Ingram Micro Canada shifts exec roles as Xvantage launch nears

Bill Brandel, country chief executive for Ingram Micro Canada

Ingram Micro Canada has announced some changes around the leadership team for country chief executive Bill Brandel, including new roles for longtime executives Anthony Karim and Bill Steed, as well as the arrival of a new sales leader for technology solutions.

The big driver here is the upcoming launch of Xvantage in Canada. Introduced earlier this year, Xvantage is a large-scale digital transformation effort that aims to combine elements of distribution, e-commerce, and big data into a “digital twin” of the distributor. It launched in the U.S. and Germany recently and is slated to arrive in Canada shortly.

Karim leads that drive in Canada, along with his in-country team and the worldwide technology team for the distributor.

Anthony Karim, vice president of go-to-market strategy for Ingram Micro Canada

“Anthony knows how we do everything operationally, and he’s one of the most-tenured people in this business,” Brandel said of Karim. “Putting him on this launch was key.”

Karim has been appointed vice president of go-to-market strategy, which will see him handle Xvantage, vendor management, marketing, and partner planning.

With Karim moving into that role, his previous responsibilities for the Advanced Solutions business will shift to Steed, whose title changes to vice president of advanced solutions. Brandel praised the advances of the Advanced Solutions team over the past few years, which has added significant vendors like EMC, Palo Alto, Fortinet, and Aruba. Steed’s background includes more than six years leading the advanced solution business for Avnet Technology Solutions in Canada and another year and a half as the sales director for the same division with Tech Data Canada after the Avnet merger. 

Bill Steed, vice president of sales, Advanced Solutions at Ingram Micro Canada

“He has a long history of very technical selling, and he knows everyone in the industry,” Brandel said. 

In his new role, one of the early priorities on Brandel’s mind is the expansion of a “white-glove” approach, which Brandel suggests will “help differentiate how we serve partners.”

Under the organization’s new structure, cloud leader Jason Prashad will have a “dotted line” report into Steed, focusing on “technical enablement” for resellers and vendors as they manage the differences between traditional and cloud models, Brandel said.

With Steed’s view now covering the Advanced Solutions business more holistically, the distributor is bringing in Tyler Coughlan from the U.S. to serve as the new vice president of sales for Technology Solutions. While Coughlan will be new to Canada, he has a 25-year track record with the distributor Stateside and knows Brandel well. He most recently led Ingram’s customer experience efforts. Brandel said that would serve him well in his new role, particularly as the distributor looks to ramp up how it helps the Canadian e-tail community.

Tyler Coughlan, vice president of sales, Technology Solutions at Ingram Micro Canada

“Bill’s built a foundation there, and Tyler will take it to the next level as we look to help them remove as much cost out of the business model as humanly possible,” Brandel said.

The new structure, with Karim leading Xvantage and handling vendor management, Steed on the advanced solutions, and Coughlan heading up technology solutions, gives the distributor “dedicated support around our strengths” as it looks to make the big change to Xvantage. 

“We’ve got a lot of exciting stuff going on. I’ve never seen anything like this in all my history at Ingram Micro,” Brandel said of the impending launch. “It’s fun, it’s new, it’s exciting, and it’s game-changing in my mind.”

Robert Dutt

Robert Dutt is the founder and head blogger at He has been covering the Canadian solution provider channel community for a variety of publications and Web sites since 1997.