Synnex Grabs Ex-Tech Data Exec Michael Urban As New Worldwide Technology Solutions Distribution President


Synnex has hired an executive from rival Tech Data to head its worldwide business.

Fremont, Calif.-based distributor Synnex on Thursday said it has appointed Michael Urban as its new president of worldwide technology solutions distribution, where he will report to Synnex President and CEO Dennis Polk.

Urban will officially start at Synnex in February.

[Related: CRN Exclusive: Synnex CEO Kevin Murai And His Successor, Dennis Polk, Discuss The Future Of Distribution]

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Urban will join Synnex after a nearly six-and-a-half stint at rival distributor Tech Data where, during his last two years, he served as corporate senior vice president of strategy, transformation, and global vendor management.

Tech Data did not respond to a request for information about who might replace Urban at the Clearwater, Fla.-based distributor.

Urban also spent 13 years at Germany-based Actebis Holding GmbH, and left the company in 2003 as chairman and CEO. Actebis, which was acquired by Switzerland-based ALSO Holding, is now known by the ALSO name.

In his new role, Urban will lead and manage Synnex's worldwide technology solutions distribution business and manage the strategic direction of the company's global distribution, logistics and integration services operations, the company said.

This role of president of worldwide technology solutions distribution is a new one at Synnex, said Bob Stegner, senior vice president of marketing for Synnex's North American business. Among his duties will be managing such things as distribution warehouse operations, IT, human resources, and others that Polk has been managing until now, Stegner told CRN.

Peter Larocque, Synnex's president of U.S. distribution, will continue in that role, according to Synnex. He will report to Urban once Urban joins, according to sources at Synnex.

"This does not affect Peter's role at all," Stegner said. "It simply gives us someone that's worldwide."

Polk, in a letter emailed late Thursday to Synnex vendors and customers, a copy of which was read by CRN, wrote that Urban has a wealth of distribution industry experience, including his CEO role at Actebis, with a "proven track-record" in managing operations for the Americas, Asia and Europe. He also cited Urban's experience with an "entrepreneurial, partner-first leadership style" he said would mesh well with Synnex.

Polk did not mention Urban's former role at Tech Data.

Polk, in his letter, said Urban's joining Synnex will provide global consistency for vendors and solution providers with the company's current Americas and Japan business, better support of its channel partner community in existing geographies and beyond, and provide better management capabilities on a larger scale.

"We have excellent geographic leaders: Peter Larocque (North America), Otavio Barbosa (Latin America) and TJ Trojan (Japan), and this team, along with Michael, looks forward to further leveraging and executing on our strategies to best serve you," Polk wrote.