Wendy O’Keeffe has revealed plans to vacate her role as executive vice president of Asia Pacific of Westcon-Comstor, leaving the distributor at the end of November.
Speaking exclusively to ARN and Reseller News, O’Keeffe said the planned departure coincides with the end of the company’s third quarter, ensuring a smooth transition on all sides.
“After 15 and a half years it’s time for a change,” O’Keeffe said. “I’ve grown up with the business and it’s at a critical point in its evolution.
“My passion is around business development and when I took over the regional role seven years ago, we had just over two countries and now we have 12 countries across the region, each with headcount.
“It’s been an enormous expansion effort from our side and I’ve enjoyed the journey immensely. When I reflect back on what I’m passionate about and what inspires me most, it’s this aspect of the business.”
O'Keeffe took up her current role in 2009, after serving as managing director of Westcon Group across Australia and New Zealand.
When O'Keeffe joined the distributor in 2001, the company at the time was in two countries, and is now operating across 12 countries, through a mixture of organic growth and acquisition.
“I’m grateful that the company has allowed my team to achieve this,” O’Keeffe said. “They’ve completely empowered us to build this region."
During the past two years, O’Keeffe said the distributor has assembled a “strong regional leadership team”, helping support a “more mature business” as it prepares for the next stage of its progression.
Appointments and restructuring wise, Patrick Aronson joined as vice president of Asia based in Singapore, with Wilson Ho setting up the Westcon Solutions practice.
Locally, Dave Rosenberg stepped into the Australia and New Zealand hot seat, with Phil Cameron joining as vice president of vendor alliances for the region and Darryl Grauman taking charge of the distributor’s services and cloud business across Asia Pacific.
“The business now has a strong foundation and is ready to move towards the next stage,” O’Keeffe said. “We’ve built for the future and I’m leaving the business in really good shape.”
Before joining the distributor in 2001, O’Keeffe held several senior management roles during a 10 year stint at Tech Pacific, covering both sides of the Tasman before the company was acquired by Ingram Micro in 2004.
Known for her extensive IT and distribution experience in the market, O’Keeffe was inducted into the ARN Hall of Fame in 2011, and has keynoted the Women in ICT Industry Awards for ARN and Reseller News in Australia and New Zealand respectively.
Looking ahead, O’Keeffe plans to first “take a break” from an industry she has served for nearly three decades across Australia and New Zealand, before seeking a return to the technology market.
“It’s time to tap into my creative and development side again,” added O’Keeffe, who insisted she has no replacement role lined up.
As every aspect of the channel shifts amidst the influx of new and emerging technologies, O’Keeffe insisted that despite such changes, distribution remains “at the centre of everything”.
“In distribution we are in a privileged position, we see everything in the market and influence many things,” she added.
“We sit right in the middle of the vendor and the middle of the reseller. We are exposed to more than any other business. I’m proud of being in this business and proud of the achievements we’ve made as a team.”