Veteran Channel Exec Bast To Lead Westcon-Comstor Partner Program

Technology distributor Westcon-Comstor has promoted a long-time channel executive to lead its global partner management group, the company announced Monday.

Ken Bast, who came to Westcon as senior vice president last year after 15 years as a general manager at Ingram Micro, will become executive vice president June 1. He’ll be in charge of cultivating Westcon's top global vendor and customer relationships and growing business from them.

"I am very pleased to attract the talent that Ken represents,’ CEO Dolph Westerbos said in a prepared statement. ’As we are building the IT distribution company of the future, investing significantly in our tools and creating new capabilities in cloud and services, Westcon-Comstor, and our partners, will benefit greatly from Ken’s experience and leadership to help complete that journey.’

[RELATED: WestconGroup Takes Aim At Hot Startups With Incubation Program]

Sponsored post

Bast will succeed Bill Corbin, who left Westcon after nine years with the company and was announced Monday as the new senior vice president of strategic partnerships and channel operations for telecommunications company CenturyLink.

Westcon hopes to leverage Bast’s long history with the channel.

"We have the widest global reach of any distributor;" Bast said, noting that Tarrytown, N.Y.-based Westcon is one of the few distributors that can help vendors "reach all corners of the globe."

"The biggest thing to understand here is the vendor's need and desire to reach their market through resellers," he said. "I've worked 100 percent in the reseller and partner space, so, understanding the channel and how the channel works - specifically enabled through distribution - is in my DNA."

Before being brought on 10 months ago as senior vice president of the partner group, Bast was an IT channel consultant for a year after his tenure at Ingram Micro, most recently as vice president and general manager of the Advanced Technology Division. In that role, Bast was responsible for the sales, marketing and vendor management teams that supported advanced solutions for networking, security and unified communications, while providing channel partners with training and services.

Because of that experience, Bast said, he already has a relationship with most of Westcon's vendor partners, and understands how much they need the channel.

"We speak the same language and we are trying to achieve the same goal," he said.

During his brief tenure at Westcon, Bast has focused on developing its global relationship with Cisco Systems. Meanwhile, his team launched the Comstor Security Initiative Program and the Cisco ONE software program globally, driving those technologies through Westcon's global reach and tightening the bond between the distributor and Cisco.

In his new role, Bast said he will continue to drive that relationship with Cisco, but will also seek to help the rest of Westcon's top 15 vendors – which represent about 85 percent of Westcon's revenue – and its global solution provider partners.

Corbin "did a fantastic job building up the global customer management and the global vendor management programs," Bast said. He noted that he hopes to continue that success by working with Westcon’s core vendor partners and assisting solution providers with the continuing shift toward the cloud and as-a-service business models.

Bast said he's also focused on continuing the development of the company’s year-old global vendor incubator program, Accelerate, which helps smaller vendors grow their businesses to global scale and become part of Westcon's core partner group.

"There is so much opportunity in the market right now," he said, "and as a distributor, it is great."