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Synnex President And CEO Kevin Murai Retires; COO Dennis Polk To Assume Distributor's Top Exec Role

Kevin Murai's retirement means that the distribution industry is losing one of its longest-serving executives, with 10 years as president and CEO of Synnex following 20 years at the helm of rival Ingram Micro.

Kevin Murai, the long-time president and CEO of Synnex, is stepping down from his post to become the distributor's chairman of the board.

Taking over for Murai is Dennis Polk, who currently serves as Synnex's chief operating officer, the company reported Tuesday.

Murai joined Synnex as president and CEO in March of 2008 after a stint of almost 20 years at rival distribution heavyweight Ingram Micro before he left that company in late 2007 as president and chief operating officer.

[Related: Synnex's Varnex Community Evolving To Meet New Digital Economy, Other Customer Initiatives]

Murai presided over significant changes at Synnex and in the distribution business during his decade with the company. In particular, he led Synnex's $830 million acquisition of Westcon Americas, adding about $10 billion to Synnex's total addressable market.

Murai, in a prepared statement, said that he had enjoyed an incredible decade with Synnex.

"My time at SYNNEX has been an incredible journey, working with remarkable people, and achieving great things together. I am excited to continue to serve SYNNEX as Chairman of the Board of Directors," Murai said.

Synnex was not available to provide further comment on the CEO transition.

Bruce Enright, president of Lenexa, Kan.-based Synnex partner Tallgrass Technologies, praised Murai's accomplishments as the chief executive, calling him the best business partner he could imagine.

"He was incredibly good at studying market trends that made an impact on our businesses," Enright told CRN. "He had a strong grasp on technology, but he had a good way with his team to make it executable at a partner level. It was special because it's hard to have a vision and strategy, but also make it digestible and implementable for solution providers like ourselves. He cared about our success in implementing those visions."

Polk started with Synnex in early 2002 as senior vice president of corporate finance, and later that year became the distributor's chief financial officer. He became the chief operating officer in 2006. He has been on Synnex's board of directors since 2012.


"[Murai] has left huge shoes to fill, but I think he has also surrounded himself with a pretty excellent team, at least on our side of the fence," Enright said. "Peter Larocque [president of Synnex North American technology solutions] has no equal, either. He is incredibly strong. They will absolutely need to fill Kevin’s shoes, but Kevin has left a strong leadership team in place."

Synnex on Tuesday also reported its fourth fiscal quarter and the full fiscal year 2017 financials. For the year, the company reported revenue of $17.0 billion, up 21.2 percent from fiscal 2016's full-year revenue of $14.1 billion.

Income on a GAAP basis for all of fiscal 2017 was $301.2 million, or $7.51 per share, up from last year's $234.9 million, or $5.88 per share. On a non-GAAP basis, income for the year was reported at $355.6 million, or $8.86 per share, up from $281.2 million, or $7.04 per share.

Alec Shirkey, Associate Editor, contributed to this report.

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