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Fujitsu UK sales director: I'm off

Shifting deals 'like trying to push water uphill' quips reseller

I quit

It is all change at the top of Fujitsu’s product business with UK sales director Kevin Matthews quitting after he struggled to get the revenue dial moving in the right direction, sources have told us.

Former HP veteran Matthews signed up to lead the vendor’s direct sales and channel organisation in October. He joined amid falling distributor generated revenues with a plan to pinch mid-market share resellers from rivals by providing a credible alternative to the bigger US brands.

But it seems those efforts to foster relations with the channel and grab market share didn’t quite go as planned, and industry sources claimed the man resigned last week before he was pushed.

A PR handler at Fujitsu confirmed to us that Matthews has left the building and offered up the customary “we wish him all the best for the future” blurb.

The firm refused to say anything more meaningful or remotely quotable.

During his 11 months at Fujitsu, Matthews hired, overhauled the direct sales team’s pay to reduce channel conflict and gave long serving distributor Enta Tech its marching orders to ease over-distribution as a, er, reward for helping the vendor create market demand over the years.

We asked market-watcher Context for some figures - it tracks distributor shipments - and it told us the numbers has crashed through the floor but was at a loss to explain this.

Matthews has tried to form a band of 25-strong crack squad of mid-market resellers to win more business, but it seems that for some, the push fell short of expectations.

One reseller boss said he had tried, with limited success, to convince customers to shift over from the big US brands to Fujitsu.

“It was like trying to push water uphill,” he told us, “what compelling reason is there to go from an HPE or EMC to a company that is less well known? Fujitsu has got to be 30 per cent cheaper than rivals. It wasn’t”.

Trying to push for special bid pricing didn’t exactly work out either, our reseller claimed. “The processes were laborious”.

Matthews quit some eight weeks after his boss Tom Roche was quietly moved into the manufacturing, utilities and the services division. Following that, Fujitsu brought in James Johnson to head up the UK and Ireland product business. ®

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