Hewlett Packard veteran Alan Furniss has surprised the industry by joining HP distributor Westcoast to run a joint initiative setting up office centre franchises.
In December 1996, HP persuaded directors from Westcoast to invest in Netfire, a firm set up to handle HP office centre franchises.
Westcoast MD Joe Hermani and financial director Harry Walker are the main investors in Netfire (PC Dealer, 4 December 1996). Hermani confirmed that Furniss had joined the distributor on 4 August as head of the HP office centre initiative.
?What I needed was serious management and organisational skills to take the project forward. Alan has the working practices to manage it,? he said.
The initiative will bring office centre systems to SMEs. Hermani said Furniss will concentrate on the HP franchise rather than the day-to-day running of Westcoast?s distribution business.
Westcoast is aiming to sign 300 resellers to franchising agreements by mid 1998.
Furniss left HP in July after 21 years, eventually becoming general manager for HP Northern Europe in the firm?s printer and peripherals business, now called commercial channels organisation. At the time he said he would start up his own business (PC Dealer, 30 July).
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