Arrow Electronics Inc. has appointed Andrew Bryant chief operating officer of the top-tier component distributor and information systems services provider, giving him a role that caps about 30 years in the high-tech market. Bryant’s appointment as COO and the elevation of Sean Kerins as his replacement at the helms of the company’s enterprise computing solutions business deepens the succession bench at Arrow for whenever CEO Michael Long retires.
Bryant has worked at numerous companies in his long career but has spent more time at Arrow Electronics (NYSE: ARW) in various leadership positions. His appointment as COO means he would have a hands-on and higher-level involvement in Arrow’s two major operating divisions, freeing up Long to concentrate on strategic management activities. Bryant is also likely to be involved in acquisitions involving the two divisions and will be playing a leading role in expanding Arrow’s position in Asia and other global regions.
Arrow has not had a COO since Long was elevated from the position to the corner office in May 2009. The two appointments announced in a statement today were described as part of succession planning by Arrow but the company may also be looking to strengthen its sales and marketing operations globally, especially in the components business where it has fallen behind market leader Avnet Inc.
Some observers estimate Taiwan-rival World Peace Group (WPG) might have even overtaken Arrow to become the global No. 2 electronic component distributor. Bryant is expected to forcefully drive operating efficiencies at Arrow’s two divisions and help the company boost its market share, according to Long.
“Andy’s proven track record makes him the ideal executive to further advance our sales and marketing strength across our core businesses,” Long said in the statement.
Arrow’s sales improved in 2013 to $21.4 billion after slipping in the prior year to $20.4 billion from $21.4 billion in 2011. Analysts are projecting the company’s sales in 2014 will further increase to $22.4 billion in 2014 and $23.5 billion in 2015.
Long said Kerins, who worked under Bryant as president of North America operations at Arrow enterprise computing solution since 2010, and Eric Schuck, head of Arrow’s components division, would both report to Bryant. Bryant is three years older than Long and may be out of the running as a likely successor to the current CEO. However, Schuck, 51, and Kerins are better positioned for the top job whenever Long, 55, decides to step down.
“Sean’s leadership at Arrow and his extensive industry experience will serve the company well as he succeeds Andy in leading our global enterprise computing solutions business,” Long said. “Succession planning is a critical part of our business at Arrow. [Kerins’ and Schuck’s] leadership will advance our strategy of providing value-added solutions to our customers.”