Search underway for new WD EMEA boss

Western Digital is currently searching for a new boss to lead its EMEA operation after the surprise departure of long serving incumbent Klaas de Vos.

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By  Andrew Seymour Published  September 24, 2006

Western Digital is currently searching for a new boss to lead its EMEA operation after the surprise departure of long serving incumbent Klaas de Vos. An initial request for confirmation of de Vos' exit sent to WD's EMEA PR contacts in late August went unanswered. However, news of the resignation was confirmed by MEA and South Asia regional director Hafeez Khawaja, who admitted de Vos said his goodbyes last week following a 16-year alliance with the hard drive vendor. It is not yet clear if de Vos has accepted a position at another technology company or whether he has quit to pursue alternative opportunities. “I really don’t know where Klaas will go,” commented Khawaja. “He maybe just wanted to spend more time with his family. There isn’t any other reason that I know of – maybe he thought it was time to do something else. He is now taking time off on holiday because he had been in the industry for a long time.” Western Digital’s worldwide sales chief Scott Davis is understood to have taken over de Vos’ duties in an acting capacity until a replacement is found. “The company is looking at external candidates, but nothing has yet been decided,” added Khawaja. De Vos’ decision to call time on his career at Western Digital will have come as a major blow to his employers given his extensive market knowledge and successful management of the EMEA business for the past five years. The timing will also raise eyebrows in the HDD channel, coming so soon after arch rival Seagate announced it will position the Maxtor brand as a volume-led line with attractive price points. In the Middle East, Seagate has just revamped its distribution set-up to optimise its new-look product portfolio. De Vos took over as VP and general manager EMEA from Bernd Robatzek in 2001, gaining responsibility for all aspects of the company’s activities in Germany, the Netherlands, UK, France Czech Republic and the UAE. Prior to joining Western Digital in 1990, he worked for Dutch PC manufacturer Tulip Computers.

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