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Charlie Spano resigns from Ingram Micro Canada

The former co-GM and present CFO ends his 13-year tenure at the distributor for an outside opportunity

After a 13-year-long tenure at Ingram Micro Canada, Charlie Spano, former co-general manager of Ingram’s Canadian operations, and most recently the company’s CFO, is resigning from the company to take on a new career opportunity outside of the industry.

Spano, who first began his career with Ingram in 1995, quickly worked his way into progressive roles with the company. Just last October both he and Mark Snider, the former regional channel chief, were named as the company’s two-leads for its Canadian division. Two months ago, Snider was promoted to vice-president and general manager for Ingram Micro Canada and Spano was named as the company’s CFO; thus ending Ingram’s tandem GM experiment, which lasted for only eight months.

Spano’s last day at Ingram is Aug. 22. Up next for Spano will be a job at CanWest Global as vice-president of finance starting on Sept. 8. In this role, Spano will be responsible for the international media company’s financial and business planning aspects.

“It was a difficult decision for me to make because I’ve been at Ingram for so many years,” Spano said. “But it’s the right decision for me right now and at this point in my life and it’s an excellent opportunity. Going into CanWest Global will be a different industry and it will be a challenge for me. But that’s what will motivate me to learn about that industry as well.”

At Ingram, Victor Treffkorn and Alex Wozniak will lead the company’s Financial Planning and Analysis department in the interim until a replacement has been found. The team will report director to Treffkorn in the meantime.

“Ingram’s getting two people now to replace Charlie, so I think that speaks volumes to his value at the company,” said Michelle Warren, market analyst for MW Research of Toronto. “Ingram would need to bring in someone who knows how a distributor works and how the money’s being spent in the company.”

Spano’s decision to leave the company and move elsewhere is not surprising in light of Snider’s recent promotion, according to Warren.

“It’s difficult when you see two people leading the organization and one person getting promoted,” Warren said. “It’s no surprise that Charlie’s moving. Mark comes from a sales background and Charlie was more on the financial side of things. It’s difficult to have two CEOs in any organization, so sales usually wins out in that sort of situation most of the time.”

Spano says his move away from Ingram and the industry has nothing to do with the fact that Snider was promoted to vice-president and general manager for Canada.

“When (Ingram) decided to go with one (GM), I was supportive of Mark and Ingram was supportive of me to name me as CFO, a role that hasn’t been present at the company for four years,” Spano said. “Ingram wanted to focus on the market with one leader for the organization to make sure there was no confusion as to who was leading the company.”

In the shared role of co-GMs, Spano said both he and Snider worked closely together and were involved in the decision making process for the distributor.

It was never Ingram’s intention to “push” Spano out of the company, but rather it may have been a move the distributor made in order to place a stronger emphasis on its sales, Warren says.

“My guess is that Ingram felt pressure to drive Canadian sales,” she said. “Having one (person) leading the company and not two is probably more of a focus or vision for the company.”

Although Warren says the distribution industry is very competitive, Spano says Ingram’s numbers this year have been solid and its financial state did not play a factor in his decision to resign.

“We’re by no means a company that’s in a situation right now that would cause us to be in trouble,” he said.