AST?s channel confidence took a nosedive last week as Fujitsu ICL poached a third top-flight channel executive in less than six months.
Sales manager Noel Lynch will join Frank O?Brien, appointed Fujitsu ICL UK sales director last autumn, and reseller account manager Annie Gales.
Lynch, who is on gardening leave until 17 March, will take on the role of senior reseller account manager. O?Brien said he was ?very excited? about the appointment. ?I?ve worked with Noel for a number of years, he?s enthusiastic about the opportunity, and it?s going to be good for everyone.?
He said Lynch?s decision to jump ship was symbolic of low morale at troubled AST: ?A lot of the core of the business has been drained away. There was a lot of frustration before the Samsung takeover, and there?s still a question mark over their commitment to the business. A lot of good people have left.?
AST Marketing director Con Mallon said: ?Obviously we?re disappointed, but not surprised. Noel and Frank have a history of working together over a number of years. We wish him well.?
Harry Thuillier, chairman of Fraser Associates, said: ?Noel Lynch was brilliant. He was the one who maintained the relationship with the channel and there?s no obvious replacement.?
AST realigned its distributor discounts at the beginning of February, cutting two per cent from distributor discounts. Discounts are now 20 per cent across the board for distributors and direct dealers, but distributors are able to make the difference up with soft margin.
Mallon confirmed that the distributor discount system was being realigned, but ?the overall package for distributors remains the same?.
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