New Avnet president unveils 100-day plan

As the new president of the Americas for Avnet Technology Solutions (ATS), (NYSE: AVT) an operating group of Tempe, Ariz.-based Avnet, Inc., a distributor of electronic components, computer products and technology services and solutions, Jeff Bawol has his sights set on accelerating faster and deeper into solution areas such as virtualization, storage VoIP and networking.

Prior to his promotion to president of ATS, Bawol previously held roles in the company’s Electronics Marketing division, in addition to working with the ATS group, which together represent a combined total of nearly 30 years of service to Avnet.

In this new role, Bawol is responsible for the strategic direction and growth of ATS in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Bawol now reports to John Paget, president for ATS, global, and takes over for Fred Cuen, the former president of the Americas for ATS. Bawol says Cuen has not left the company but instead is looking at other opportunities within Avnet.

“I don’t know where these other opportunities are, but we’re having active discussions with Fred now about where he’ll land,” Bawol said.

Bawol said he’s currently working on formulating what he calls his 100-day plan, which centres around the company and its partners by evaluating what needs to be done in order for them to be of the best value to their end-users.

“The other piece of the 100-day plan is in meeting with employees and having a sort of town hall meeting to talk about our current strategy,” Bawol said. “As much as I’ve been around in this business, I can always learn more, and I’m open to do that.”

Some areas of particular focus for ATS, Bawol said, are around solution areas such as virtualization, storage, VoIP and networking. On the industry vertical side, Bawol said markets such as healthcare and the government sector will also be a priority for the company’s further growth and acceleration plans. Most importantly though, Bawol said he’d like to see Avnet partners move to more of a synergistic style of approach when selling products to provide customers with a complete solution entity.

Bradley Brodkin, president of HighVail Systems, a Toronto-based VAR and Avnet partner, focused on storage solutions, said he believes ATS has made the right move by promoting Bawol to president of the Americas.

“From what I’ve seen of Jeff, he knows the industry well, he’s more hands-on and assertive and he listens extremely well and is an extremely warm individual,” Brodkin said. “I feel very comfortable and I think (Avnet) has made the right move to move Jeff in.”

On Avnet’s current partnerships with HP, IBM and Sun Microsystems, Bawol said he does not anticipate any of those partnerships changing with the company, who he said, have since had substantial and satisfactory partnerships with each.

A goal moving forward for ATS, Bawol said, is to continue to be a resource for its partners by continuing to offer its education, lead generation, marketing, technical, sales and business planning tools to help further fuel partner success.

“If we can enable our partners to be successful, then we’re successful right along with them,” Bawol said. “The way to do this is to stay with quality brands and to be more in the solutions-side of the business as opposed to just selling products. Partners will find success in the future by delivering a combination of hardware, software and services,” he added.

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Maxine Cheung
Maxine Cheung
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