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Ingram Micro CEO: Paul Bay Succeeds Alain Monié

Ingram Micro has named Paul Bay to succeed Alain Monié as CEO. The CEO transition in some ways was telegraphed by Ingram over the past two years or so -- as Bay took on more day-to-day responsibilities for the global IT distributor and Monié focused on specific pieces of the business.

Still, executive promotions are never guaranteed. In Bay's case, the journey to CEO involved working closely with Monié and the board to successfully navigate Ingram Micro toward cloud services and overall IT as a Service models -- even amid multiple ownership transitions, the COVID-19 pandemic and the "new normal" faced by everyone in the IT channel.

The journey to the CEO post was a lengthy one. Bay joined Ingram Micro in 1995 -- during the era of Windows 95, the rise (and fall) of Netscape Navigator, and the LAN wars between Novell NetWare and Microsoft Windows NT Server. Bay started in vendor management, rising to senior VP, left in 2006 to serve as CEO of Punch Software, and returned in 2010 as executive vice president and president, North America. Around that time, Ingram was building out Seismic -- an MSP partner strategy that ultimately was a springboard toward today's Ingram Micro Cloud. In 2016, Bay was named executive vice president and group president of the Americas before being appointed as executive vice president and president, Global Technology Solutions, according to bio information provided by Ingram.

Ingram Micro: Executive Updates In Context

Ingram Micro CEO Alain Monié
Alain Monié, executive chairman, Ingram Micro
Paul Bay, CEO, Ingram Micro

Under a relatively new owner -- private equity firm Platinum Equity -- Bay and some very familiar Ingram Micro names are driving the business forward. The official word from Ingram reads exactly like this (ChannelE2E has added the bolds):

  • "Alain Monié is transitioning to Executive Chairman and Paul Bay will lead the company as CEO.  Bay has been working closely with Monié for years and will build further on Ingram Micro’s strategic imperatives to transform and modernize the way we do business across every industry the company serves.
  • The company remains on an aggressive growth agenda to make continued investments, backed by Platinum Equity’s considerable financial resources and expertise, that anticipate and support the needs of its valued customer and vendor partners.
  • To provide continued customer focus, Kirk Robinson is promoted to executive vice president and president, North America, and Luis Férez promoted to senior vice president and president, Latin America, both will join the global executive leadership team.
  • Monié will focus his time on working alongside Bay and Ingram Micro owner, Platinum Equity, to continue to generate growth and maximize value for the company’s customers, partners, and shareholders.
  • Separately, Nimesh Davé, executive vice president and president, Global Cloud, has decided to pursue interests outside of Ingram Micro and will transition over the coming months. As a result, the Cloud executive team is now under Bay’s leadership."

Ingram Micro Executive Updates: Key Perspectives

In a prepared statement, Monié said:

“It is with a profound sense of pride that after ten years as Ingram Micro’s CEO, I am transitioning the role to a leader in Paul who clearly has the credentials and trust of his peers to continue to build on our industry leadership with a partner-first mentality. Over the past eleven years, Paul and his teams have dedicated themselves to our company and the industries we serve, demonstrating an unparalleled commitment to our people, our customers, our partners and our shareholders. Paul is an exceptional leader and an agile learner, and I cannot think of anyone better suited to guide Ingram Micro through our next chapters.”

Added Bay:

“Ingram Micro is a remarkable organization thanks to Alain and his leadership over the last decade. Alain has been a dedicated leader and a valued mentor, consistently delivering significant innovation and growth for our customers and partners, including through targeted organic investment and M&A. I’m honored to be CEO of such a phenomenal team and build further on our strategic imperatives to transform and modernize the way we do business, remove complexity for our partners, and be an indispensable business behind the many brands we serve.”

Ingram Micro’s Kirk Robinson
Luis Ferez

Noted Christian Cook, managing director, Platinum Equity:

“We’re thrilled Alain is executing on a thoughtful and effective succession plan and believe Paul is the right leader to take over as CEO to lead Ingram Micro’s continued growth and transformation. I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with Paul over this past year and am impressed by his commitment to building and expanding the company’s capabilities with an eye towards positioning Ingram Micro as the industry’s partner of choice in a dynamic environment. We are eager to deploy considerable financial resources and expertise to help Ingram Micro pursue an even more aggressive agenda of growth, continuing to anticipate and support the needs of its valued customer and vendor partners.”

Bay also took some time to congratulate Kirk Robinson and Luis Férez, stating:

“Kirk and Luis are proven leaders who have demonstrated high levels of innovation and operational excellence for our business. I’m confident they’ll continue to aggressively grow and expand their territories with a strong focus on our partners, and on what our customers need from advanced and consumer technology solutions, cloud platforms and offerings, and professional and managed services."

Paul Bay's Perspectives

In a phone conversation with ChannelE2E, Bay vowed to stay the course but further accelerate Ingram's direction toward digital transformation -- both internally and across the IT channel. "I'm as excited as I've ever been because of the investments we're making in our partners' success," he asserted. Ingram has the right management team in place, and the business is aligned with 40,000 talented team members, he asserted.

Key priorities, Bay noted, include:

  • Gathering and leveraging the right data to offer a flexible engine for recurring services.
  • Delivering an automated end-user experience that delights partners.
  • Being "indispensable" to partners.
  • Investing in centers of excellence worldwide.

Those priorities align with key messages that Bay shared with ChannelE2E in 2021. At the time he noted a commitment to:

  1. Win together.
  2. Transform the IT customer experience across the entire lifecycle.
  3. Deliver more solutions and more deeply engage the company’s global partner communities.

Ingram Micros's Continued Business Evolution

Ingram's current ownership improves growth prospects for the distributor, according to FitchRatings, a debt ratings service that took a close look at the business in September 2021. Among the reason for optimism: Ingram is now free from “onerous provisions that often limited the company’s ability to invest in certain growth opportunities,” FitchRatings said in that 2021 statement, essentially applauding Ingram's mid-2021 ownership transition to Platinum Equity from China conglomerate HNA Group.

Under new ownership, Ingram has moved quickly to fine-tune its revenue mix and business focus worldwide. Key moves include:

Traditional Distribution Rivals, Emerging Cloud Marketplace Competitors

Admittedly, competition remains fierce within the traditional IT distribution market, and within newer sectors like cloud distribution and cloud marketplaces. Among the market evolutions to watch:

All that said, Ingram has established leadership and well-funded owners to continue evolving, engaging and empowering partners in new ways. As CEO, Bay is working from his existing game plan -- which has served Ingram well. But we'll be watching for potential audibles in the months ahead.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.