Executive Briefing: Avnet and the iPad

By Jennifer Lawinski  |  Print this article Print

Distribution giant Avnet will experience a change at the top in July when Rick Hamada takes over as CEO after a career at the company. Channel Insider sat down to talk with Hamada about his strategies, plans and his unique perspective on the market place. Here's what he said.

Channel Insider: What impact do you think the iPad will have on IT?

I don’t think it’s a one-hit wonder. I think it’s here to say – I’m a personal user… I don’t want to overly influence my answer here.

I think tablets represent are just a step on the evolutionary path. I believe that we’re going to have choices as consumers and as employees… there are going to be more invented we haven’t even named yet… smartphones, tablets, netbooks, notebooks and then you’ve got desktops and portables and docking stations. You’ve still got this range of options and what works best for your application and your environment… I’m not smart enough, nor would I ever attempt to figure out what will be more popular.  All I see, I see a spectrum of device opportunities. Which form, function, features and benefits fit your world, and I think there will be adoption accordingly.

Channel Insider: What do you want solution providers to know about you and about Avnet as you take over this summer?

Hamada : Many of them do know me and I’m very proud of that, so number one,  I would like to make sure I keep direct contact with our customers, even as CEO. By the way, many of them have my direct contact information and I would invite them to use it, when appropriate. Feel free to continue to do so.

I love being connected to the customers, and this applies across all of Avnet. That’s one thing I look forward to – just because I’m CEO doesn’t mean I’m changing that… as I said at the beginning, my most fervent desire for Avnet is that this transition is a smooth transition that does not give us any disruption in the current relationships. Roy and I are working very hard to make this like a relay race… that’s the vision we have for trying to do this.

I would encourage the customers to challenge us if they see any particular issues there, but we’re working very hard and have worked very hard to make sure there’s no opportunity for disruption. Let us know what you need from your value-added distributor. Where it’s going and how it’s going to get there is something we need to work out together… I intend to keep the voice of the customer a very top influencer in our decision making and resource distribution.