Just a day after stepping down from the board of Dicker Data (ASX:DDR), Wendy O’Keeffe has been named as the new A/NZ country general manager for fellow distributor, Tech Data.
O’Keeffe replaces former A/NZ general manager, Darren Adams, who revealed in July that he would be leaving the company 15 years after he began his tenure at Avnet Technology Solutions, which was acquired for US$2.6 billion by Tech Data early this year.
Since Adams’ departure, the distributor’s local operations have been led by Tech Data’s Asia Pacific vice president of marketing, education and supplier management, Michael Costigan, who stepped in as interim general manager of the A/NZ business while the company conducted a search for a permanent replacement.
Now, with O’Keeffe stepping into the role left vacant by Adams’ departure, Costigan will begin the process of a thorough handover with O'Keeffe over the coming weeks to ensure a smooth transition with as little disruption to customer or vendor partners as possible.
Costigan will then resume his role as vice president, marketing, education and vendor management, Asia Pacific.
In her new role, O'Keeffe will be responsible for developing and executing Tech Data’s business strategy across the A/NZ region, with a focus on driving profitable growth and enhancing the distributor’s solutions offerings for the local markets.
“With Wendy at the helm, we are confident we can take the A/NZ business to new heights,” Tech Data Asia Pacific president, William Chu said.
“She has proven ability leading complex channel organisations, both in Australia and across the region, as well as extensive experience in next-generation technologies. Our team will benefit from her knowledge, passion and innovative mindset.
“Australia and New Zealand present a great opportunity for Tech Data and we are excited to welcome a talented leader like Wendy to the team."
It was revealed on 12 October that O’Keeffe had resigned from her role as non-executive director with Dicker Data six months after her appointment.
At the time, Dicker Data informed shareholders that O’Keeffe resigned as a result of accepting a full-time executive role with "another organisation".
O'Keeffe has previously served as executive vice president, Asia Pacific at Westcon Group, as well as managing director, Australia and New Zealand at Westcon-Comstor.
As reported exclusively by ARN, O’Keeffe revealed plans to vacate her role at Westcon-Comstor in August 2016, leaving the distributor at the end of November 2016.
“After 15-and-a-half years it’s time for a change,” O’Keeffe told ARN at the time. “I’ve grown up with the business and it’s at a critical point in its evolution.
She also worked for Tech Pacific for 13 years as the director of the telecommunications division. Tech Pacific was acquired in 2004 by Ingram Micro for $700 million.
Additionally, O'Keeffe has previously served on several distribution advisory boards for vendors including Cisco, Juniper, Polycom, Avaya and Palo Alto.
Her arrival at Tech Data comes as the distributor bulks up its local leadership team with other tech talent. On 12 October, Tech Data revealed it had appointed former Insight commercial sales director, Pia Broadley, as its new director of sales and operations across Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ).
Previously, Broadley held sales and operations leadership roles with Express Data - and then Dicker Data - operating as partner services manager and, most recently, commercial sales director for Insight.
At the same time, Tech Data recently bade farewell to its cloud services and strategic growth director for Australia and New Zealand, Winston Wong, as he takes up a new role with VMware.
It is understood that Wong’s move to VMware, reported by ARN on 10 October, is set to see the distribution expert step into a high-level partner-facing role within the virtualisation vendor's local operation.
Wong had led Tech Data’s A/NZ Vision, Strategy and Execution for the Global SBU (Specialty Business Units) go to market since mid-2016, back when the business, then known as Avnet Technology Solutions, was still part of Avnet.
Wong had been with Avnet’s Technology Solutions business since 2008 in various roles.