Avnet's Gerry Fay Resigns as President, Electronics Marketing

The move comes amid a flurry of sales and acquisition activity as the company repositions itself to cultivate customers earlier in the design process.

Gerry Fay will continue with Avnet for an unspecified period to assist in the transition.

Phoenix, Ariz.-based electronics distributor Avnet Inc. has announced that Gerry Fay, president of Electronics Marketing, will resign his position to pursue outside opportunities. A 12-year veteran of the company and member of its Executive Board, Fay has been responsible for the operating group's strategic direction, day-to-day operations, and global performance since October 2013.

Avnet's four regional presidents—covering the Americas, Asia-Pacific, EMEA, and Japan—will now report directly to Chief Executive Officer William Amelio, the company said. Fay will stay on for an unspecified period to assist in the transition.

"Our business strategy is undergoing a transformation, and we have strong leaders in place to deliver on this strategy," Amelio said in a statement accompanying the announcement.

Since replacing former CEO Rick Hamada on an interim basis in July 2016—a move made permanent two months later—Amelio's strategy has included acquiring British technology products distributor Premier Farnell in October for approximately £691 million and purchasing Hackster Inc., a web property that provides over 200,000 "makers" a forum in which to learn how to design, create, and program Internet-connected hardware. In September, the company announced it had entered into an agreement to sell its Technology Solutions operating group to Tech Data Corporation, a deal the company said is expected to close sometime in the first half of 2017 pending regulatory approvals.

In a December 2016 interview with Global Purchasing, Fay explained that the moves were part of Avnet's bid to reach engineers at the earlier stages of the design process, including student designers and those in the emerging maker movement. "The challenge is how to find the next customer of tomorrow because the customer acquisition model is going to be different,” Fay told Global Purchasing at the time.

Announcing the company's second-quarter FY 2017 results, released January 26, 2017, Amelio said Avnet's efforts were bearing fruit, noting that the acquisition of Premier Farnell had helped boost gross profit and adjusted operating margins by 158 and 18 basis points, respectively, year over year. "Our Electronics Marketing business [Fay's charge] also performed well, as organic revenue grew approximately 4 percent in constant currency when you exclude the impact of Premier Farnell and our decision to exit select high-volume supply-chain engagements in Asia," Amelio added.

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