New Tech Data Canada leadership pledges expanded opportunities, high service commitment

Ed Galasso is promoted to GM of the company in Canada, and leadership of the commercial and retail business, while Brian Aebig, who came to Tech Data with Avnet, will run the enterprise business. Rick Reid is now executive advisor to Joe Quaglia on the integration.

Ed Galasso new GM of Tech Data Canada, and VP and GM, Sales and Product Marketing, of Tech Data’s Canadian Commercial and Retail business

Tech Data has announced the new leadership of its Canadian operations, prompted by the dual events of the retirement of long-time President Rick Reid and the acquisition and integration of Avnet. Reid, long-time Tech Data Canada President, has stepped down from that role. He will continue to serve in the company until retirement in February 2018, but as a special advisor to Tech Data Americas president Joe Quaglia. In the new Canadian structure, Ed Galasso becomes the lead voice, as general manager of Tech Data Canada. Galasso also becomes vice president and general manager, Sales and Product Marketing, of Tech Data’s Canadian Commercial and Retail business. Brian Aebig, who had been vice president and general manager for Avnet Technology Solutions, Canada since September 2008, takes over as Vice President, Sales for Tech Data’s Enterprise Solutions business in Canada. That includes both the old Avnet business and Tech Data’s former AIS [Advanced Infrastructure Solutions] business.

Galasso has been Sales Director at Tech Data Canada, where he drove the sales force training and customer adoption for Tech Data Cloud and led the customer segmentation of Tech Data’s Canadian business. While the structure of the Canadian subsidiary has changed – Galasso is a general manager of the Canadian operations while Reid was a President – Galasso stressed this will have no impact on the solution providers and vendors who use the services of Tech Data Canada.

“I don’t pretend that I can fill Rick’s shoes,” Galasso said. “However, part of my responsibility is to ensure that we maintain a Canadian culture and deliver to our Canadian customers and vendors the accessibility and touch they have always enjoyed at Tech Data. I believe our customers and vendors are excited about having continuity at the helm of the ship. I think my knowledge, along with Brian’s, is extremely deep among our key customers and vendors. I don’t see how we will be any less able or willing to deliver the same level of service as before. I will continue to be one phone call away and one email away – and that accessibility is what Rick brought most to the organization.”

Galasso pledged that the new organization will look to maintain and exceed its past level of service.

“That’s the key message here,” he said. “The united Tech Data is looking to have zero interruptions or disruptions. Since we have become one company, with very few exceptions we have been able to meet or exceed that target. Since then as well, Tech Data worldwide is coming off a great quarter, and we were particularly strong in North America.”

Brian Aebig, Vice President, Sales, Enterprise Solutions Business, Tech Data Canada

“While the structure of the organization has changed, we remain the same size as a percentage of U.S. ops as before, and we run separate Canadian operations from the parent,” Aebig said. “Ed being announced as the lead voice as the GM within the dual structure model of the company should also be seen as a very positive step.”

Aebig noted that Dell EMC Canada had also recently divided the administration of their operations into commercial and enterprise segments in much the same way as Tech Data is doing here.

“I think you will see more of this as the market goes forward,” Aebig said. “We functionally need to operate in separate siloes. We can’t underserve a value model that we have in the Enterprise Solutions business by spreading it out, and we can’t be value-rich in the way we serve people who want to buy on a price basis.”

There have been some changes in where things will be managed in the new company, with the most obvious being that the old Tech Data AIS business moves to the part of the business Aebig runs.

“There are other line of business-like services that also now fall into the Tech Data global camp,” Aebig said. “Part of the reason Tech Data bought Avnet was the breadth of services Avnet had in the supply chain. Still, as big and as diverse as Tech Data is and Avnet was, there was surprisingly little overlap from a supplier perspective or a reseller perspective.”

“That’s a sign of a great acquisition – when there isn’t a lot of doubling up,” Galasso said.

Aebig said that traditional Avnet partners will now benefit from access to a much broader vendor portfolio, and by being able to get to more areas and more customers.

“We want partners to continue placing orders with either group, where they have been comfortable in the past,” he said. “We want to have zero disruption.”

“The two parts of the business will work together where we need to on common customers,” Galasso said. “Lots of customers do cross both parts.”

Galasso and Aebig also stressed that while Avnet makes Tech Data a much stronger enterprise player, Tech Data SMB partners won’t get lost in the shuffle.

“Not all smaller solution providers are only selling commodity products,” Galasso said. “We have some small partners who sell high end solutions – guys who don’t have a huge staff but are focused on the enterprise part of the market. But we have also been investing in our inside sales count to support small solution providers. We know that the SMB market is fast-growing, so we are investing there.”

“We think the key thing here isn’t really the size of the partner, but the technology that is being consumed,” Aebig said. “We have the best routes to market to address both sides of that conversation.

Galasso will report to Marty Bauerlein, senior vice president, Commercial & Retail Solutions, North America. Aebig reports to Mike Houghton, senior vice president, Sales, Enterprise Solutions, North America.