ONESOURCE has appointed former Fuji Xerox boss Evan Johnson as its new chief executive — a position left vacant since October when Elaine Ford resigned after a disagreement with owner Hanover Group.
Johnson, who will take up the Onesource helm on April 13, has been out of a job since 11 January, due to a restraint of trade agreement with Fuji Xerox.
Johnson’s start will coincide with probable changes to the distribution model of Onesource’s supplier KonicaMinolta; it is expected that a sole distributor will sell the separate Konica and Minolta brands under one label. At present Onesource has the Konica agency, while Tech Pacific and Konica Minolta New Zealand look after Minolta.
Onesource and channel players say the appointment of a “copier man” as its CEO is a signal that the company is getting back to its “knitting” — photocopiers through its Ubix division and phones via Cogent.
In contrast, Ford wanted Onesource to branch into managed PC services through partner Ipex (which has since been bought by Australia’s Volante).
New Fuji Xerox managing director Neil Whittaker says: “Onesource is trying to go back to their core business.”
Onesource chairman and acting CEO Kerry Finnigan says the company has focused on copiers and phone services ever since Ford left — but this does not mean the board will clip Johnson’s wings.
“Evan’s outlook is probably more aligned to the board’s view [than Ford’s] and we will give him as much freedom as he wishes.”
Finnigan says Johnson’s appointment is timely, given KonicaMinolta’s release of re-branded products in April. He would not be drawn on whether Onesource was likely to be appointed sole distributor of the merged range.
“I probably can’t comment on that but I’ll let you draw that conclusion,” Finnigan says. “We are in discussions with KonicaMinolta [and] there may be some changes.”
Johnson spent 12 years with Fuji Xerox in New Zealand, where he held various management positions, including finance director and general manager. He was managing director for the last six years. Johnson was unable to be contacted at the time of going to press.
Onesource is a subsidiary of the Hanover Group, which businessmen Eric Watson and Mark Hotchin own via their respective trusts.