Bawol Takes Over as New Avnet PresidentBy Sharon Linsenbach | Print
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Jeff Bawol, a 29-year veteran of Avnet, takes the reins from Fred Cuen as Avnet Technology Solutions president.
Avnet Technology Solutions has a new president in Jeff Bawol, who says he will continue to push forward with the distributor's "sound strategy" of solution selling.
Bawol, formerly vice president of Avnet’s ESS (Enterprise Software and Storage) group, takes over for Fred Cuen, who left Avnet the week of May 12 in what the distributor says was a "mutually agreed upon decision."
Bawol says he will continue ATS' focus on solution selling, and that his team will focus on delivering all the products, tools and support partners need to sell products from across Avnet's technology portfolio.
Bawol also says that Avnet's HealthPath initiative for VARs selling into the health care space and government-focused vertical solutions are garnering great results from VARs and customers, and that he plans to continue to put resources toward those and other vertical market initiatives.
"We've done a great job moving forward toward solution selling, and the growth and acceptance we've seen from our partner base has validated that strategy, so we know it's absolutely sound," Bawol says.
Under Bawol, Avnet's ESS group grew revenue nearly 42 percent over the last three years, but as a whole, Avnet's most recent earnings report was disappointing.
In April, Avnet reported sales for its third fiscal quarter were $4.42 billion, a 13 percent increase over the third quarter of 2007 but still at the low end of expectations. CEO Roy Vallee said in a statement that earnings were impacted by lower-than-expected operating income from its technology solutions segment and flat operating income from Avnet's electronics marketing segment.
"We are extremely disappointed with our earnings as a confluence of issues contributed to a very difficult quarter," Vallee says in the statement, and added that 'corrective measures' were being taken.
Despite these challenges, however, Bawol says for now he will spend time listening and learning both from colleagues and from ATS customers, and rearranging his schedule to accommodate more Avnet vendor and partner summits.
"It's great fun to talk to customers and learn from them, and suppliers too," Bawol says.
"After nearly 30 years here, I know a lot of these guys, but really getting into the nitty-gritty of how their business and departments run and sharing best practices amongst all of us will be great fun," Bawol says.