Ex-Western Digital chief lands up at distributor

Former EMEA sales head takes on retail-led channel assignment

Tags: ASBIS GroupNEC CorporationSanyo Electric CompanyUnited Arab EmiratesWestern Digital Corporation
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Ex-Western Digital chief lands up at distributor Peter Edinger will be responsible for developing Asbis’ own line of PC accessory and lifestyle products after leaving Western Digital. (ITP Images)
By  Andrew Seymour Published  January 26, 2010

Western Digital's former EMEA sales chief, Peter Edinger, has swapped life in the vendor fast lane for a stab at the distribution channel by joining PC and components distributor Asbis.

Edinger will be responsible for shaping Asbis' own-brand business, taking the title of executive VP for retail sales and marketing in EMEA. His role will include managing sales and marketing activities and implementing market growth strategies.

Asbis owns both the Canyon and Prestigio brands, which comprise a wide range of PC accessories, storage devices and connectivity products.

It insists the appointment of a senior channel figure such as Edinger reflects how seriously it is taking plans to increase sales of own-brand products, which it admits are a source of double-digit margin. Own-brand goods contributed around US$15m in sales during the most recent quarter for which financial accounts are available.

The development of its own-brand assortment is part of a diversification strategy that has also seen it sign contracts with multiple finished goods vendors as it attempts to reduce dependence on pure components sales.

"Peter's broad experience, his background and deep customer relationship skills will benefit Canyon and Prestigio to be positioned as a strong supplier for a wide range of IT and consumer electronics and will enable the channel to be successful in revenue and margins," stated Siarhei Kostevitch, CEO and chairman at Asbis.

Edinger has spent the past two years running EMEA sales at Western Digital and was at the helm when Asbis signed a European and CIS distribution agreement with WD this time last year.

Prior to his time at the hard drive vendor, Edinger worked for ATI Technologies, including a four-year spell running its EMEA business, as well as Sanyo, NEC and Media Vision. 

He is under no illusions that he will be judged on results, and specifically the ability to get own-brands accounting for a larger portion of Asbis’ business in future.

“We want to raise revenues from own brands – Prestigio and Canyon – so that in two to three years their contribution to Asbis’ total revenues will grow from about 5% now to about 10%,” said Edinger. 

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