Sheu to start again in desert tax haven

Sheu to start again in desert tax haven

The founder of Synnex Australia, Frank Sheu, has popped up at another distributor within weeks of leaving the company. But don't expect to see him at any upcoming industry events because his new job is in the Middle East.

Sheu, who resigned from his post at Australia's second largest IT distributor in December, has been appointed CEO of Dubai-based Almasa IT.

Its vendor base includes Intel, Acer, Maxtor and Samsung.

Sheu relocated from Taiwan to Australia to found MiTAC in 1991. He had already worked as a sales director with the company for about seven years. The local business merged with Synnex International in 1997.

His departure was officially attributed to personal reasons although industry sources indicated the company was under financial pressure. It was owed $1.4 million from assembler, Omega, which collapsed at the end of last year.

Speaking to ARN from Dubai, Sheu denied the Omega debacle had any bearing on his resignation. Instead, he claimed the opportunity to head up Almasa was too good to refuse.

"UAE is a very fast growing market - it is booming," he said. "It is a regional hub for the Middle East and Africa and has a huge population.

"Before I retire, I want to repeat my Australian achievements. At Almasa I can apply my skills and knowledge to creating another regional success."

Sheu said he was proud to have built Synnex into Australia's second largest distributor organically.

"We never made an acquisition," he said. "We set up a very strong business model and had a good system."

Sheu said Synnex continued to be a profitable company in Australia and expressed support for newly installed managing director, Kee Ong. The pair had worked together for the past 15 years. "I am confident that the team there now will drive Synnex to the next level of success," he said. "There are a lot of talented people there. They may not have a high profile, but it's a strong management team."

Sheu also hit out at claims made by his peers that the Synnex business model was solely driven by price.

"If the business had operated just on pricing it would have gone broke a long time ago," he said. "We provided a lot of value-add. That's why we were able to grow organically and had 4000 resellers."

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