Reseller News

Phil Martin resigns as CEO of SAS IT

Current Group COO Matt Roberts set to assume leadership role in April
Phil Martin (SAS IT)

Phil Martin (SAS IT)

Phil Martin has unveiled plans to resign from his role as Group CEO of SAS IT, exiting the Auckland-based technology provider effective 31 March 2019.

Reseller News can reveal that the industry executive will exit the business after 15 years in the top role, and will be replaced by current Group COO, Matt Roberts, who takes charge on 1 April 2019.

Martin told Reseller News that he will first take some downtime in the form of a “long break” after leaving the company, before assessing his options in the market.

“I’m really pleased that the business is in good hands,” Martin told Reseller News. “I’m also very proud of what we have achieved over the years, and after 15 years involvement have a vested interest in the continued success of the business.”

During his tenure, staff numbers have grown from 22 to over 60 people, with revenues increasing more than four times alongside.

Martin joined SAS IT as CEO in May 2004, then a relatively unknown IBM reseller, with a remit of growing a local IT services business.

Under Martin’s leadership, the Auckland-based provider doubled revenue within the first three years, while weathering the global financial crisis to average close to 15 per cent compound annual growth rate for the past 15 years.

Today, the business focuses on the development, integration and maintenance of mission-critical IT systems, backed up by technical service capabilities.

Furthermore, SAS IT now provides managed services and consulting to customers worldwide, alongside data centre expansion in Auckland, Christchurch, Sydney and Melbourne.

From a technology standpoint, the business also operates as one of the largest managed service providers specialising in IBM Power Systems across Australasia.

Matt Roberts (SAS IT)Credit: SAS IT
Matt Roberts (SAS IT)

“The business now has Power Systems, storage, and Intel-based infrastructure in four Australian, and three New Zealand data centres,” Martin added. “These systems are also connected to the public cloud environments to form the hybrid cloud solutions required by most customers.”

In addition, 20 per cent of revenues are now generated outside New Zealand with customers not only in Australia, but also up into Asia.

According to Martin, application development was the foundation of the early days of the company, and remains a “significant value add, and differentiator” in 2019.

With more than 30 years market experience in New Zealand, Martin has expertise across management, finance, sales and marketing, having previously ran the Systems Group at IBM for more than three years during the early 2000s.

Prior to IBM, Martin spearheaded corporate marketing and communications at then Telecom - now Spark - having first entered the technology industry in the late 1980s at Data General.

“Phil can feel well satisfied with the results he has achieved, which have been excellent,” said Doug Brooker, founder of SAS IT. “We hopefully will be able to work in some way with him in the future.”

New leader

Replacing Martin as Group CEO is Roberts, who joined the business in 2006, rising up through the ranks to assume the Group COO position in 2015.

During his tenure, Roberts has been tasked with implementing strategies, best practice systems and processes, while developing go-to-market plans to promote business growth in New Zealand, and overseas.

Furthermore, Roberts was also responsible for setting up an Indonesian and Cambodian presence for the provider, in addition to establishing a remote services model and expansion into Australia.

“I’m excited to be chosen to lead SAS IT, and the faith that the directors have in me,” Roberts told Reseller News. “I believe strongly in our business and in our ability to capture the significant opportunities for growth we see ahead.

“I am looking forward to working with the team as we continue to build on our success to deliver excellent outcomes for our customers, staff and partners. I've greatly enjoyed working closely with Phil over a number of years and look forward to building on his achievements.”

Martin said the appointment of Roberts ensures a “low risk handover with continuity for customers”, while also marking a “natural change” for the business.

Going forward, SAS IT plans to increase focus on public cloud management, analytics, automation and artificial intelligence technologies.