In what would appear to be a perfectly stage-managed and bloodless coup, 3Com's managing director, Gerhard Rumpff, last week announced his resignation to take up the position of managing director at Baan Australia.
Only three weeks ago, former Intel Australia sales manager Archie Wilson was appointed to the position of 3Com country manager, which was seen as preparation for the tran-sition to the MD role, with Rumpff to assume Asia-Pacific regional responsibilities.
Effective from September 1, Wilson will assume the responsibility of managing director, Australia and New Zealand, with Rumpff set to stay on for another eight weeks.
According to a 3Com source, the option of a lot of travelling in the Asia-Pacific region did not compare very favourably to the opportunity for Rumpff to rejoin the software caper at Baan. Prior to joining 3Com, Rumpff had been general manager for software and networking at IBM after seven years at Lotus.
"I have watched Baan with considerable interest over the past few months and have been very impressed by the speed of the company's turnaround. Both worldwide and locally, Baan is now very well positioned to take advantage of the skyrocketing demand for supply-chain management solutions that automate business-to-business e-commerce. Baan is a reinvigorated company and I look forward to getting behind the new momentum." Rumpff said.
Wilson told ARN that he was aware of the likelihood of Rumpff leaving when he accepted the 3Com position, so it came as no surprise. "He was courted by Baan, and there will be a planned transition for me into the role," he said.
In Rumpff's 20 months with 3Com, there has been a significant growth in the company's revenue and a restructuring of the local organisation, targeting both the business and consumer sectors.
Although Baan does not have a high profile in the Australian IT channel, Rumpff said it has strong links with integrators, including Deloittes and IBM Global Services.
A spokesperson for Baan claimed that, worldwide, the majority of Baan's business in the SME market is done through the reseller channel. And according to Yolanda Delport, Baan's Sydney-based marketing director for the Asia-Pacific region, the company had recently signed a number of new Australian reseller agreements with specialist implementers of ERP and supply-chain management solutions.