Avnet Inc. will most likely within the next few months approve the appointment of William Amelio as its substantive CEO, dissipating the cloud of uncertainty at the apex of the electronics component distributor and high-tech systems integrator. Amelio was recently named interim CEO of the company following the departure of Rick Hamada, a 30-years-plus employee of the company.
The company is in the throes of a major re-organization that will likely include some structural and market readjustment to stem a slide in its revenue growth, boost margins and prepare for significant changes in its market. Avnet is also seeking to take advantage of new opportunities in the fast-growing market for connected devices, or the digital world, and it appears the board of directors has aligned itself with Amelio’s vision for the company.
Amelio, a veteran of the high-tech market, confirmed during a conference call with analysts recently that he is interested in staying on as CEO at Avnet. This public admission will put an end to speculations about the possibility of the company appointing anyone on the current executive management team, according to observers. Indications are that Amelio is leading the pack of contenders for the top job at the company as the former CEO of Lenovo Group admitted during the conference call.
“I would assume I'm the frontrunner. But with that in mind, I've had some of the most exciting times I've had in a long time in the last four weeks of being able to be associated with a really world-class team. And I think we're in a great market, I think this is a great opportunity. So I'm very interested in [the job],” Amelio said during the conference call. “The board, of course, has their fiduciary responsibility to make sure that we do a credible search and to make sure that we leave no stone unturned. I expect the search to be done relatively rapidly and I'm hopeful for good news sometime in the future.”
It would be difficult for the board of directors at Avnet to name anyone other than Amelio as CEO. It is apparent that they are leaning in the direction of installing him in the job although a CEO-search is still being conducted. First, Amelio has been given the go-ahead to continue, modify and intensify the company’s restructuring. Second, he is about to embark on visits to all of the company’s global centers to meet employees, assess operational performance and gather the intelligence he expects to use for additional reorganization measures.
“Over the next couple of months, I plan to visit Avnet locations around the globe, meet with the team, and to get a better understanding of the local markets and what it takes to succeed. As part of that process, I and the leadership team will develop detailed plans that include growth strategies, resource allocation, and the metrics we will use to measure our progress,” Amelio said.
“Avnet possesses unique strength in technology supply chain, including sales effectiveness, efficient operations, and most importantly, a deep relationship with both our customers and our suppliers. My goal is to leverage these trends to deliver industry growth, consistent execution and steady progress towards our long-term financial goals. I will have more to share with you as these plans come together,” he added.
These are long-term management initiatives that an interim CEO will not normally undertake. Most interim CEO would simply focus on stabilizing the enterprise and the successful conduct of the executive search program. Amelio’s willingness to admit his interest in the CEO position and his detailed plan for Avnet’s future confirm he is getting a positive nod for the job from fellow directors.
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