Managing director, Target Components
What was your dream career as a child?
Centre forward for Bolton Wanderers (surely every child's dream?).
What has been your personal highlight of 2019?
We've just had our open day so at this point that feels like the highlight. It's our main chance in the year to catch up with so many familiar faces and - even after 21 years in the business - make new friends.
Which famous person deserves a (gentle) slap?
There are too many to mention, but mostly politicians. Anyone who tries to collapse complex, serious issues into trite slogans. Put simply, anyone knowingly pursuing something for personal benefit at the expense of others. There are plenty to choose from at the moment.
What two things (apart from family) would you grab if your house was on fire?
Do the dogs count as family?
If not, I'd have to grab three things (the cats can fend for themselves). Possessions wise, not a clue but most things are replaceable anyway.
Which of your 2019 predictions have come to pass?
After a bright start, I thought Bolton might have a decent season. Obviously that's one that didn't pan out.
What TV show have you binge watched this year?
I binged on quite a few. Not the most watched - as there's only one season - but one of my favourites was Chernobyl.
How has 2019 been from a business perspective?
We've had some very successful brand launches this year, hit record sales for our March year end and are well on course to comfortably beat it this year. There's always lots happening in business, but after several years of successive record sales we had to do the hard graft on infrastructure, systems and people to enable us to keep growing. We're now starting to see the benefits, which is enormously satisfying, and it's an exciting time for Target.
What annoys you most about your commute?
My normal commute's about eight minutes door to door. So nothing.
If you could witness one past event, what would it be?
My first response was some of the famous battles - Agincourt or Waterloo maybe. On reflection, I'm not sure it's much of a spectator sport. Probably the 1923 FA Cup final - the first one at Wembley and the famous white horse final. I can't remember who won it…
How do you explain the channel to people?
I tend not to. If someone outside the channel asks what I do I'll generally tell them I ‘sell computer stuff'. If they're daft enough to pursue the conversation, I'll happily talk for hours - and probably bore them to death - about the business. Especially after a few beers.
What have been your favourite and least favourite partner conference destinations?
I only tend to do UK ones, and none have particularly stood out one way or the other. Our earliest open days were in a big tent in our carpark - that was pretty special.
What is the biggest challenge facing the channel in 2020?
The biggest challenges are rarely channel-specific. The biggest external factor is always the economy. As it's been for the last few years, that comes down to Brexit; if and when it happens, what it looks like and what effect it has on business and consumer confidence. At micro level, the biggest challenge remains flexibility - businesses that can adapt quickly to change can thrive. Those that can't, won't.
Emma de Sousa will replace Wolfgang Ebermann as EMEA president on 1 January 2021
HPE merged its sales divisions in the UK last year
David Meads takes over from Scot Gardner
Sarah Shields to become channel chief for Austria, Switzerland and the Nordics
Red Hat CEO James Whitehurst has also been appointed company's president
AdEPT plans to raise up to £4m
Insight’s lead architect for AWS guides CRN through the process of winning the coveted status and the competitive advantage it brings
Average wage across UK's top 350 VARs, MSPs and tech consultancies growing just above inflation, according to CRN research