Softcat has appointed distribution heavyweight Graeme Watt as its new CEO, bringing to a conclusion its six-month hunt to find Martin Hellawell's successor.
Softcat's current chairman Brian Wallace, who co-led the search, said Watt stood out for his "extensive knowledge of the sector" and "strong leadership skills".
Watt will take up the post on 1 April 2018, with current CEO Hellawell stepping back into the non-executive chairman role on the same date.
Watt (pictured) is currently senior vice president EMEA, Advanced and Specialist Solutions, at Tech Data, but was the EMEA boss for Avnet before Tech Data acquired it last year.
Speculation about his next move was inevitable, and indeed Watt was one of eight names CRN recently tipped as a possible candidate for the job.
Considering that Softcat's share price plunged by eight per cent on 24 May - the day Hellawell announced his retirement plans - shareholders will be relieved that the reseller's share price has held up this morning, initially rising one per cent.
Hellawell said Watt stressed that he will remain "completely focused" on the CEO role until 1 April, adding that Watt had a "strong team ethos".
"I am really pleased that Graeme will be joining us as chief executive. Over the years, I have seen what Graeme has achieved at Avnet and other companies in the IT distribution segment and have been very impressed by those achievements," Hellawell said.
Wallace said: "Our extensive search generated an impressive field of candidates and Graeme stood out for his extensive knowledge of the sector and the reseller channel as well as his strong leadership skills and delivery of growth in very sizeable business units at Avnet and Tech Data.
"Equally importantly, he understood and was excited by the dynamic, enthusiastic, people-oriented culture at Softcat and its importance to our company's future success. In Graeme, we believe we have found someone who can nurture the best of what we do today with the experience and dynamism to scale and grow the business yet further."
Watt added: "I am absolutely delighted to be joining Softcat. It is a significant customer of Tech Data and I have therefore seen at close quarters its remarkable growth based on a great team providing outstanding service to a rapidly growing customer base. I look forward to introducing myself to the business, getting to know its people and operations even better and working with everyone to ensure the continued success of Softcat."
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