Five Insights On How Chris Leahy Will Lead CDW

A New Era At CDW

The current and future CEOs of CDW briefed analysts about their announcement today that Christine Leahy would succeed Tom Richards as CEO.

Leahy -- CDW’s first female CEO and now one of only 25 chief executives on the Fortune 500 -- did not announce any plans for sweeping changes to the company she inherits in January, but vowed that the solution provider powerhouse would remain focused on being a market leader.

“Under Tom’s leadership, CDW had delivered world-class performance and its my commitment to continue on this path, and take CDW even higher in the coming years,” she said.

Leahy is grounded in the culture of the company she has helped grow for 16 years and said her plan is to continue that momentum. In a call with investors on Tuesday, Leahy laid our her priorities for the next few months to make that happen.

First Things First

“First as chief revenue officer, my number one priority is to finish 2018 strong and set up for success in 2019. That is paramount. My second priority is to continue spending time with our coworkers, our customers and our partners. Our culture, as you know, is a meaningful source of competitive advantage and sustaining our unique culture is imperative. Third, I’ll focus on ensuring a smooth transition working closely with Tom and the entire leadership team, including Chris Corley. With Chris taking on a new role of chief operating officer, I’m tremendously confident about the team we have in place. Chris Corley could not be more qualified or prepared for the role, and I anticipate a very smooth transition of my current responsibilities.”

'Business As Usual'

“What will change? The answer is nothing. It will be business as usual for CDW. We have a strong and enduring business model. At the core of that model is a simple, but powerful formula: make sure we profitably win in the market. Doing so enables us to continually invest. It’s this investment in the future that ensures we stay relevant to customers and to partners and deliver value to shareholders. That will not change.”

Customer First

“Our strength is our coworkers and there’s been a consistency over four decades and our focus on coworkers in staying close to our customers so CDW is able to understand and change with our customers and use our scale and our scope to structure the organization to best serve those customers. The other thing is our business model, which is flexible and has been enduring. So when we talk about things that would change I would really focus on the fact that we embrace change and we’re able to evolve with it and prioritize our customers to succeed in the marketplace.”


“Another key component of our success has been our focus on the right customers. Focus on execution. Focus on profitable growth and strong returns on investment. That will not change. We will continue to focus our investments to ensure we are best positioned in the market to help our customers leverage technology to drive their success. We will continue to invest based on a rigorous review of our capabilities, where the market is going and what our customers want from us.

"You should expect the same level of transparency and dedication to shareholders. You should expect CDW will continue its laser focus on execution and dedication to delivering on expectations. You should expect the same focus on our circle of service, putting our customers at the center of everything we do, and inspiring our coworkers to take care of our customers and each other.”

Stronger Every Day

“At CDW we maintain a mindset that there’s always room for improvement. Always. And that drives our culture of continuous improvement. So you won’t hear us necessarily talking about a big cost transformation project, because that’s in our DNA, and we’re doing that every single day. So yes there’s always opportunity to change, but our DNA is to focus on that, is to find it, and act on it.”