Former Ingram Micro Australia chief, Steve Rust, has resurfaced after a nine-month hiatus to join Panasonic's management ranks.
He takes on the newly created role of deputy managing director, reporting to local managing director, Toshiro Kisaka. According to a company statement, Rust will oversee divisional business operations, and formulate and implement strategies to help push its products through retail and business channels. He starts with Panasonic on March 20.
Rust announced his intention to retire from Ingram last May. His decision coincided with the departure of the man who had replaced him as Ingram managing director, Kerrie Baillie. Rust told ARN he'd investigated various opportunities since leaving Ingram. He had also been consulting to hardware distributor, Cellnet, following its appointment of Adam Davenport as managing director in June.
"This opportunity [with Panasonic] excites me because it includes new challenges I've not worked with before," he said. "My background's IT, so I'm looking forward to bringing this into the consumer electronics space where Panasonic has a huge presence locally. It will also be great to work in a large organisation, taking responsibility for brand, marketing and distribution."
Rust has spent 25 years in the IT industry including a role with reseller, HiSoft, as well as stints with Nortel Networks, Apple and Toshiba. He was most recently director of operations at Ingram Micro following its merger with Tech Pacific in October 2004. Prior to that, Rust was managing director of Ingram Micro from December 2000.