The three months ending 31 March might have ended up with the world in a state of lockdown thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, but that didn’t prevent a bunch of tech companies in the local market making some big appointments during the quarter.
Ingram Micro NZ, Plan B, Nextgen Distribution and HPE were among the organisations in the local market that saw changes at the top over the course of the period.
In that time, channel veterans such as former Ingram Micro NZ executive managing director and freshly-minted PB Tech CEO Gary Bigwood, HPE South Pacific’s new channel and alliances director Julie Barbieri and new Plan B director of operations Neville Pinto, among others, made moves across the industry.
At the very beginning of January, Ingram Micro NZ's executive managing director and leader of more than a decade, Gary Bigwood, announced he would leave the distribution giant at the end of January.
Bigwood, who had served Ingram Micro for a total of 23 years, indicated at the time that he would take up a new role with another significant, but at that time unnamed, player in the local IT sector.
Bigwood took on the leadership of the New Zealand business after Jay Miley was promoted to lead the A/NZ region in 2008.
“During his 23 years with Ingram, the last 11 as managing director, Gary has made so many contributions to the company and has helped establish and develop a winning organisation as evidenced by the Ingram Micro NZ team winning the Ingram Micro Global Performance Cup for two of the past three years," said Felix Wong, the-then A/NZ chief executive for Ingram Micro.
Jason Langley took over as managing director of New Zealand, heading the technology solutions and cloud business.
Langley came to the role as a 27-year technology industry veteran and has spent the past six years at Ingram Micro NZ, primarily leading the advanced solutions business, driving consistent growth and profitability efforts for some of Ingram Micro’s largest vendors.
While Bigwood elected to take gardening leave for January before assuming his new role at the end of the month, he revealed just days later that he would join ICT retail giant PB Tech as chief executive from 1 February.
New Zealand-owned PB Technologies boasts 12 superstores and service centres throughout the country and employs over 600 staff.
Bigwood now oversees the company's dedicated commercial, education, online, wholesale, and service divisions operating from a 7,000 square metre head office/distribution centre in Manukau, Auckland.
He said at the time that he was "returning to his roots" in the new role, having joined the industry in the early 1990s with local PC assembler Osbourne Computers.
By mid-January, Plan B Group revealed it was working to boost its consultative approach to customer engagement with the appointment of Neville Pinto, former associate director of technology strategy and transformation at Deloitte New Zealand, as its new operations director.
In his new role, Pinto leads Plan B’s engineering teams across cloud, networks, data centres, disaster recovery and business continuity, as well as the company's service delivery and customer care teams.
Pinto brought a wealth of technology and business experience to Plan B Group, having held several senior leadership positions in the retail and healthcare sectors, including head of group IT operations for Mitre 10 New Zealand and head of ICT operations for Health Alliance New Zealand, in addition to the role at Deloitte New Zealand he most recently departed to join Plan B.
According to Plan B CEO Frazer Scott, Pinto’s diversity of experiences, having worked in consulting as well as enterprise, represents a valuable addition to the company’s existing team.
“As we think about the way in which, today and in the future, we should best engage with our customers, a more consultative approach in creating bespoke products and services...is certainly where my head is at,” Scott told Reseller News at the time.
In early February it was revealed that former Huawei Australia and New Zealand vice president of channel and commercial Geoff Wright was set to leave the company amid a major restructure.
Huawei moved to bolster its channel capabilities across Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ) through the appointment of Wright as its partner chief in October 2018.
Wright was tasked with building out the vendor’s ecosystem of partners locally, which spans value-added resellers, system integrators and service providers.
“Huawei Enterprise’s aim is to ultimately sell 100 per cent via our channel partners,” said Colin Hu, enterprise managing director at Huawei A/NZ, at the time. “Our channel is critical to support our substantial business growth targets of more than 50 per cent year-on-year for 2019/20.”
Wright came to the role just months after vacating his role as director of channels across Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ) at Dell EMC, a role he held for over three years.
At about the same time, Ingram Micro’s long-serving leader for Australia and New Zealand, Felix Wong, revealed he would step down.
It was slated that Wong would be replaced by Tim Ament, Ingram’s US-based SVP for advanced solutions.
Ingram Micro said at the time that Wong would stay on for several months to ensure a “smooth transition with the business”.
Ament, meanwhile, has been with Ingram Micro for more than 22 years. In his new role, Ament will report to Diego Utge, executive vice president and group president Asia Pacific and be based in Sydney.
“We are grateful for the work Felix has done in leading our Australia and New Zealand businesses over the past four years and wish him all the best for his future endeavours,” Utge said.
“I welcome Tim to the Asia Pacific leadership team and look forward to having him continue the successes we have had across Australia and New Zealand.”
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