Stuart Fenton Leaving Insight To Seek New Challenges

Channel News

The company’s president for EMEA has decided it’s time to take a risk and move on

Insight president for EMEA Stuart Fenton has announced that he will be leaving the company next year. This triggers a search for a replacement.

Fenton was appointed as Insight UK’s MD in 2002 following a head-hunting session to find someone capable of pulling the company through a tough period. Within three years, Insight was not only thriving but had become the market leader in the mid-market, public sector and large enterprise sectors.

Biting the bullet

With a departure date set for 31 March, 2013, Fenton told ChannelBiz that it is too early to announce his future plans but added, “I only expect to not be working for a few days – I’m not the kind of person who could take extended periods of time off.”

He said he has a clear plan of what he would like to do but, because of the timing involved, he cannot commit himself to anything specific at the moment.

Fenton’s career started at his own company WindowLine in 1989. Six years later he sold the firm and moved to Micro Warehouse as VP Europe and eventually was appointed as its Canadian MD. The move to Insight in 2002 brought him back to the UK.

He stressed that there is nothing going on behind his personal decision to move on: “I’m proud of the company, and proud of our people, and what we have achieved. It would be the easy decision to continue to do the same thing over and over again but I think when you have the opportunity to take a risk one should.

“I originally joined as the ‘turnaround, transformation kid’ and woke up one day and I wasn’t. Although I was dealing with big projects, it was very much a case of ‘business as usual’ and I found that an uncomfortable place to be,” he explained.

Ken Lamneck, president and CEO of Insight, commented, “Stuart joined the company in 2002 and over his tenure with Insight has guided our EMEA business through some tough macro-economic conditions and led several strategic acquisitions and organic growth strategies that have taken our EMEA business from $382 million (£247m) in sales in 2002 to over $1.4 billion (£0.91bn) in sales in 2012.”

Fenton told us he has “concrete plans” of what he’d like to do next year: “However, I’m also conscious that I want to leave Insight in a very strong position and the only way to do that is to ensure that I give enormous notice, and make sure that we recruit somebody who’ll continue to build the business,” he said. “I have told the chairman that I will work through a hand-over period during the first quarter of next year but, if we haven’t found a replacement by then, I will stay and do what is necessary to ensure that Insight is successfully led.”

In the meantime, he will continue to head the EMEA division: “Just because I’ve made this decision won’t stop me working as hard and being as intense with the team – in fact, I reminded them of that 20 minutes after making the announcement. We’ve still got a lot to achieve.”

Author: Eric Doyle
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