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Nick Verykios sets Arrow exit date

Nick Verykios sets Arrow exit date

New leadership team in place as channel veteran prepares to depart

Nick Verykios

Nick Verykios

Credit: Arrow ECS ANZ

Nick Verykios will vacate his role as managing director of Arrow ECS ANZ on 30 June, following more than 15 years running the distributor.

ARN can reveal that a new leadership team will assume control of the business, forming part of a "lengthy, deliberate and considered" succession plan locally.

Specifically, Andrew Assad has been promoted to general manager; Andrew Vaughan is now finance and operations director and Lisa Stockwell assumes the position of vendor alliance director.

“After more than 15 years of leading a high-growth and award-winning business I’m ready to take a well-earned break,” Verykios said. “My leadership team is intact and well-prepared - in fact they’ve been ready for a long time, and now the time is right for me and the team.

“One of the key reasons for our success is that we invest in the careers and success of our people with a coaching and mentoring culture that has launched and accelerated the careers of many in our business and our industry.

“This will not change. Arrow’s legendary service delivery will continue to be a differentiator for our partners and our vendors.”

In preparing to exit Arrow ECS ANZ, Verykios - inducted into the ARN Hall of Fame in 2012 - is calling time on a 15-year career with the distributor, having co-founded then Distribution Central in 2004.

Built from the ground up, Verykios - in partnership with fellow co-founder Scott Frew - transformed a business turning over $1.6 million during the first 12 months, into a distribution leader with revenues now in excess of $600 million.

Recognised in the BRW Fast 100 on five occasions, Distribution Central aligned to the go-to-market strategy of ‘Land, Expand, Extend, Protect’, forming a distributor centred around value-add, rather than volume.

“In looking back, talent development is what I’m most proud of,” said Verykios, when speaking to ARN. “This has been our most significant achievement. My team has taught me as much as I’ve taught my team, we’ve grown together.”

Drawing on more than 30 years of industry expertise, the serial entrepreneur has held multiple channel roles, spanning marketing, product development, sales and executive management.

In 1994, Verykios founded IT distributor 1World Systems, then co-directing LAN Systems before its subsequent sale to Westcon Group - now Westcon-Comstor - in 2000.

As part of the transaction, Verykios was appointed to the board of directors, holding the position of group general manager and managing director until 2004, before co-founding Distribution Central.

“The real highlights have been around getting people to go so far beyond their comfort zone and create innovation that allowed them to achieve those outcomes,” Verykios added. “We’ve enjoyed significant vendor wins and huge market share gains, and this is down to our innovation culture.”

In March 2016, Arrow Electronics acquired Distribution Central, in a strategic move designed to bolster the distributor's Australian market share, before completing the integration process six months later.

“I’ve done this before so I know what works and what doesn’t from an integration perspective," Verykios added. “There has been a succession plan in which we’ve been clearly working towards something.

“When acquisitions haven’t worked in the past is when founders leave immediately because there’s not a plan. I will have spent the best part of three and a half years with Arrow, selling my business to them and then driving the next phase of growth.”

In looking back on the acquisition, Verykios said the added weight of Arrow as a global distributor has been central to the success of the business during the post-acquisition period.

“Having a global distributor behind us has been crucial,” he acknowledged. “At Distribution Central we certainly punched above our weight but that wasn’t going to last forever, we required the resources from a global distributor to be able to stay relevant to our vendors and partners.

“Arrow’s blessing to allow us to continue with our own strategy and supporting this has been a huge positive. We have a great team of people and this new executive leadership team has been running the business for the best part of two years so this will be a case of business as usual."

New-look leadership

In his new role, Assad - who has been leading sales at the distributor for the past 10 years - is responsible for customer success, spanning internal and outbound sales, engineering, vendor management and marketing.

Meanwhile, Vaughan - who has been finance director at Arrow in Australia and New Zealand since 2008 - has expanded his role to include operations, covering sales order administration, logistics and IT as finance and operations director.

Rounding off the new promotions is Stockwell, who is tasked with new vendor acquisition and driving Arrow’s Internet of Things (IoT) strategy locally.

Leveraging more than 20 years industry experience, Stockwell will also lead a team of vendor managers responsible for implementing vendor strategies to drive growth and business development.

“Our A/NZ leadership team comprises nine seasoned professionals most of whom have been working together at Arrow for more than a decade,” said Howard Goldberg, senior vice president of global marketing and business development for enterprise computing solutions business at Arrow. “Arrow in A/NZ will continue to drive success and growth this year with this leadership team at its helm.”

In looking ahead, and in a direct message to vendors and partners, Goldberg said the business will continue to “execute, differentiate and lead” within the channel on both sides of the Tasman.

“This is a vibrant local channel,” he observed. “In terms of our new leadership team and our promotions, that decision making process took about ten seconds, it was an obvious choice from our perspective.”


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