Kruss, who took the reins at Digiland on Thursday was managing director of Seagate Technology from 1989 to 1998, where he established the local subsidiary responsible for taking the company to a leading spot in all market segments via channel and OEM partners.
“This is one of those opportunities that you seldom get a chance to grasp,” he said. “Digiland have a great product set and a great bunch of people.”
Kruss said the parent company in Singapore had done a good job of the restructure and the Australasian arm could not fail given the parameters put in place. “The only way this company can go is up [and] I think we'll see Digiland becoming a real key player in this market,” he said.
Digiland would focus on building a stronger product line to reinforce its “very good” customer base. The company hired nine business development managers last month, which it would harness to achieve that aim, Kruss said.
“We want to try and develop our commercial space. In [the] white-box [market], I believe we're not achieving the numbers we could be achieving,” he said.
Kruss has just come from 18 months in senior management at Avnet. He put himself forward for the role, which he heard of from a colleague while staying in a hotel. “Working for one of the biggest distributors in the world and learning a lot about global distribution I think enhances the contribution I bring to Digiland,” he said.
Kruss has more than 20 years experience in the channel, both from the vendor and distributor sides of companies such as Avnet, Seagate, Quantum, Powerquest and NEC.
Kruss takes over from interim MD and Digiland International chief marketing officer Khoo Teng Liat, who was appointed when Chin Nam Low resigned in March.
“The appointment of Paul Kruss, on top of the restructuring and continue investment in headcount across all business units and States reflects our strategy of positioning ourselves for growth in Australia. We are committed to growing Digiland Australia into a top-three distributor,” Khoo said.
Partly as a result of losing $4.375 million in the half-year to 31 December, Digiland is working to lift efficiencies across its three business units with a restructure to be completed by October this year.
The distributor came under scrutiny last year when Epson revoked its Genuine Gold Seal distributor status when a subsidiary was found sourcing printer cartridges in Malaysia, contrary to the stipulations of its Gold Seal designation.