Avnet Inc. is wasting no time on its journey toward transformation. The global electronics distributor today announced a series of executive appointments it said will bolster its efforts to support customers through every stage of a product's lifecycle. Yesterday, Avnet announced the acquisition of Hackster.io, a developer site for the design and programming of IoT products.
Three individuals have joined the Avnet Executive Board reporting to CEO William Amelio:
- Peter Bartolotta has joined Avnet in the new role of chief transformation officer. He will oversee the transformational and operational aspects of Avnet’s business to enable growth, deliver superior customer experience, and optimize efficiency, productivity and cost. Bartolotta will be responsible for multiple teams, including those focused on: Digital Transformation, Emerging Business Development, Logistics, Enterprise Effectiveness, Global Procurement and the Program Management Office. Bartolotta has extensive P&L and operations experience in addition to expertise in supply chain management, engineering and quality. He most recently served as the CEO of Terra Point and MD Toxicology Group.
- Therese Bassett has been promoted to the newly created role of chief strategy, innovation and M&A officer. She will work with Avnet’s internal business units to identify growth opportunities to enhance the company’s overall business portfolio, financial strength and global market value. Bassett has an impressive 23-year Avnet tenure, and she has held various roles including those related to export compliance, transportation, business development, marketing and strategic planning. Most recently, she served as a senior vice president for the human resources team focused on Avnet’s talent and organizational development.
- Michael O’Neill joined the company as general counsel and chief legal officer. Before joining Avnet, O’Neill served as vice president and chief legal officer at Canadian Helicopter Corporation. His technology industry expertise includes serving as senior vice president and general counsel at Lenovo, plus a variety of legal roles including general counsel international and worldwide global contract management at Honeywell.
In addition, Kevin Sellers has been named chief marketing officer after joining Avnet one year ago as vice president of corporate marketing and communications. In his expanded role, Sellers is responsible for Avnet’s global marketing and communications function which includes brand strategy and management, as well as digital marketing, advertising, demand generation, social media and communications. Sellers is a technology industry veteran and spent 23 years at Intel where he held a variety of marketing leadership positions in the U.S. and abroad.
It's clear that Avnet is doubling down on its commitment to penetrate the engineering community. Its acquisition of Premier Farnell plc earlier this year brings the element14 engineering community — with more than 430,00 registered members -- under Avnet’s wing. The Hackster.io acquisition brings another 200,000 engineers that design, create and program Internet-connected hardware.
The battle for the hearts and minds of engineers is being waged among electronics distributors. Component suppliers encourage distributors to get their devices designed into OEM or EMS end-products. Suppliers reward distributors once those end-products reach production. Distributors also can sell other components they carry into that same design.
The industry’s largest distributor, Arrow Electronics Inc., has added hundreds of engineers to its customer-facing operations and has acquired two media businesses with technology-focused publications. To reach the hobbyist and maker market Arrow formed an alliance with crowdfunding site Indiegogo.
Although Avnet has also been aggressive in hiring engineers, it’s strength has been on the volume sales and fulfillment side of the distribution equation. By reaching close to 600,000 engineers through element14 and Hackster.io, Avnet hopes to convert the designs they develop into long-term supply chain relationships.
“These are exciting times at Avnet,” said Amelio. “We are transforming our business to not only strengthen financial performance, but to also give us unprecedented capabilities at every stage of the product lifecycle—from idea generation to mass production. Each of these individuals brings decades of business experience and unique talents. Now is the perfect time to align Avnet’s executive team with our long-term strategy to be the premier design and supply chain leader with the broadest portfolio of offerings.”