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EXCLUSIVE: Avnet restructure triggers job cuts

EXCLUSIVE: Avnet restructure triggers job cuts

Avnet A/NZ merges seven business units into four after server and storage market decline

Avnet vice president and general manager A/NZ, Darren Adams.

Avnet vice president and general manager A/NZ, Darren Adams.

Avnet Technology Solutions has undertaken a major restructure of its operations in Australia, resulting in significant job cuts as the company reacts to a decline in server and storage sales.

A source told ARN about 20-30 jobs are to be cut in the process, which began the week before last, and was finalised by the end of that week.

However, Avnet vice president and general manager A/NZ, Darren Adams, would not confirm the number of people who would be affected by the restructure, but did confirm that it was happening.

Former Avnet sales director Chris Ford has already left the company to take up the role of general manager at the Frame Group.

Adams told ARN there was no pressure from overseas to restructure the business, but that it was driven solely by the A/NZ leadership team.

“This began for us fairly recently,” he said

“We did an off-site QBR (quarterly business review), we had some IDC data and we also had our own performance data.

“Taking all of that feedback we thought there was an opportunity for us to improve the way we did things and the leadership team came together in April preparing, and looking at what we could do better.”

Adams said all the data was telling them of a “considerable decline” around servers and storage.

“All the major suppliers were declining in 2013, and with our heavy focus on servers and storage that was definitely on our minds, we looked at our own internal profitability.”

The restructure will see seven business units reduced to four, and the sales teams will be hit hardest with job cuts.

The company has merged its sales and services units, and appointed Mark Johnston as the new sales and services director to lead this new unit.

“We have merged our field sales and our services units together because we see a lot of leverage from our services business around Cloud and integration,” he said.

“Going forward we want to invest more resources to drive increased penetration for our partner community.

“We want our partners to understand the difference to what we offer compared to Amazon and Azure.”

Adams would not be drawn on any further staff rationalisation and said it would be “impossible” for anyone to accurately speculate on the specific number of employees who would lose their jobs.

Read more: Microsoft buys Kiwi firm GreenButton

He said the were no plans at this time for further job cuts.

“It was a bottom-up restructure, but there were some parts of business that were touched more than others,” he said.

“There was some movement in the sales area, there was some movement at the leadership level. We also had some in various other groups leave as well, but nothing major.

"We decided to execute the restructure in May, to do it right, with integrity."

"I am really proud of the leadership team that helped execute the restructure.

He said some staff had also been redeployed in what was a realignment of staff and services.

“We are comfortable that what we have done is the right thing, and the employees that have left the business are very understanding.

“We added people in some areas and moved them from other areas.

"For us it was not about heads it was a about sales resources and services level.

"It was done with a lot of empathy for the individuals. It was done with the idea of really improving ourselves in the marketplace.

Adams confirmed multiple competing vendors would now be served by the same representatives in some cases, but said suppliers were overwhelmingly positive with regard to the new structure.

“We have a field account management sales force and an account manager,” he said.

“Their primary role is to drive a variety of the solutions into the partner community.

“We had that before the restructure and we have that after the restructure.

“Its business as usual with the exception that we are asking them to learn about our services business to help our partners become even more profitable as the market changes.”

The headline message for the reseller, according to Adams, was that Avnet had taken its feedback and was focused on helping to enable them in the “new world” of Cloud.

“My door is always open,” he said.

“Some of our larger partners, maybe they have got a new account manager, they might not know who’s who in the zoo, that is understandable.

"If there are issues we will deal with them as they come.

“It’s about servicing our customers better in this changing world.”

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