Job title: Country manager UK and northern Europe.
Company: Bell Microproducts.
Year of birth: 1964.
Place of birth: Rothbury, Northumberland.
Career outline: After graduating, I spent nine years in the telephone directory advertising agency. This ‘first’ career culminated in a job at Procter Direct. After two formative years at Northamber setting up a new business team and then running the whole salesforce, I went to Frontline Distribution, which was soon to become Computer 2000 [C2000]. I served as general sales manager for mail order and SME sales channels for three years before tasting product management by running the peripherals, supplies, and large format plotting business units. Finally, I was promoted to sales director for the UK and Ireland and served in this position for five years. I left C2000 nine years to the day since joining having been asked to join Bell Microproducts.
What motivates you every morning to get up and work in the channel? My four-year old mainly, he doesn’t really do lie-ins. However, once he does come to enjoy them it will be the speed, the immediacy, and the impact you can have by fine tuning different parts of your business.
What has been the most over-hyped technology in the past five years? Tablet PCs.
What will be the most underrated technology in the next five years? Video phones.
Which technology would you most like to have invented? The BlackBerry.
Do you have any regrets from your time in the industry? I enjoy leading out the Bell value-added messages, so I guess I’d like to have got into a specialist distributor a little quicker.
If you could swap places with anyone in the industry, who would it be? Don Bell, then I’d be my boss’s boss.
What is the biggest hurdle you have faced in your career? I established a few businesses from scratch in my direct response agency days, that was pretty tough, but very rewarding.
What is the biggest success of your career? Strategically, being part of the team that led C2000 to number one spot in UK distribution and winning awards over the years. However, I am on a new strategic mission, which I hope will eclipse that.
What piece of technology could you not live without? Mobile phone.
What would be your advice to anyone starting a career in IT? There is no such thing as a career in IT. You have to be a good accountant, a good salesperson, or a good marketeer, irrespective of which products or services your company works with. Focus on being world class in your role and pay attention to how the different functions knit together.
What is your favorite computer game? Minesweeper.
What would you like for Christmas if you could have anything? Thierry Henry, Phillipe Senderos and Ronaldo, all in a Newcastle United team who are 10 points clear at the top of the Premiership.
What is your favorite karaoke song? Anarchy in the UK, by the Sex Pistols.
What would be the title of your autobiography? Let’s Go To Work.
Do you have any phobias? Yes. Celery.
Number of staff you manage? 97.
What is your golf handicap? 48.
What car do you drive? Audi.
Number of air miles you have? No idea.
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