Barbara Klein, CFO CDW

For years Canadian IT channel executives predicted that CDW, a Fortune 500 solution provider of technology products and services based in Vernon Hills, Ill., would be entering the Canadian market soon.

The years passed and CDW remained in the U.S., not even commenting on the possibility of entering

the great white north. But as Canadian resellers held their collective breaths, late this year CDW pulled the trigger on a deal to acquire some select assets of the financially strapped Microwarehouse Inc. for a mere US$22 million in cash. One of those assets was Microwarehouse’s Toronto operation. The acquisition did not include the Quebec operation.

The purchase, according to Barbara Klein, CDW’s senior vice-president and CFO and the only American to make the Top 25 Newsmakers list, allows CDW to expand customer reach and open up a new territory in Canada.

CDW is mainly known for playing in the business, government and education markets in the U.S.

“”We certainly would like to see growth in the Canadian market as we’ve seen in the U.S. market. This is our first entry into the Canadian market, so we will of course need to learn about it and continue to work to develop that marketplace,”” Klein said.

Kevin Marr, a Toronto-based sales manager at Microwarehouse Canada, said it could have just watched CDW come up here on its own and “”just kick our ass.”” The whole reseller industry should be “”quaking in their boots with us out there with the sheer size of us now. CDW’s massive,”” Marr said.

Klein, a member of the American Institute of CPAs, is responsible for financial planning and analysis, corporate development and strategy.

She says that during the transition process, which is already underway, many CDW executives will come to Toronto to learn more about the operation. Klein added that CDW will be careful and deliberate with the evaluations.

Microwarehouse was also a large Apple reseller in the U.S. and Canada. By adding Microwarehouse assets, CDW becomes the largest distributor of Apple products in the U.S., Klein said.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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