Penman new Volante boss

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Former Compaq South Pacific MD Ian Penman has been appointed Volante Group's new CEO, following the departure of Allan Brackin.

Former Compaq South Pacific MD Ian Penman has been appointed Volante Group's new CEO, following the departure of Allan Brackin.

The colourful Penman, who built Compaq's South Pacific organisation from one employee to 2500 over 15 years, was the mastermind behind the vendor's controversial Compaq Connect branded store strategy in 2000.

When Compaq announced the store strategy, big retailer Harvey Norman pulled the plug on the vendor, after branding it as a competitor to its own retail business.

Penman had also led a restructure of Compaq Australia's channel following its acquisition of Digital Equipment Corporation. This acquisition left some resellers and distributors confused about the future direction of the company.

Compaq pulled the plug on the 'Connect' trial in April 2001. Penman retired from Compaq in October 2000 and was replaced by Paul Brandling.

Prior to establishing Compaq in Australia, Penman spent 18 years with IBM Australia, latterly as head of the company's PC business unit.

Robin Crawford, chairman of Volante Group said Penman's experience in building a major IT company and integrating acquisitions would help Volante 'reinforce its position as a leader in the IT services, solutions and infrastructure market.'

In a statement, Penman said Brackin and his team had built a substantial company and performed remarkably well for all stakeholders through recent, difficult times.

'Volante's strategy is sound and the company's reputation among its customers is very good. Our aim for the foreseeable future will be to continue to look after our customers better than anyone else can to win an increasing share of the IT services and infrastructure market.'

Brackin stepped down as CEO after 18 years of leading Volante and AAG, which Volante acquired in 2000.

Penman will join the company on 1 November and Brackin will retire from the board on 31 October and leave the company. In August, Volante announced a $7.6 million profit after tax for the year to 30 June 2004, compared with $4.1 million for the previous year. The company acquired Australian PC manufacturer Ipex in February.

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