CRN caught up with John Walters hours after he had notified staff that he was leaving Ingram Micro. Walters spoke about his plans for the future and the company he was leaving behind.
CRN: How do you feel?
Walters: Good mate. I've been leading the planning of the restructure for a long time now, really since April. When [Ingram Micro vice president and Australian managing director] Jay [Miley] and I first started talking about it, when we realised something new had to be done to make sure that our salesforce was setup for success and not failure.
We launched the solutions group about three years ago and while that was successful it needed to go to the next level. To do that it needed a much tighter alignment and integration internally.
So that's what we've been planning and Jay said to me about six months ago, "Mate, if it keeps going like this you'll be working yourself out of a role."' [It was] a bit of a joke. But it became pretty obvious as we were [getting] closer to launch that really, to make things work effectively, there wasn't a role for me at my level.
Obviously there was other opportunities. But Jay and I discussed it - I thought it was time for me to move on because the other roles weren't really at the scale or the scope that I would find challenging based on what I've done over the last few years.
CRN: There was a whole lot of restructuring a short while ago with jobs being cut and changes to positions. Is this another restructure or another stage in the one process?
The restructure we did in March was clearly a recutting [of] our cloth internally to meet the market - the GFC and the downturn - and to get our cost structure in order.
This restructure is all about setting ourselves up for success and growth and serious alignment into distinct go-to-market business units, one around the volume space and one around the value space.
I don't want to speak for Jay, but I would see this as an extremely positive restructure and I think maybe I could probably be one of the only casualties, if you want to put it that way.
CRN: What does this mean for the Australian channel? You've invested so much of yourself into the role and into the company.
I've always had the philosophy that business has got to be bigger than an individual and I think there's lots of individual contributions which go into any business to make up the culture and significance and the positioning of that business in the market.
If I've been able to have my oar in the water and add value to where Tech Pacific had gone - that's what I've aimed to do and I'm leaving with extremely proud memories.
I also really love the channel and my aim, I suppose, would be to find another role within the channel somewhere where I can add value. I don't believe in going off into another world.
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Issue: 315 | May 2013
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