Harrison to leave Cellnet

Harrison to leave Cellnet

Cellnet is hunting for a new CEO following the resignation of current boss, Stephen Harrison.

Harrison announced last week he will leave the post after almost 13 years with the distributor. Speaking to ARN about the decision, he said Cellnet had grown to the point where it required a managing director with experience running a large company.

"We're a $500,000 company looking to become a $1 billion company," he said. "This needs a different skillset. I have taken it from nothing to what it is today through vision and sales growth, but I don't have the skills for the next step."

Harrison said he had been in discussions with the board for several months over the decision to resign now or next year.

According to a statement from company chairman, Darryl McDonough, Harrison will stay on as managing director until a replacement has been found. He will then act as a consultant to the company for a 12-month period, while retaining his shareholding in Cellnet.

Harrison said he would help the distributor find his replacement over the next few months.

The company expected to make an appointment by June 30. No other management changes were planned, he said.

Once the gestation period with the new boss was over, Harrison said he would relocate to Sydney and work with Cellnet part-time to develop its presence in that market.

"I'm not really leaving as such," he said. "I'll be a consultant to Cellnet for 12 months, with an option for an extra year after that."

But despite maintaining ties with Cellnet, Harrison said he was keen to pursue new business opportunities outside of the industry, as well as spend time travelling.

Harrison co-founded Cellnet in 1992 and held the role of managing director since 2002. During this period, he worked on the Queensland-based company's shift from a mobile hardware supplier into a national broad-based IT distributor. This transition was fuelled by its acquisition of IT Wholesale in 2000 and Cassa Australia in 2003.

"You've got to realise where your skills lie and how far you can go," he said. "There's a time to get off the bus at the right stop. My forte is building businesses and getting them to a point where you sell or float."

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