Gateway UK on hunt for new boss

Gateway is seeking a replacement for outgoing UK boss Philip Ashkar, who is leaving the Acer subsidiary but will remain within the group. The firm has had limited impact since its relaunch in the UK at the start of 2009, amassing just 0.2% market share for the year, and some resellers remain uncon

Gateway is seeking a replacement for outgoing UK boss Philip Ashkar, who is leaving the Acer subsidiary but will remain within the group.


The firm has had limited impact since its relaunch in the UK at the start of 2009, amassing just 0.2% market share for the year, and some resellers remain unconvinced that it can succeed in the commercial mid-market. 


Gateway EMEA business manager, John King, told MicroScope that Ashkar had done a "fantastic job" of caretaking the business.


"It is time to move to the next point so we are interviewing for a permanent replacement for the UK country head," he said.


King, who previously worked in various enterprise positions at HP in the UK and New Zealand, has experience of the server market and is trying to "complete the distribution channel" for Gateway.


To date, Gateway has worked with Computer 2000 to handle its client devices, but may add other wholesalers to manage the expanded portfolio, which includes servers and storage.


The mass channel is clearly not rushing to promote Acer-owned Gateway, as evidenced by IDC figures that show it shipped 20,000 PCs last year - a 0.2% share of the UK market.


Eszter Morvay, IDC research manager, said Gateway would struggle to elbow HP and Dell out of pole position as aggressive prices - a strategy that helps parent Acer lead the PC market - are less important to mid-market firms.


"Mid-market customers want the whole portfolio - servers, PCs, software and services - and while Gateway could make some inroads with price-conscious customers, I do not see them taking on HP, Dell or Lenovo," she said.


Several resellers that focus on that community of customers voiced reluctance to partner with Gateway.


One cited Acer's tactical policy of price-cutting when new shipments are en route to the UK as one reason he had steered clear. "We want to see more consistency in the long term," he said.


Another said that HP, IBM and Dell had the server market sewn up: "What is Gateway's differentiator? It is not clear. Breaking the stranglehold that its rivals have on the market will not be easy. Sun tried and failed."

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