on nurturing PEER 1 Hosting’s existing partnerships as well as bringing on board new partners who can join in building on its rapid growth.

Mark worked with  companies like Avnet in the IBM Business Unit. He says he is now keen to “drive dialogue between PEER 1 Hosting partners to ignite collaboration and enable them to develop intrinsic skills to advise, build, sell and integrate solutions together”,

The appointment follows a recent announcement by PEER1 Hosting, which has
expanded its strategic alliance programme. It claims that its partners who consult, build and deliver business critical services to medium and large organisations are vital to PEER 1 Hosting.

SAS appoints new business development director

DaveSAS Global Communications has appointed Dave Everest as its new business development director.

The provider of managed network and professional services has said Everest will be responsible for driving  new revenue growth across the UK via partner and direct channels.

He will be reporting to director of sales Mike Stichbury, and will be based in the north of England.

Everest climbs into SAS from managed services provider Calyx, where he held a number of senior sales and business development director roles over a four year period. He is claimed to  have an extensive sales experience in IT services, networking and telecoms, having spent more than 16 years working with major organisations, including PSINet, Cable and Wireless, Network Partners and MXC.

His appointment comes as part of a new SAS strategy with plans to enhance the company’s  managed services portfolio to become an £21 million business in the next three years.

Infoblox appoints Henk Jan Spanjaard as EMEA veep

Hands across the waterInfoblox has appointed Henk Jan Spanjaard as Vice President of Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

The immediate appointment means that Spanjaard will be responsible for leading the automated network control company’s  EMEA team in helping enterprises and channel partners prepare for the networking needs of the future.

In the second quarter of Infoblox’s fiscal year, EMEA revenue increased 35 percent year-on-year.  The company recently opened new offices in Russia, Turkey and the UAE. Last month, it also launched a suite of new products that it claimed handed customers greater control of their corporate IT networks with increased security and availability.

Infoblox said it was fortunate to have Henk on board and would put him to work
“educating the market on how Infoblox can help organisations better manage the demands put on their networks”.

He will also be tasked with promoting the value of the Infoblox suite of automated network control services to prospective and existing customers, as well as the Infoblox pan-European channel.

Spanjaard,is multilingual and has experience in network storage, network management and security market segments. He has held senior managerial positions in the EMEA networking industry for 20 years, including with vendors like NetApp, Mu Dynamics and Imperva.

Avnet makes Erin Lewin its chief pleader

Erin LewenAvnet has named Erin Lewin as its new senior vice president and general counsel.

Lewin, who has been praised by the company as “demonstrating her ability to effectively guide a global team,” will report to Avnet Chief Executive Officer Rick Hamada and serve as a member of the Avnet Executive Board and Global Executive Council.

She is responsible for leading Avnet’s global legal team and providing advice and guidance to the company’s business leaders.

Lewin first joined the distie in 2007 and, before her promotion, served as vice president and general counsel, Americas,  where she gave legal advice and the rest to Avnet’s businesses in the Americas.

Before this she was Avnet’s chief ethics and compliance officer for two years, overseeing all aspects of Avnet’s ethics and compliance program globally. Avnet did not give a general description of its ethics at press time.

Lewin said she looked forward to contributing to the success of the comoany’s individual team members and the organisation as a whole.

She succeeds David Birk, who retired after serving as Avnet’s top lawyer since 1989.

HMV to shut 66 retail shops across Britain

hmv-administrationHMV’s administrators announced Thursday that 66 retail stores across Britain will close their doors over the next two months.

HMV, which entered administration in January, currently operates 220 stores in the UK. Deloitte said the affected stores employ 930 staff, but no fixed date has been set for their closure yet.

Staff quickly took to Twitter, talking about redundancies made across HMV offices and distribution centres.

Deloitte, HMV’s administrator, is in talks with restructuring specialist Hilco about a possible takeover of HMV. Hilco is said to be in talks with suppliers and HMV’s landlords, as part of an effort to save about half of the shops in the UK, Express reports.

“This step has been taken in order to enhance the prospects of securing the business’ future as a going concern,” Nick Edwards, joint administrator at Deloitte, said. “We continue to receive strong support from staff and are extremely grateful to them for their commitment during an understandably difficult period.”

HMV became a hugely profitable enterprise following the introduction of CDs and cheap video tech in the eighties. It quickly expanded around the world, opening shops in North America and on the continent. Its retail operation peaked in the naughties, with 325 shops up and running. However, HMV failed to recognise the threat posed by online distribution to its traditional retail approach and by the late 2000s it was in more trouble than it could handle.

