7 controversial stories that shook the UK IT channel in 2022

Doug Woodburn
clock • 9 min read

3) Curse of the CRN Industry Achievement Award

What happened?

Softcat CEO Graeme Watt, Insight's EMEA president Emma de Sousa and ANS CEO Paul Shannon all announced their resignations in 2022 (although the former is set to stay in post until next August).

Why was it controversial?

It's not really, but Watt (2019), de Sousa (2018) and Shannon (2021) happen to represent three of the last four previous winners of CRN's Industry Achievement Award (prior to Distology's Haley Robert's 2022 victory last month).

The exception to the rule is 2020 winner Mike Norris of Computacenter.

Picked by the CRN editorial team, the Industry Achievement Award is dished out at the CRN Channel Awards (see de Sousa's acceptance interview here).

Last year's winner, Shannon, was awarded the accolade after successfully transforming ANS from a reseller into a cloud and digital transformation specialist ahead of its private equity sale.

But Shannon stepped down from ANS in October and de Sousa resigned from Insight in November. Watt, meanwhile, announced in June that he would relinquish CEO duties at Softcat next August.

"I'm 62 next year and there's not long left in my working life and I just want to try some other things. This is a chance for me to step on the board and to become a non-exec starting with chair of Softcat which is exciting for me and a new thing for me," Watt told CRN in July.

We wish the three of them good luck in their future endeavours.

Controversy rating: 8/10

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