Westcon Group has promoted COO, Dean Douglas, to global president and CEO. He takes the reins from the distributor’s founder, Tom Dolan, who will move to executive chairman.
“Last year when I came on-board, the intent was for me to step into the CEO’s role and a strategy was put into plan,” Douglas said in an interview with ARN this week. “I’ve spent the past nine months getting to understand the business, and faced a number of different challenges, particularly around the economy.”
As Westcon moved into its new fiscal year on March 1, Douglas said the focus would be on improving reseller opportunities and assisting them to grow their business. The distributor planned to achieve this by investing heavily in its services capabilities and global footprint.
“As we move forward, you’re going to see us invest further in our globalisation strategy and leverage our multi-region presence and expand customer opportunities,” he said. This included adding more services to its portfolio to assist resellers going into new product categories globally to meet user demand, Douglas said.
“More and more companies are looking for consistent technology platforms worldwide. Last year, we did 20,000 cross-border transactions – and with all the different markets we operate in, we expect this to grow substantially,” he said. “We’ll also invest heavily in services and launch initiatives around process-as-a-service, such as realigning procurement, logistics, and leveraging our scale.”
Marketing and training were other pieces to the puzzle, and more resources will be available throughout the year, Douglas said. Westcon is also placing emphasis on financing and recently launched Westcon Capital in Australia to provide resellers with broader costing options.
“As the market goes down, you’re seeing 20 per cent less revenues, but there’s still 80 per cent being spent. We will look at why customers are spending that money and help resellers understand the incumbent position they have,” Douglas said. “It’s so simple, and a lot of folks know this intuitively. We’ll help them develop proactively.”
“It’s not magic, but they will ensure longevity in these tougher economic times. My plan is not about revolution, but an evolution. Tom will continue as chairman and will apply his skills on other areas we need to focus.”
Douglas joined Westcon Group as its COO in June 2008 and has held senior executive roles at Motorola and IBM. Prior to joining Westcon Group, he was CEO of wireless engineering company, LCC International.