#10 Newsmaker: Peter Diniz of Avnet/Bell Micro

Out-going vice-president and general manager of Bell Micro, Peter Diniz, a long time channel leader in Canada, has not made too many Top 25 Newsmaker lists.

He did make the very first one in 2001. In his decade-long stewardship at Bell Micro, he spearheaded the move to make the high-end storage distributor nationwide by opening offices across the country; Diniz was also one of the first to bring Linux-based servers to Canadian resellers; he also helped to craft a channel program targeted at the hot trend of Storage Area Networking, which was unheard of at the time for a distributor.

His biggest career move was acquiring Forefront Graphics, in a Canadian acquisition deal that would dramatically expand Bell Micro’s data storage offerings. During his time he arranged an exclusive deal with predominately direct Apple to be the Canadian distributor for Xserve RAID and Xsan storage products.

When boutique distributors were having their way in the security market, Diniz brought in a security division to compete with those smaller distributors. He was also a big proponent of solid state drives as a great alternative in the market place for resellers.

But earlier this year, Diniz’s career was put in flux when Avnet acquired Bell Microproducts for a transaction value of US$631 million (assuming net debt position).

People in the industry began to wonder how long Diniz would last with Avnet. As Avnet began its integration of Bell Micro, Avnet CEO Roy Vallee told CDN that headcount reductions were a strong possibility, but that those reductions would not necessarily all come from the BellMicro side.

Then in August, CDN learned that Diniz would take on a global role with Avnet as its director, supplier business.

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