Coming into his new role as country chief executive for Ingram Micro Canada, Bill Brandel finds himself in a bit of an unfamiliar place, in a good way.
Brandel — appointed to his new role last month as current Canadian boss Mark Snider was promoted to group president for Ingram Micro’s EMEA operations — says he’s spent most of his career either starting something new, or fixing something that was broken prior to his arrival. His assessment of Ingram Micro Canada as he steps into the role? Not so much a build-up or turnaround job.
“Mark’s built a great team here, a well-oiled machine. Coming here is the first time I’ve taken over a job where everything’s working,” Brandel said. “It’s been exciting. It opens up the possibilities to focus on where we’re taking the business, without having to worry about the structure.”
Brandel confirmed that the current Canadian structure for the organization will remain the same as he moves into his new role as country chief executive, with vice presidents Lang Moffatt, and Dave Mason heading up business solutions and advanced solutions, respectively, and Greg Onoprijenko serving as director of cloud.
While the circumstances of his move to Ingram Micro Canada may be unfamiliar to Brandel, he says the business itself in Canada is not so surprising. Part of that is proximity — Brandel comes to Ingram’s Toronto-area headquarters from its Buffalo, NY centre, from which he has worked for the distributor since 1997. And part of that is that he’s had the chance to see the Canadian operations, and its leadership, up close and personal over the last half-decade or more, as Snider has served as his mentor in Ingram’s internal leadership training program.
The transition between the two leaders is still ongoing, with Brandel splitting time between Canada — he’s already spending a lot of time at headquarters in Mississauga, and has been with Snider to the distributor’s Vancouver-area facilities, with other visits to follow — and Buffalo while he waits for the required paperwork to relocate to the Toronto area permanently. He has, however, ceded his previous position heading up the U.S. operations of Ingram’s advanced solutions group, and is focused on getting up to speed on Canadian operations. Snider, meanwhile, continues to transition from leading the Canadian organization to heading up the EMEA business, a change which will oddly enough see him move from Toronto to Ingram’s corporate headquarters in California — with a lot of time spent presumably spent crossing the Atlantic from Los Angeles.
He’s still getting used to the flow of the Canadian operations for Ingram, but Brandel already seems to be crystalizing around priorities and opportunities for the Canadian business.
“The business is the same, with very similar challenges” between the U.S. and Canada, Brandel said. “Technology is growing at an astonishing rate, and we have to stay ahead of the curve. The future is in how we evolve to meet the demands of new businesses with hyperconverged, storage, and cloud,” among other fields.
With his background in the distributor’s advanced solutions group — which includes all of its data centre infrastructure offerings — it’s no surprise that continuing to grow the size and scale of that business in Canada is a top priority. Brandel said he also sees an opportunity to place “a bigger emphasis on cloud” in the Canadian business going forward.
Beyond that, he identified one other major priority, joining a company-wide push to make Ingram more “digital” as an organization, to “improve our electronic capabilities and ability to transact with our partners on a more electronic basis.”
(Editor’s note: For more on the leadership change at Ingram Micro Canada, check out ChannelBuzz.ca this Friday for our in-depth podcast interview with Mark Snider.)