Callum Eade is Lenovo’s recently appointed director of small business and consumer, and comes to the company with experience in both Australian and New Zealand channel markets. He spoke to MATTHEW SAINSBURY about making the move to Australia, qualifying for the Iron Man world championships, and plans for the future.
What was your first job?
My first role was straight out of university with a distribution company that sold IT equipment and whitegoods. I started selling TVs, video players and the like in Christchurch, New Zealand.
What made you decide to make the move to Australia?
This week is my two-year anniversary in Australia. Two years ago, I resigned from the IT industry completely and pursued my interest in triathlons. It took six months completely away from the workforce to see how far I could go – it was an exciting experience but cost me a lot of money. Having left the New Zealand workforce, I felt a natural progression was to come to Australia. I wanted to advance my IT career – New Zealand was fantastic and I invested a lot of time and energy into it, but I decided to come over here and play in a bigger fish bowl.
How did you progress to where you are today?
I’ve worked progressively through every facet of IT. I’ve worked for a reseller, which was a fantastic experience, then moved into distribution representing a vendor. I had an opportunity when a guy called Gary Bigwood, who is now the managing director of Ingram Micro in NZ, gave me a break and allowed me to start managing staff, which was a tipping point in my career. I met Phil Cameron [Lenovo managing director], who has been a mentor of mine for some 10 years, and who recently gave me an opportunity to join Lenovo [from Toshiba].
What do you like about your current job?
The dynamics. There are so many young, smart and vibrant people in the industry.
What is the biggest achievement of your career?
The biggest challenge, and the biggest achievement in my career, was moving countries. Moving from the IT industry in NZ to the IT industry in Australia was daunting. I was leaving my contact base behind, and starting again. In the last two years I’ve learned a lot, not just about IT, but also dealing with people and gaining the trust and integrity of people. It’s been hugely challenging and very rewarding.