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Q&A: Avnet's Rick Hamada and William Chu

Julia Talevski | June 27, 2013
Hamada and Chu talk about the distributor's plans for the year ahead and further growth in Asia-Pacific.

From left: Avnet's Rick Harada, William Chu, and Darren Adams
From left: Avnet's Rick Harada, William Chu, and Darren Adams

Avnet CEO, Rick Hamada was recently in town along with Asia-Pacific president, William Chu. ARN's Julia Talevski and Rimin Dutt had the opportunity to sit down with the two along with A/NZ vice-president and general manager, Darren Adams, to talk about the distributor's plans and strategies for the year ahead, and embarking on further growth in the Asia Pacific region.

What brings the two of you to Australia?
Rick Hamada (RH):I make it a personal priority to get on the road, not only out of Phoenix, but also out of the US. Avnet is a global company, we're doing business in more than 90 countries and there's no substitute for getting on the road.

William Chu (WC): I chose Australia as Rick's country to visit because it is the fourth largest country for our company, in terms of country revenue perspective, and it's very important for us. I come here at least once or twice a quarter, to support the team. I'm not here just to go through the business review, but very importantly to visit our top suppliers and partners, and establish a relationship.

What are some of your plans and strategies for the year ahead?
RH: At the turn of the fiscal year, we have a new financial plan, but the strategic point of view, we don't necessarily get dramatic new changes. For Avnet globally, I try to spend the majority of my time on three major conversations with the team, which know it as Rick's three G's.

The first G is growth, I'm always interested in talking about profitable growth in our regions and I have to learn from the regions how that's going to happen. We don't sit in Phoenix and dictate to William and Darren, that I have a great idea for how we should grow our computer business in Asia and Australia, Avnet provides a certain amount of resources and the growth strategies really have to come from the bottom up - from the team up through to Avnet. They're living and breathing the marketplace, competitive nature, suppliers, customers and talking to our team, they know more about how to win in Asia and Australia, than I ever will, but at the same time, I've got a fiscal and fiduciary responsibility to allocate Avnet's resources where we can get the appropriate returns.

Second is globalisation — so what can we be doing to help bring more scale and scope to the global marketplace? Help them be more competitive and more importantly, provide a differentiated platform for their customers and suppliers that local or regional competitors can't provide.Where are the opportunities to leverage Avnet's global scale and scope for local benefit?


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