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WestconGroup CEO Dolph Westerbos Leaves Company Amid Sale of Americas Business to Synnex

Dolph Westerbos is one of three high-profile WestconGroup executives to leave the company since the sale of its $2.18 billion Americas business to Synnex was announced in June.

Westcon-Comstor CEO Dolph Westerbos has departed, making him the third high-ranking executive to exit since the sale of its $2.18 billion Americas business to Synnex was announced.

Westerbos will be taking over as CEO of Amsterdam, Netherlands-based Staples Solutions, the operating name for Staples' 17-country, $2 billion European business. Jens Montanana, CEO of parent company Datatec, has assumed a role as Tarrytown, N.Y.-based Westcon-Comstor's executive chairman, according to the company's website.

"With over 15 years of CEO and executive management experience, Dolph has a strong track record of successfully leading complex and large-scale business transformations and developing profitable, best-in-class organizations," Olof Persson, chairman of Staples Solutions, said in a statement.

[Related: Q&A: Westcon CEO Dolph Westerbos On Splitting The Company, What Attracted Synnex, And Partner Perks]

Westerbos is one of three high-profile WestconGroup executives to leave in the past two months, joining CFO Cathy Jessup and Allan Taylor, senior director of global partner management and business development, who have moved on, respectively, to become CFO of the Helmsley Charitable Trust and COO of Tampa, Fla.-based IT distributor Global Convergence.

Datatec Group CEO Ivan Dittrich assumed the Westcon-Comstor CFO responsibilities in September 2017, according to the company's website.

Westerbos joined WestconGroup as CEO in December 2013 following two years as EMEA and Asia-Pacific president at supply chain logistics provider Brambles. Westcon-Comstor was responsible for a more than 50 percent decline in Datatec's earnings per share results for its most recent fiscal year, which ended Feb. 28, due to disruption during the final stages of an SAP implementation in EMEA.

The sale of Westcon-Comstor $2.18 billion North American and Latin American businesses to Fremont, Calif.-based Synnex was announced in June and closed Sept. 1. The $2.35 billion Westcon International business – which operates in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia-Pacific – remains under the control of Datatec and is being operated by the existing Westcon-Comstor management team.

Westerbos was unavailable for comment, according to Staples Solutions, while Westcon-Comstor and Synnex did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Westerbos told CRN in June that he planned to continue running the Westcon International business after the Synnex deal closed.

The two Westcon-Comstor executives that moved over to Synnex as part of the acquisition - North American Executive Vice President Andrew Warren and Latin American Executive Vice President Otavio Lazarini Barbosa - both remain with the company. Lazarini reports into Synnex CEO Kevin Murai, while Warren reports into North American Technology Solutions President Peter Larocque, Westerbos said.

The Americas and International business of Westcon-Comstor continue to operate under a single go-to-market structure to minimize disruption and provide vendor partners and solution providers with the same levels of service. Some $900 million of Westcon-Comstor's $6 billion in sales last year came from companies that have global procurement arrangements with the distributor, Westerbos said.

Synnex today owns a 10 percent interest in Westcon International business and will be allowed to purchase an additional 10 percent stake in Westcon International for $30 million before September 2018.

Staples' European operations were split off from the rest of the company in February when private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management bought a majority stake in the entity. Westerbos will attempt to build on the progress made since the separation.

"I look forward to working with Olof and the entire Staples Solutions and Cerberus teams to better serve our customers, create a culture of entrepreneurship, increase our speed of execution, maximize the value of our B2B platform through strategic initiatives, and position the company for sustainable and profitable growth," Westerbos said in a statement.

CWPS has been sourcing Cisco unified communication and collaboration products for the mid-market through Westcon-Comstor for the past couple of years, according to Frank Lusko, executive vice president of sales and marketing.

But despite a responsive group of local partner managers, Lusko said the Chantilly, Va.-based solution provider has been reducing its product purchases through Westcon-Comstor as CWPS focuses more of its efforts on managed and cloud services.

"Our relationship with Comstor has been a good one over the years," Lusko said. "It [the loss of Dolph Westerbos] is not impactful to us."

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