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John Paget, the new president of Avnet Technology Solutions, the distributor’s solutions and value-added arm, has experience in each part of the two-tier channel, but still says his focus is on VARs, “the pointy end of the stick.”

Paget, whose appointment was announced Feb. 14, has done time at distributors, manufacturers and VARs.

“VARs are the most critical touch-point in the channel,” he said in an interview following his appointment. “They are point at which the solution meets the end-user, and it’s critical that we manage the relationship properly.”

Paget headed a pair of large VARs, Innalogic Trace, a large Hewlett-Packard reseller and CIC Systems, a Sun Microsystems shop, and called the job “the hardest in the industry.”

“VARs are out there on the point end of the stick,” he said. “They see what is important very clearly, things like cash flow management.”

Paget touts his time as a VAR as among his best credentials, saying he knows what is important to reseller community and promises to keep that in mind in shaping policy at Avnet.

But it’s Paget’s time with distributors, Synnex North America and GE’s Access Distribution, where he spent much of his time consolidating acquisitions and heterogeneous channels, that are of interest to Avnet, said Rick Hamada, chief operating officer of Avnet, ATS’s parent company, who preceded Paget in the position before he was promoted in May.

Avnet purchased GE Access in November.

Paget coordinated post-acquisitions at both Synnex and Access including a Brazillian HP and IBM distributor Access picked up, but Hamada wouldn’t speculate about what Paget’s experience means for any future Avnet acquisitions.

“One of the things we liked most about John was that he understands our own approach to integrating a company,” he said, “that it’s not about financials, but culture.”