Long-standing Avnet CEO and industry stalwart Laurie Stellers will step down from his role later this year for some much-anticipated “leisure time”.
Sellers will retire at the end of Avnet’s 2013 Q1 in September after a year and a half heading up the distributor’s Australian operation. His departure from the industry ends a 37 year-long career.
“You know that Beatles number ‘When I’m 64’, well I’ll be 64 in October,” Sellers told CRN. “I think I’ve had a pretty good wicket. I’ve always had in mind I would retire in my early sixties.”
Sellers first joined rival distributor itX in 1993 before being appointed CEO in 1998. Sellers committed to stay in the role following itX's acquisition by Avnet in 2011, until the integration of the two companies was complete.
That integration culminated earlier this month with the relocation of Avnet’s Gladesville office into what was the former ITX office in North Ryde. The office spans two levels and encompasses 170 of Avnet’s 270 nationwide staff.
Sellers plans to spend his retirement focusing on his core interests of music, motor cars and racing.
“I’ll be doing as little as possible,” he told CRN.
Sellers holds an extra-curricular role with music promotions company CC Entertainment, producing music tribute shows to rock bands such as Pink Floyd and The Rolling Stones.
Despite playing guitar since a young boy, Sellers chooses not to perform on stage but rather focus on ticket sales, marketing, rehearsing and putting the bands together.
“I’m not good enough to get on stage with those guys - I’d like to think I am, but I’m not,” he said. “I don’t get involved in the performance side but I always make sure I’ve got a front row ticket.”
Sellers’ other hobby involves a collection of 12 classic motor cars, several of which he regularly takes out on circuits including Eastern Creek and Phillip Island.
“I predominantly race an Austin Healey 300, with an MGB as a back-up,” he said. “Most of my cars are Ford Mustangs; I’ve got six of those, and three are Shelbys. My favourites are the 1965 Shelby Mustang GT 350 and the 1970 E type Jaguar.”
Sellers will unofficially step down from his role in July. Asia Pacific marketing vice president Michael Costigan will take over in the interim, support by Avnet global senior vice president Tony Madden.
Avnet will conduct an “intensive recruitment search” from next month.
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Issue: 335 | January/February 2015
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