HMV is not the first retail outfit to face collapse due to online competition. Camera chain Jessops and DVD rental business Blockbuster were forced to close last month.

The HMV stores set to close over the next two months are:

England: Ashton-under-Lyne, Barnsley, Bayswater, Bexleyheath, Birkenhead, Birmingham Fort, Blackburn, Boston, Bournemouth Castlepoint, Bracknell, Burton-upon-Trent, Camberley, Chesterfield, Croydon Centrale, Durham, Fulham, Huddersfield, Leamington Spa, Leeds White Rose, Loughborough, Luton, Manchester 90, Moorgate, Orpington, Rochdale, Scunthorpe, South Shields, Speke Park, St Albans, St Helens, Stockton-on-Tees, Tamworth, Teesside, Telford, Trocadero, Wakefield, Walsall, Walton-on-Thames, Wandsworth, Warrington, Watford, Wellingborough, Wigan, Wood Green, Workington

Scotland: Dumfries, Edinburgh Fort, Edinburgh Gyle Centre, Edinburgh Ocean, Edinburgh Princes Street, Edinburgh St James, Falkirk, Glasgow – Fort, Glasgow – Silverburn, Glasgow Braehead, Kirkcaldy

Northern Ireland: Ballymena, Belfast Boucher Road, Belfast Forestside, Coleraine, Craigavon, Derry, Lisburn, Newry, Newtownabbey

Wales: Wrexham

Alcatel – Lucent CEO steps down following $1.85bn loss

alcatel-lucentThe chief executive of struggling telecom equipment maker Alcatel – Lucent is leaving the company. Ben Verwaayen took the helm four years ago and tried to return the outfit to profit. He failed.

Alcatel – Lucent posted a $1.85 billion loss for 2012, compared to a $1.49 billion gain in 2011, so Verwaayen’s departure should come as no surprise.  Verwaayen announced his decision to step down in a statement Thursday, saying that now is the appropriate moment for Alcatel – Lucent to seek new leadership.

“Alcatel-Lucent has been an enormous part of my life. It was therefore a difficult decision to not seek a further term, but it was clear to me that now is an appropriate moment for the Board to seek fresh leadership to take the company forward,” said Verwaayen.

Philippe Camus, Chairman of the Alcatel-Lucent Board, said: “After due reflection, the Board has accepted Ben’s decision to step down as CEO.” Camus went on to thank Verwaayen for his efforts to stabilise the company over the past four years.

It remains unclear who will replace Verwaayen and he is likely to stay on until a successor is found. The company said it would consider in-house candidates as well as candidates from outside the company.

Although Verwaayen did not manage to turn things around, he can hardly be blamed for Alcatel – Lucent’s woes. The company was created following a $11.6 merger of Lucent Technologies and Alcatel in 2006. It has been downhill ever since. Verwaayen, the former head of the  BT Group, joined the company in 2008, after the previous American-led management was ousted.

Alcatel – Lucent has been trying to restructure and reposition itself in the telecom infrastructure market, but so far it did not have much luck competing against the likes of Ericsson and Huawei.

Google buys Channel Intelligence for $125 million

google-ICGoogle is continuously trying to improve its e-commerce business and its latest acquisition should give it a nudge in the right direction. The search giant bought e-commerce solution provider Channel Intelligence for $125 million in an all-cash deal.

Channel Intelligence is active in 31 countries and it offers a wide range of e-commerce services.

The company has been a partner of Google Shopping for years and the two outfits worked together on Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) and Product Listing Ads (PLA) products. In addition, Channel Intelligence offers a range of free services, including Facebook integration and product search widgets and an e-commerce back end, dubbed Shopping Engine.

Channel Intelligence announced the deal on its website, adding that all of its services will be available for years to come. The company has been around since 1999 and it tracks about 15 percent of all online transactions in the US. It is behind $2 billion in sales through referrals every year.

ICG group announced Wednesday that the transaction should be finalized in the first quarter of 2013. ICG is expected to realize $60.5 million in connection with the transaction.

“Building upon the perseverance and strong foundation laid by CI’s founder Rob Wight, I am extremely proud of the work we accomplished at CI,” said Doug Alexander, CEO of CI and President of ICG. “With the talent and hard work of the entire CI team, we successfully navigated a very complex marketplace, ending a record year that culminated in this very exciting acquisition.”

Wright said he is thrilled to see the recognition of CI’s value. He said the company’s vision was to simplify the online shopping experience and that he is very proud to see the vision executed to such a “great outcome.”