Ingram Micro shuts down phones division, jobs in the balance

By Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY: Ingram Micro will today announce the imminent closure of its Communications division. The distributor, who is set to lose its rights on Telstra-branded handsets, will cease operating in this space at the end of the month.

As reported yesterday, Telstra has cut Ingram Micro from its distribution strategy, signing a 3-year deal with the Hong Kong-based VTech. From 1 July 2009, VTech alone will handle the local distribution, marketing and promotion of the Telstra range of home telephone products.

As a result of this, Ingram Micro has decided to close its local communications category office. Current.com.au understands that this decision has already resulted in some job losses, and more may be forthcoming.

Rather than be bitter about this decision, Ingram Micro’s managing director said the company supported both Telstra and VTech, and that it hopes to provide its soon-to-be former customers with a smooth transition.

“Globally we’ve been focusing on what’s core to Ingram Micro’s business, and on the areas we’re looking to expand into”, said Ingram Micro VP and managing director, ANZ, Jay Miley.

“After looking closely at our Communications division, and talking things through with our partners, Telstra and VTech, we collectively decided the most sensible thing was to support VTech in establishing a direct representation in Australia and help in managing a clean transition process.”

VTech’s local, wholly owned subsidiary, VTech Australia, is currently engaged in discussions with Ingram Micro’s Communcations staff, with the possibility that some or all of them will move to VTech to continue working on the Telstra account.

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