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Tech Data CEO on SYNNEX Merger: I Fundamentally Believe It Will Have Value for Partners

No one’s perfect, says Rich Hume (pictured), but Tech Data and SYNNEX are determined to preserve what partners like today about both companies and augment that with one-stop shopping. By Rich Freeman

SYNNEX has provided its perspective on its still pending mega-merger with Tech Data on two occasions in the past two weeks. Yesterday, Tech Data CEO Rich Hume, who will become CEO of the new, combined distributor after the transaction closes as expected in the second half of the year, provided his thoughts on the deal and its meaning for the channel. Here are his lightly edited comments.

ChannelPro: A lot of the discussion about the merger has addressed the advantages it offers to investors and the owners of these companies. How will it benefit your partners?

Hume: Tech Data has a set of [vendor] partners and SYNNEX has a set of [vendor] partners, and both companies have complementary line cards. In other words, there are parts of Tech Data’s line card that will be made stronger by SYNNEX’s portfolio and the reverse is true as well. So our ability to offer more content in a one-stop shop fashion to those two customer bases will be greatly enhanced.

ChannelPro: Beyond expanding the line card, what else strategic will Tech Data be able to accomplish by virtue of coming together with SYNNEX as opposed to continuing to go it alone?

Hume: Right now, Tech Data is making investments around next-generation technologies, like our cloud platform. SYNNEX is doing the same thing. When we combine, we’ll be able to pool that money and invest in one platform, but have incremental dollars to do more with that one platform. So both of us are investing in a core platform right now. We’ll invest in one but then be able to make the capabilities of that platform much more robust, because we’ll have a larger pool of investment in that one versus two separate.

ChannelPro: What would you say to channel pros concerned about what they might lose as a result of this merger, in terms of access to account reps or marketing programs they like, for example?

Hume: The critical assets of our company are our people and our relationships, right? And so we are going to be listening very carefully to them as to what is important and we are going to be making every effort to make sure that we are giving them absolutely the best experience from their point of view ... Candidly, will it be 100% perfect? Likely not, but we’re determined to get as close to 100% perfect as we can. And these are two firms that have a good reputation in market. They’re known for their customer service and their vendor relationships. We know that that’s a treasured asset and we will do everything in our power to make sure that we are providing the best capabilities in content that we can.

ChannelPro: The other concern partners might have is that the scale of this merger is so large that bringing the organizations together could be a distraction. What would you say to someone worried about that issue?

Hume: This is something that’s important and I don’t want to underplay it. Acquisitions, mergers, any of these combinations can provide a level of complication, and things have the possibility of being missed or falling through the cracks. The only thing that I would offer is that this activity is not foreign to either of us. We’ve both done more than our fair share of acquisitions, even larger ones, in the past. And every time we go through it, on both sides, we maintain our lessons learned. 

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