Avnet Technology Solutions shuffles the executive deck

Fred Cuen

Avnet North American IBM business unit chief Fred Cuen

Avnet Technology Solutions has announced sweeping changes to its executive lineup, moving around several key execs in what the distributor calls a move to “further strengthen its solutions distribution business model.”

The biggest change for the Canadian organization is that the Canadian organization, led by Brian Aebig, will now report into Fred Cuen, who heads up ATS’ IBM business unit. Previously, it had been under HP group chief Rick Alvarez, who also moves into a new role as the head of a “sales acceleration” team with the changes.

Among other notable changes, Tony Vottima, widely recognized as the leader of Avnet’s successful SolutionsPath practices, moves into Alvarez’s previous role heading up the HP business, while Gavin Miller, previously head of Avnet’s Technology Infrastructure Solutions business, takes over the SolutionsPath portfolio and the rest of the solutions marketing and development effort.

If it seems like a bit of a game of musical office chairs, it is. In a statement received by ChannelBuzz.ca, Avnet said the changes “are designed to drive long-term strategies, support succession planning by enabling leaders to share experiences and acquire new knowledge in key areas, and increase the knowledge transfer between teams.”

You can’t tell the players without a program, so here’s a complete rundown of the changes, courtesy of Avnet:

Rick Alvarez will lead a newly created team called Sales Acceleration. This group consists of teams that are key to accelerating Avnet Technology Solutions’ services offerings, recruitment and sales efforts, as well as driving supplier growth. Rick will take his experience in leading the successful HP Solutions business and apply it to furthering the success of these strategic areas.

Fred Cuen’s responsibilities have expanded to include the Canadian team (previously reporting into Rick Alvarez), which is led by Brian Aebig, and Fred will continue to lead the IBM Solutions group.

Scott Look has been promoted to vice president and general manager of Avnet Technology Solutions’ Technology Infrastructure Solutions business. Most recently, Scott was vice president of sales for the Technology Infrastructure Solutions group, and his relationships and experience with the team, its suppliers and customers will ensure a smooth transition for this fast-growth business.

Gavin Miller will now lead the Solutions Marketing and Development team, which includes Avnet Technology Solutions’ SolutionsPath® practices, financial services and partner enablement. Gavin will bring his experience in leading Avnet Technology Solutions’ multi-brand Technology Infrastructure Solutions business to the Solutions Marketing and Development team, further strengthening the linkages and execution between the team and the brand solutions teams (Cisco, HP, IBM and Oracle.)

Tony Vottima will lead the HP Solutions team. Tony will apply his knowledge in leading the Solutions Marketing and Development team, which included Avnet Technology SolutionsPath practices, to further enabling solutions sales and driving partner and supplier growth within Avnet Technology Solutions’ successful HP Solutions business.

Nicole Enright will lead the Strategy Development and Execution team. She will continue to lead Avnet Technology Solutions, Americas’ operational excellence efforts and adds strategy, acquisition integration, communications, events and employee solution training and enablement to her responsibilities.

The news of these changes comes just 24 hours after the company announced it has promoted Cheryl Neal to the position of vice president of marketing for its Technology Infrastructure Solutions group, so clearly it’s been a busy week for the folks who design business cards for the distributor.

Some thought here: I got to know Cuen a little bit at Avnet’s IBM Partner Summit in San Antonio last year, and was struck at how easy he was to work with and talk to. First meetings between media and executives are typically a more formal affair, but not really so with Cuen. I think that style will work well with Aebig, who’s also a very approachable exec.

But one question remains in my mind – is putting Canada, which had been under HP business chief Alvarez, under IBM business leader Cuen simply a matter of Alvarez’s and Vottima’s new roles not allowing time to focus on Canada? Or can we read something else into the shift? I’ll be following up with Avnet Technology Solutions boss Phil Gallagher tomorrow, and will try to get to the bottom of that.