A new era for Ingram

We saw a lot of changes at Ingram Micro under president and COO Kevin Murai. But now Ingram’s top gun is stepping down.His resignation was a surprise to many – after all Murai spent almost 20 years with the global IT distributor. He’s expected to leave by the end of this year to spend more time caring for his extended family in Toronto.

Murai first joined Ingram as a manager in the Canadian IT department, then worked his way up to lead the Canadian, U.S., then North American operations before being promoted to president in 2004. Ingram credits him with leading the North American “profit-enhancement initiative” four years ago that improved the long-term prospective of the company.

He was there for all the ups and downs, including the merger of the Canadian and U.S. operations into one North American entity in 2001 – one that caused a huge shake-up in Canada. That same year, Ingram unleashed a number of cost-cutting measures, including layoffs and the consolidation of its distribution centres.

Murai’s resignation comes on the heels of an announcement (though Ingram says it’s unrelated) of a second quarter profit loss. Part of this, according to the distie, can be attributed to losses following an inquiry by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which issued a notice related to transactions with McAfee (formerly Network Associates) between 1998 and 2000. As a result, Ingram took a US$15 million hit – ouch.

But worldwide sales revenue is up 11 per cent from a year ago – so it certainly isn’t all bad news. In fact, that’s a record for the distie.

Growth in North America, however, was pretty much flat. But Asia, in particular, has been performing well. Ingram still isn’t pleased with its progress in Europe, though.

Here, Avnet is poised for domination. The niche distie just acquired the European enterprise infrastructure division of HP and IBM distributor Magirus Group – after a long list of other acquisitions. The acquisition will include HP

and IBM servers, storage, software and services, and will make it one of the largest disties in Europe – not to mention bring on an additional 1,300 resellers.

Ingram’s strength, however, could lie in its new president. Alain Monie will replace Murai – he’s already started the post, and will make the transition over the next five months.

Monie joined Ingram as executive vice-president in January 2003, before being appointed president of the Asia-Pacific region a year later. During that time, the region doubled in size (after the acquisition of Tech Pacific).

Shailendra Gupta will continue to lead the region’s non-China operations, while Meinie Oldersma will lead the China Group. Monie will supervise the regional presidents of North America, Europe and Latin America.

Monie made his presence known in Asia – now we’ll wait and see if he can do the same in North America and Europe.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Vawn Himmelsbach
Vawn Himmelsbach
Is a Toronto-based journalist and regular contributor to IT World Canada's publications.

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