Management Turnover as Change Agent

Monday, December 21, 2009

Insight Enterprise, Inc. Appoints New CEO to Fill Vacancy

Insight enterprises, Inc. NSIT (NASDAQ), a distributor of computer hardware and software, pushed out its former CEO, Richard Fennesy, back in early September of this year (see earlier blog). Last week, the company finally selected a nLen Lamneck, Insight Enterprises New CEOew president and CEO to take Fennesy’s place, Kenneth Lamneck. Lamneck will also join the company’s board. He will replace the current interim CEO, Tony Ibarguen who seemed to be hoping to get the position permanently. Prior to his new position, Lamneck was president of Tech Data America’s division. According to a story by Andrew Johnson for the Arizona Tech Republic,Insight Enterprises, One Year Stock Performance - from

Chief among his (Lamneck) tasks as the Fortune 500 firm’s new leader will be addressing internal operational challenges stemming from recent acquisitions and distractions from a major accounting restatement early this year.

The article goes on to quote the chairman and co-founder, Timothy Crown, from a phone conversation in which he referred to Lamneck’s previous work,

“By putting up good numbers quarter after quarter, . . . it gives me confidence that he’s the right guy for us,”

Appointing a CEO from the outside is the right move for Insight. It is very early to determine, however, whether Lamneck is the right guy. The Arizona Tech article mentioned a few analysts that question his specific expertise forInsight’s business approach and products.

The fact that most of Lamneck’s experience has been in IT distribution could be a challenge for the new executive, according to Matthew Sheerin, an analyst with Thomas Weisel Partners in New York.

Unlike Insight, which typically sells hardware and software directly to businesses that use it, Arrow and Tech Data distribute technology to resellers like Insight or manufacturers that integrate components into finished products.

Lamneck faces real challenges in making his new position a success. According to Scott Campbell, who wrote a story for ChannelWeb,

Next year, Lamneck will also tackle starting up a hardware business in Europe, where Insight has a strong software presence after acquiring Software Spectrum. “I’ll be spending a good amount of time understanding how to address that. That’s a big opportunity and it’s an important part of the early agenda,” he said.

In addition, Lamneck faces hurdles trying to integrate Insight’s legacy product business with more value-added services, such as those picked up by Insight’s acquisition of networking solution provider and managed services provider Calence.

One thing for sure, Lamneck is eager to take on the challenge. Stay tuned.

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