Computacenter sheds staff


Computacenter sheds staff

Microscope contributor

A restructure at Computacenter has seen long-serving director John Joslin exit the business along with around 40 staff from the SME-focused Customer Coverage Unit, which has been merged into the corporate and government sales teams.


This comes a month after the group made 10 staff redundant from CCD following its withdrawal from PC and printer distribution, and is in line with Computacenter's strategy to build services revenues and exit less profitable hardware areas.  


Mike Norris, Computacenter chief executive, confirmed Joslin's departure after 21 years at the firm - most recently he was managing director of the product business - and told MicroScope there were "no plans to directly replace him".


He said it would be "unfair" to discuss the reasons for Joslin's departure but added the role would be divided between several managers.


In recent times, Computacenter, like many other classic corporate channel firms, has made moves to build a services business as the margin on hardware provides diminishing returns on capital employed (ROCE).


"The product business remains important to us. We will continue to focus on businesses where we can get a good ROCE for our shareholders and get out of businesses where we cannot," said Norris.


This obviously applies to the CCU - launched in late 2005 as CC Direct - which has been scaled down and will be merged into the corporate and government sales teams. Around 40 employees have been made redundant and Nick Illiage, head of the unit, has been offered alternative employment in the group.


Norris refused to be drawn on the number of redundancies, but insisted, "We are changing the shape of the business," adding that it was hiring in areas that offered a stronger ROCE, such as managed services, and right-sizing in others.


"I would expect Computacenter's headcount to be higher in three months and a year's time than it is today, but do I expect some people to go and others to come? Yes. There is a process of change, and that does involve some redundancies," he said.

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