Aptec shakes up team as new COO joins ranks

Aptec has appointed a chief operating officer as part of a management restructure designed to position the business for further growth. Guy Whitcroft, currently in charge of developing new businesses at South African IT distribution group MB Technologies, will join Aptec next month and officially take up the post in July.

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By  Andrew Seymour Published  May 3, 2007

Aptec has appointed a chief operating officer as part of a management restructure designed to position the business for further growth. Guy Whitcroft, currently in charge of developing new businesses at South African IT distribution group MB Technologies, will join Aptec next month and officially take up the post in July. Whitcroft’s responsibility as COO will be to oversee the running and development of Aptec Holdings, which comprises 10 separate entities. As well as multiple Aptec Distribution subsidiaries across the region, it encompasses security consulting firm ATS, mobile venture Brightec, and TDME — the former Tech Data Middle East business. His arrival ties in with Aptec’s move to realign its senior management team following the recent addition of TDME and the extended size of the group. Current regional VP and interim TDME boss Essam Baghdady is set to be named VP corporate governance and internal affairs, while Bahaa Salah, presently managing director of Aptec Distribution, will become VP sales for the Gulf region, reporting to Whitcroft. Speaking exclusively to Channel Middle East, Aptec chairman and CEO, Ali Baghdadi, admitted the recent acquisition of Tech Data Middle East had “accelerated” the need for a revised management set-up, which he claims is warranted by the scale and momentum of the group. The purchase of Tech Data’s components and enterprise units has established Aptec as the second largest distribution house in the Middle East by annual sales. “We are putting a strong management team in place to take the company forward in a stronger fashion,” explained Baghdadi. “With the widening of the organisation through the acquisition of the Tech Data business, our ambitions mean we need to have a structure focused on strategy and delivery.” He added: “We have looked at who could deliver what from within, and the same from outside, and put together a strong team.” Whitcroft brings extensive experience to the role at Aptec. His 30 years in the IT channel have taken in all aspects of the industry, including technical, sales and marketing, and executive management. He led hardware distributor Tarsus Technologies for nine years before switching to the firm’s holding company, MB Technologies, in 2006. He played an integral role in establishing the components joint venture that the Johannesburg-listed distributor inked with broadline giant Ingram Micro earlier this year, as well as launching a new IT security business called NetDefense. Whitcroft is well aware of Aptec’s credentials having worked alongside Ali Baghdadi as an active member of the Technology Distributors Association during recent years. However, he admits his immediate task upon joining Aptec will be to get to grips with the company culture as quickly as possible. “My first priority is going to involve spending a lot of time with staff, suppliers and customers, making sure I’ve got a firm understanding of the business in terms of both the strong points and the weak points. Then we will see what we can do to enhance the strong points and strengthen the weak points.” He also commented: “I’ve known Aptec and its chairman, Dr Ali Baghdadi, for over five years and am delighted to be joining the group at this very exciting time in its development. There is no question that Aptec is positioned to be able to take full advantage of the rapid growth in the IT market throughout the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey region and I am looking forward to working with the strong team at Aptec to maximise the opportunities available to us.”

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