Longtime GTDC CEO Tim Curran to retire at end of the year

Curran will be replaced on an interim basis by Kavita May, the GTDC’s senior vice president of planning and operations.

Tim Curran, retiring CEO of the Global Technology Distribution Council

Tim Curran, longtime CEO of the Global Technology Distribution Council [GTDC] has announced his retirement, effective January 2 2019. Kavita May, the GTDC’s senior vice president of planning and operations, will assume interim leadership responsibilities.

Curran has run the GTDC since 2002, and has become the public face of the organization, whose mandate is to articulate the value of distribution to vendors in the technology community. Its focus is on larger and mid-size distributors. Membership is limited to companies who have minimum sales in the U.S. of 1 billion dollars, with the number being less in Europe.

“Our mandate is to promote the value of technology distribution to the vendor community, articulating the value of distribution,” Curran told ChannelBuzz recently. “It is to get the vendors to understand better what the distributors do and how they can better leverage them. We aren’t a lobby group, talking to governments, and spending a lot of money to do so. We aren’t a buying organization. It’s all about communicating the value to IT vendors.”

That message is that distribution has changed mightily since the days of pick, pack and ship.

“Our key message to vendors is that the market has become all about the capability of integrating multi-vendor solutions – and you need a distributor to help you do that and offer the total solution to the end user, Curran said. “A study a couple years ago using SG&A data from vendors showed distribution was a lower cost route to market. If a vendor wants to be integrated into a multi-vendor solution, distribution can do it more effectively than building your own infrastructure.”

A key element of Curran’s work and legacy has been the GTDC’s creation of a database of distributor data, which includes all their collective sales-out statistics, and which is fundamental to their ability to demonstrate distribution’s value, rather than simply argue it. Among other things, it provides detailed information on who is buying through distribution. For instance, small VARs, defined as having less than $100 million annual sales in the U.S., and less than $25 million annual sales in Canada, buy more than twice as much as each of the Large VAR category, and Direct Marketers/National Integrator categories, which are second and third in size.

“We set up the database using the sales-out data that the distributors contribute, to better organize them,” Curran said. “It’s all masked, so a distributor can’t see information from a specific competitor. However, it does provide an excellent way that they can measure their own market share against the total, and see trends and assess their performance. NPD assesses this for us in Canada.”

Before joining the GTDC, Curran was a Senior VP at Tech Data. He was recruited to there  after starting out his career at Panasonic, building up their channel sales business, back at a time when Panasonic’s channel was focused on the printer business – dot matrix printers. Now he plans to step down from full-time work, although he will continue to teach at the University of South Florida St Petersburg, where he has taught both Global Business and Management in the university’s MBA Program for 10 years. He also indicated that he plans to remain a voice for the industry, including possible industry speaking engagements, although obviously at a less active stage than before. Like many retirees, he will now be able to focus more on his family – although he also indicated that consulting opportunities might be a possibility.

“Tim is a very highly regarded industry professional who has done a lot for the GTDC and its members,” said Alain Monié, chairman of the GTDC’s board of directors and CEO of global distributor Ingram Micro, in a statement. “His knowledge, commitment and engagement made a profound difference that will have a lasting impact.”