Senior European executives Lou Lewis and Henri Richard resigned from data storage giant Seagate Technology last week, prompting fears that its Q1 1997 figures will not be as good as dealers hoped.
Lewis, the charismatic VP of sales for northern Europe, has temporarily quit the industry to go travelling. Richard, VP of strategic accounts and northern Europe, has become executive VP of storage distributor Karma International.
One source said: 'They were voluntary moves. Lou has had enough and has gone to chill out, travelling round the world.'
John Milner, MD of Ambar Systems, wished Lewis a great trip, saying: 'We're all jealous.'
Another source suspected poor sales led Seagate to push large volumes of product into the indirect channel just before the close of its Q4, improving its Q4 1996 figures at the expense of Q1 1997. Seagate cannot comment on unpublished results for legal reasons.
A Seagate representative confirmed Lewis and Richard left just a month after Paul Griffin, director of marketing and distribution, quit to join IBM's storage systems division as worldwide distribution marketing director.
Seagate distributors are worried Richard will help Karma get access to Seagate disk drives. Karma lost its Conner franchise when Seagate acquired Conner earlier this year.
Karma UK MD Ron Golan said: 'We need to consolidate our vendor lines and expand our success into memory, CPUs and motherboards.
'That's why we have hired Richard - not because of his relationship with Seagate.'
Richard will report to Karma International MD Alvi Mazon.
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