Jon Atherton

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Jon Atherton

Group sales & marketing director, Ci Distribution

Tell us something most people won't know about you

I am sure this question comes up every two years! And I'm not going to incriminate myself any further… At 16 I came fourth in the 100m at the National Youth Athletics meet at Alexandria Stadium, Birmingham. A stepping stone to the youth national team.

What has been your highlight of 2018 so far?

Growing our portfolio of vendors and increasing our customer breadth across distribution, becoming a driving force within client rugged devices and solutions. The success of Rugged World 2018 for the team was the icing on the cake.

Who would play you in the film of your life?

I would like to think Brad Pitt but he doesn't have the same bone structure as me, so it would have to be a different actor for each decade of my life… I was half the size I am now even 10 years ago.

Which tech firm (other than your own!) do you most admire?

That is so difficult due to the amazing work so many vendors do in pushing the technological boundaries to make our daily lives easier, simpler, efficient and so on. One area I do admire the progress is in robotics, specifically for the medical vertical. How these technological robotics are now programmed in helping patients to adapt to the condition of each patient as they recover from strokes, traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries and so on.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

Jack and Coke. One ice cube. And a Topic bar (but not together).

What is the most irritating tech buzzphrase of 2018?

‘Blockchain'.

What would be your first act if you were made Prime Minister?

Abolish University fees. We should be investing in our children.

What's the biggest untapped opportunity facing the channel?

That is a difficult one. When I visit resellers, especially SMEs, they are crying out for service wraps around hardware, to differentiate themselves against the competitors. Distribution must do more in assisting our resellers: asset retirement, recycling, security, BTO, warranty/repair, online development assistance and so on.

What is your most treasured possession?

I am fortunate to own some expensive possessions but my most treasured possession is the memories I have of my late mother. These are unique to me and my mother was and continues to be my inspiration to succeed.

What do your family think you do all day?

I don't know. They do know I have a strong work ethic and when I do occasionally do something different - exhibitions in Monaco or Vegas, golf with clients, whatever - it's important to have balance.

Who has been your mentor in business?

Many, many people. We should all be inspired by those we are around: friends, family, colleagues. It should not have to be your chairman or manager. Without a strong, positive social base around you as a foundation, it would be hard to focus and be a success.

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