Howard appointed to lead Westcon Australia in regional restructure

Howard appointed to lead Westcon Australia in regional restructure

Leigh Howard's promotion is part of an Asia-Pacific restructure headed up by former local boss, Wendy O'Keeffe

Westcon Group sales director, Leigh Howard, has been promoted to Australian managing director as part of a restructure of the distributor’s business across Asia-Pacific. He takes the local reins from Wendy O’Keeffe, who took up an Asia-Pacific role 12 months ago.

Howard joined Westcon 13 years ago in the UK before relocating to Australia and becoming national sales manager in 2002. In an interview with ARN, he said his focus was to build on the distributor’s four technology pillars – security, storage, convergence and networking – as well as advance its services capabilities.

“In taking this role, it’s not about changing strategy – it’s a continuation of the successful partnership Wendy and I have had over the last few years,” Howard said. “The ship is already heading in the right direction; this is more about expanding our business regionally.”

However, Howard is revising Westcon’s local sales structure to shift more strategic sales focus into each of the four technology business units. Former large account manager, Todd Wellard, has also been promoted to a national sales role and will be responsible for regional account managers.

“Our business managers are taking a more strategic role in defining the strategy of the business – I have made myself redundant in that respect,” Howard said.

Other recent changes include Westcon’s first services director, Andrew McHenry, who joined the distributor a few months ago to oversee its 10-strong services team and build its go-to-market services strategy. He previously held an Asia-Pacific role with Insight and also spent time with Dell. Howard said the services team worked across all four technology practices and was solely focused on providing services to its reseller base.

As a result of Westcon’s acquisition of Datastor in October, the company’s entire New Zealand business will be managed by David Rosenberg from April 1. Howard hoped to leverage Datastor’s services capabilities around post-sales support, storage and datacentre expertise both in the local market and regionally.

Howard’s promotion is one of a raft of executive changes being implemented across Asia-Pacific, O’Keeffe said in an exclusive interview with ARN. Among the newly installed regional management team are former Australian Cisco business unit manager, Sam Paris, who gained a Cisco alliances manager’s position based in Singapore. In the new role, he will oversee Westcon’s Cisco relationship regionally, as well as build its Unified Computing System (UCS) datacentre initiatives and partnerships.

Former Australian staffer, Rhys Shannon, has also moved into a regional CTO role and will be tasked with leveraging Westcon’s technology processes and innovations across Asia-Pacific through a shared services model. As an example, O’Keefe pointed to its customer order management systems in Australia, which she expected to see rolled out regionally.

“We want to leverage our skill sets globally,” she added.

New human resources managers are also being appointed in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, along with a commercial and legal manager based in Sydney.

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Tags ciscoWestcon Groupwendy o'keeffeLeigh Howard

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