Ross vacated the position she held for less than a year to pursue an opportunity at TD Canada Trust.For Wright, the appointment ends a whirlwind year, which saw the 22-year veteran of the IT industry dismissed from his job at the distributor and land at the $14 billion startup.
The US$1.2-billion Big Blue/Lenovo deal was first announced in December 2004 and was completed in June.
The management shuffle is a career comeback for Wright. He will report directly to Scott D. Smith, executive vice-president and GM of Lenovo Americas, and is responsible for Canadian sales, marketing, brand and channel strategies.
After a brief summer vacation following his exit from Ingram, Wright said he revamped his personal intensity and identified several companies for a leadership position.
He said he’d met with Smith several times in the past. According to Wright, Lenovo was interested in hiring executives outside the core IBM heritage to add balance and perspective.
“I always felt when talking and networking in the market that timing and fit are keys in a leadership scenario,” Wright said. “I was fortunate about the timing. I can’t control it but I understand the circumstances and while the timing was excellent I am positive that it will be a good fit for me as well.”
The situation at Ingram Micro will not cloud his professionalism in dealing with one of Lenovo’s key partners in Canada, he said.
“I was treated very fairly (by Ingram) and decisions get made for various reasons. I am very comfortable dealing with them and they are an important partner for us,” Wright said.
He added that the same level of professionalism would be given to Ingram competitors Tech Data and Synnex Canada.
“I have already been in touch with all our distribution partners this week. I am looking forward to doing business and bringing a lot of knowledge of distribution.
“I can’t be tricked about distribution,” he said.
Even though Wright has not laid out a master plan for the subsidiary, he did say that he will continue Ross’s effort to increase Lenovo’s channel business. Currently, it does 65 per cent of its sales through the channel.
“I support the channel. I will need some time on establishing business priorities, however it is a necessity for Lenovo to depend on the channel to grow and we will absolutely do that. The channel will be an integral part of our growth process,” he said.
Wright described the Lenovo job as different compared to his old Ingram Canada post. “I can tell you that I am excited and the potential at Lenovo is exciting. It is a different company and its mandate is different than distribution and I believe my understanding of the channel will help at Lenovo,” he said.
Besides Ingram, Wright has held management positions at Xerox Canada and Sharp.