Gerry O'Keeffe

clock
Gerry O'Keeffe

Group managing director, Exertis UK, Ireland & MEA

Which tech figurehead do you admire the most?

Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, which became the world's largest PC software company. He founded "The Giving Pledge" and will leave half of his wealth to charity. 

What's the biggest challenge facing the industry no-one is talking about yet?

I think the biggest challenge the industry is facing is attracting new dynamic talent that sees mainstream IT as a way to them building their fortunes. Generally, I feel the average age of the distribution/reseller community is ageing and the hunger for commissions that will drive the industry in the early days is not quite the same.

If you could invite three famous people to dinner, who would they be?

Rosa Parks, activist in the civil rights movement who would not stand to give a white person her seat on a bus. Her famous quote: "I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear"; Neil Armstrong, astronaut and the first person to walk on the moon who spoke the famous words: "That's one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind"; and Marilyn Monroe, a famous actress and model. All Marilyn ever wanted was to be herself, to be allowed the freedom to be more than just the blonde bombshell.

How has 2017 been for you?

2017 has been a good year. We've brought Hammer, Medium and MTR and TOS in Ireland into the Exertis fold. A huge highlight of the year was our "Plug into Exertis" event at Twickenham in April attended by 950 resellers. We've moved into a new office in Technology House and opened our new warehouse at Burnley, upgraded our Harlow offices to accommodate the Computers Unlimited Team from Harlow and significantly expanded our offices and presence in the UAE. 

Personally, I enjoyed a great trip to New Zealand for the Lions Tour, with 10 mates, and seeing the Lions win at Wellington was a huge highlight. 

What's the most extravagant business lunch you've ever had?

Having worked in distribution for the last 20 years in Crewe, Basingstoke and Burnley, extravagant lunches are few and far between. However, I've always enjoyed the Acer and Samsung Christmas events, times when I always block out the afternoon or the following mornings. 

Which global city best matches your personality?

I love Dublin, London and Manchester where I've lived over the years, but closest to my heart is Sydney where I lived for eight years. Blue sky, proximity to the sea, great food, a party city that is always optimistic. 

What would be your super-hero power?

Time travel; both backwards and forwards in time. Imagine going back in time to see your favourite band play in their heyday. Better yet, preventing your rival from being born, acquiring future technology, or getting winning Lottery numbers. Time travel is one of the greatest fantasies of all, opening the entire span of world history as your playground.

Complete this sentence. The worst thing about our rivals is… that they are all very good at what they do.

What makes you nervous?

Every year on holiday in France I go with my two boys to Les Gorges D'Heric, where they jump off rock ledges 40ft down into the rock pools. Every year I bottle it and go down to the 20ft ledge. They are really not impressed by me. 

If you could eat one type of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Thai curries; green or red. 

Sum up the channel in three words

Never, ever dull.

More on Reseller

Women in Tech Festival: Softcat's head of talent, engagement and diversity on supporting women through life-changing events

Women in Tech Festival: Softcat's head of talent, engagement and diversity on supporting women through life-changing events

Josh Budd
clock 11 August 2022 • 1 min read
'We've been preparing for this for the last 18 months' - Logicalis UK&I boss on Q Associates acquisition

'We've been preparing for this for the last 18 months' - Logicalis UK&I boss on Q Associates acquisition

Alex Louth tells CRN how restructuring the business last year made it possible for the UK and Ireland arm of the business to make its first acquisition since 2016

Josh Budd
clock 09 August 2022 • 4 min read
'The UK is a big focus going forward' - Presidio European boss lays out ambitions

'The UK is a big focus going forward' - Presidio European boss lays out ambitions

Brid Graham talks to CRN about the scale of the Presidio business in Europe following its acquisition of Arkphire, and how the firm plans to expand into the UK market

Josh Budd
clock 08 August 2022 • 3 min read

Highlights

Staff & Salaries 2022

Staff & Salaries 2022

A snapshot of pay and headcount trends in the UK channel

Doug Woodburn
clock 09 March 2022 • 1 min read
Midwich CEO on Nimans acquisition, 2021 results and return to pre-pandemic levels

Midwich CEO on Nimans acquisition, 2021 results and return to pre-pandemic levels

Stephen Fenby talks to CRN after Midwich’s 2021 results in which profitability exceeded pre-pandemic levels

Josh Budd
clock 08 March 2022 • 3 min read
4 more vendors suspend sales in Russia following Ukraine invasion

4 more vendors suspend sales in Russia following Ukraine invasion

IBM and Microsoft are among a number of vendors which have also announced that they will halt sales in Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.

Dan Bennett
clock 08 March 2022 • 3 min read