Long-standing British PC manufacturer RM has announced that following a review of its Education Technology division – the focus of a major rescue plan at the education services provider – it will cease production of PCs.
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Its exit from the market brings to an end more than 35 years of PC building by RM, and will see around 300 people, including some temporary staff, lose their jobs in the coming 12 months.
Founded as a mail order components supplier in the early ‘70s, RM expanded into the personal computing market in 1977. In the 1980s – along with rival Acorn – it became a key player in the government’s Microelectronics Education Programme, with models such as the 380Z helping to establish PCs in the nation’s classrooms.
However the business ran into trouble following the 2008 recession and was hit hard by Coalition spending cuts three years ago, especially by the closure of the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) project, and has struggled to regain its footing in leaner times.
In a statement today, RM said that the declining and low margin sale of PC devices was no longer a priority, and that the Education Technology unit will now focus on expanding its existing software and services offering.
A game of boardroom musical chairs initiated by new Ingram Micro president Gerhard Schulz has led to the exits of both UK and Benelux VP Johan Vandenbussche and SVP of vendor management and business development Vincenzo Baggio.
Johan Vandenbussche has been at Ingram for 15 years
Vandenbussche pitched up at Ingram Micro in 1998 as managing director of Belgium, following a stint at General Electric sub Avery Berkel. He became UK managing director and VP of northern Europe in 2004 and remained in the post until 2007 when he took up the post of VP of the pan-European business unit, and subsequently became EMEA VP of business development.
In 2009, he returned to more localised roles at Ingram, becoming VP of the UK, Belgium and the Netherlands. He has also picked up the slack on a couple of occasions when Ingram Micro UK found itself without a managing director, first when the appointment of Pablo Suarez fell apart, and subsequently to fill in the gap following the departure of Matt Sanderson and the arrival of current incumbent Brent McCarty.
Baggio, meanwhile, came to Ingram in 2005 from office supply retailer Staples, and has held his current post since then.
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