Bickerstaff makes Volante exit

Bickerstaff makes Volante exit

Volante COO, Hugh Bickerstaff, is calling it a day in search of a new challenge. His departure is the final process in a changing of the guard. Bickerstaff has seen Volante grow from a product-led reseller into a publicly-listed $400 million services organisation. Staff numbers have mushroomed from eight to 850 during that time.

"There have been lots of changes and great memories along the way but it's time I took the knowledge and experience I have built and did something else with it," he said.

"Ian Penman and his new executive team will use fresh vision to take what's been created and really achieve the potential Volante has."

While he didn't rule out a change of industry, Bickerstaff said he expects to be back in the IT saddle before too long.

"I suspect my next job will be in IT because that is what I know after 23 years in the industry," he said. "A move outside of IT appeals to me to some extent, and it's not beyond me, but it is unlikely.

"I want a leadership position in a new company, or an established one, that is looking to grow. It's about finding the right opportunity."

Bickerstaff said he intended to do some consulting in July before taking his family on safari in Africa.

"It's something I have always wanted to do and it will be nice to spend some quality time with the family before setting myself up for the next 10 years," he said. "Volante has been such an exciting ride and I would just love to do something like that again."

In other news, the Volante Group has appointed Mark Kuperholz as an independent non-executive director following the resignation of Yaov Schwalb, who is moving overseas. Schwalb, who joined the group through its Ipex merger, will retain his major shareholding.

Career Path: Hugh Bickerstaff

1982 - Employed as dealer manager by NEC to set up partner network.
1987 - Moved to printing and peripherals vendor, Impact.
1988 - Joined Australia's largest PC reseller, HiSoft.
1992 - Headhunted by ITG Computers after it gained an IBM distributorship. Built an IBM-only reseller called PC Express (PCE).
1998 - ITG sold to Ingram Micro.
- PCE acquires Silicon Data (Brisbane), CPM&S (Adelaide) and Connections (Sydney) to form national reseller group. PCE merges with State Computers.
1999 - Lists on the ASX as Volante Group. Bickerstaff is general manager of the reseller business, Volante Integrated Technology.
2000 - Volante Group merges with AAG Group, which was headed up by Allan Brackin.
2003 - Bickerstaff appointed COO of the Volante Group. Brackin is CEO.
2004 - Volante Group merges with large Australian systems builder, Ipex.
- Bickerstaff steps down from board of directors.
- Brackin resigns and is replaced by Ian Penman.
2005 - Bickerstaff announces decision to look for a fresh challenge.

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