Joe Mertens has assumed the CEO post at leading solution provider Sirius Computer Solutions, taking over for founder Harvey Najim who now serves as executive chairman of the company's board of directors.
Najim announced in February his intention to hand over the CEO duties to Mertens sometime before Jan. 2, 2012. Sirius said the succession has been in the works since Mertens was named president in January 2008.
“I have essentially shared all the responsibilities of CEO with Joe for the last several months,” Najim said in a statement. “We had excellent first- and second-quarter results, and with the successful integration of MSI into the Sirius family, the time is perfect to officially appoint him as the new CEO of Sirius so that he can execute his vision and strategy to take our company to the next level.”
San Antonio-based Sirius, ranked No. 33 on this year's VAR500 list, became a billion-dollar-plus solution provider late last year when it acquired MSI Systems Integrators, a $350-million technology solution provider based in Omaha, Neb. The deal between the two companies created a solution provider behemoth with what may be the broadest and deepest technical talent to take enterprise customers into cloud computing.
"Our view of what has to happen in the [technology solution provider] industry is that you're going to see a few large players that have deep skills across a variety of platforms and who can cover the entire country," Mertens said in an interview in November with CRN about the MSI acquisition. Sirius is among the largest – if not the largest – IBM solution provider and a major Cisco partner.
Mertens began working at Sirius in 1984 and his responsibilities grew to managing sales and operations of the company's wholesale and distribution divisions. Those divisions were sold to Savoir Technology Group in 1997 and renamed Business Partner Solutions, of which Mertens served as president and CEO. After Avnet Computer Marketing purchased Savoir Technology Group in 2000, Mertens was named executive vice president and general manager of the IBM business unit. Mertens returned to Sirius in May 2002 as executive vice president and was named president in January 2008.
Najim, who founded Sirius in 1980, said he would devote more of his time to the Harvey E. Najim Family Foundation he established in 2006. The foundation supports children's charitable organizations in the greater San Antonio area.