Arrow Taps Former IBM, Insight Exec To Run S3 Networking Business

Distributor Arrow Electronics has promoted a former longtime IBM-er and former president of Insight North America to head its Arrow S3 networking unit, CRN has learned.

Mark McGrath is Arrow S3's new president. He replaces Glenn Means, who had been president of Shared Technologies, which preceded the Arrow S3 unit, since March 2011.

An Arrow spokesperson confirmed the change, which was announced internally at Arrow earlier this week, to CRN.

McGrath became national sales vice president for Arrow's North American IBM group in 2011, following two years as CEO of Synergy Solutions, a telecom services outsourcing company. McGrath is perhaps best known in the channel, however, for his years at Insight, where he was president of North America and Asia Pacific. He left Insight in February 2009 following the merging of Insight's global and North America teams under former CEO Rich Fennessy. Earlier in his career, McGrath spent 18 years at IBM, most recently as vice president of Americas.

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Arrow S3 was formed in October 2011 from the two Avaya-centric solution provider partners Arrow had recently acquired: Shared in August 2010 and Cross Telecom in May 2011. Both Shared and Cross were Top 10 U.S. Avaya partners with substantial networking and unified communications footprints.

Arrow S3 now operates as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Arrow Electronics, and Arrow has maintained that the moves were about scaling its UC, video and managed services businesses, not competing with its partner base. Arrow S3's vendor focus includes not only Avaya but also Siemens Enterprise Communications and many of the other UC and networking vendors that had been on its VAR antecedents' line cards.

"We want to build upon that business where it makes sense and grow it," Andy Bryant, president of Arrow ECS, told CRN in November. "The partnering part with the VAR base is a long term objective. We have to evolve to that. We're going to leverage it and white label it. That'll be a separate effort under Sean Kerins [president of Arrow ECS North America] to grow that with the VAR base."

Means had been Shared's chief operating officer since 2006. Shared became one of Avaya's top solution providers following Avaya's 2009 acquisition of Nortel's former enterprise unit. At the time, Shared was Nortel's largest U.S. VAR partner, and was in the mix to acquire the Nortel assets before they ultimately went to Avaya.

Means will remain with Arrow S3 and will lead its initiatives around managed services and business development, an Arrow spokesperson told CRN. Arrow did not provide additional details on why the leadership change was made.

McGrath and Means were unavailable for comment Wednesday.

Arrow said earlier Wednesday that it had earned $174.1 million on $5.44 billion in sales for its fiscal fourth quarter, handily beating Wall Street analyst estimates. Arrow CEO Mike Long said that storage now represents the biggest product category in terms of revenue for Arrow ECS, which as a business unit posted $2 billion in the fourth quarter and $6.54 billion for the year.