Khalil quits as boss of Toshiba Middle East

Toshiba Middle East boss Ahmed Khalil has dramatically called time on his seven-year association with the regional notebook champion and handed in his resignation. His decision to quit the company comes less than a month after he cited Toshiba’s product quality and channel strategy as the reason for its elevation to the number one notebook position in the Middle East during the third quarter.

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By  Andrew Seymour Published  December 11, 2006

Toshiba Middle East boss Ahmed Khalil has dramatically called time on his seven-year association with the regional notebook champion and handed in his resignation. His decision to quit the company comes less than a month after he cited Toshiba’s product quality and channel strategy as the reason for its elevation to the number one notebook position in the Middle East during the third quarter. Khalil, speaking exclusively to Channel Middle East from Germany where he was meeting with Toshiba EMEA executives, said: “I have spent some seven years with Toshiba and it is a great company and one that is very hard to walk away from. We have built up a very strong team in the Middle East and it is a team that Toshiba can rely on moving forwards. It is time for me to look at new opportunities and explore other career options.” Toshiba has acted quickly to ensure there is a smooth transition following Khalil’s departure by appointing assistant general manager Santosh Varghese as his replacement. That move caps a whirlwind two months for Varghese who was only promoted to the assistant role at the end of October. Prior to that he served as the vendor’s sales and marketing manager in the GCC. “Taking on this role will be a challenging and interesting opportunity though I am sure that my previous experience will assist me in achieving Toshiba Computer Systems Division’s regional objectives,” said Varghese. “Ahmed Khalil steered the division’s regional strategy with tremendous results in the last few years and I will be looking to further strengthen our market-leading position and take Toshiba’s notebook business to the next level of excellence.” Under Khalil’s leadership, Toshiba became a dominant force in the regional notebook sector with top-three status in most Middle East markets. During the last quarter, the company shipped almost 88,000 laptops and leapt above Acer and HP to make the number one spot its own. Its year-on-year growth of 84% during the quarter more than doubled that recorded by the overall market. Pieter Ickx, general manager for emerging markets EMEA at Toshiba, believes the company has found the right man to continue that form and carry on from where Khalil left off. “Santosh has been with Toshiba for four years and during this time has shown remarkable strategic and leadership skills,” he said. “These skills are primary requirements for a Toshiba general manager and an invaluable asset. I am certain his new vision for its regional notebook division will help us reach new heights.” While Khalil’s exit will come as a surprise to many who have followed Toshiba’s progress in the region, Ickx insists Toshiba is geared up to coping with such a high-level senior management change. “Companies like Toshiba accept and plan for change as a part of the business cycle and its customers can be assured their existing relationship with Toshiba will continue uninterrupted. We wish Ahmed Khalil good luck with his new endeavours and we hope that our paths cross again in the future,” he said. Khalil’s decision to hand in his notice is not the first time he has done so at Toshiba. He has left the vendor once before, joining Fujitsu Siemens as regional manager in 2005 for six months before returning to Toshiba to resume his former position. Khalil will leave Toshiba at the end of December and is currently considering his next career move. Channel insiders reckon it is a safe bet that he will remain involved in the Middle East and Africa IT sector. Watch this space to find out where Khalil will make his mark next.

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