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Tomlin looking for UK growth at Exclusive Networks

As he officially starts his role as UK&I managing director, Exclusive Networks’ fresh country lead Rob Tomlin outlines his reasons for taking on the role as well as his ambitions for the future

Rob Tomlin has started as UK and Ireland managing director at Exclusive Networks, with an ambition to take advantage of the continued growth in the cyber security market.

Tomlin revealed that he was heading to Exclusive after leaving his UK channel lead role at Dell after a five-and-a-half-year stint, moving back into distribution and a reunion with Exclusive’s EMEA boss Paul Eccleston.

Tomlin joins a business that has been growing well, thanks to the strength of the security market, with a view to taking more market share and improving the UK&I performance. He said the attraction of Exclusive was the culture and the autonomy that country leaders were given to make decisions.

“People are given autonomy on a day-to-day basis to get stuff done, and are trusted in the environment that they’re in at country level,” he said. “One of the big attractions for me was as the managing director for the country, [you are given] the autonomy to make decisions every day. I’m able to make decisions, which means I can look our partners and staff in the eye and say, ‘Yes, I will do that’,” he said.

He added that he also liked to work for high growing business that are expanding, and that Exclusive ticked those boxes: “I don’t enjoy working for companies where I’m going to be having to reduce the workforces. I really like [going somewhere where] you’re going to grow at pace.”

The channel player has been able to deliver that growth through developing a vendor portfolio that includes large established brands and the introduction of smaller players that are expanding quickly.

“I am very excited and I fully believe in the opportunity to be in this marketplace at this moment. Cyber security, data security and everything that we are involved in – it’s the fastest growing market of the IT marketplace, apart from AI. But AI is driving our market – any time someone’s doing AI, and I did a lot of that in the past year or two, they are creating data, they’re creating a security opportunity for bad actors to do bad things,” he said.

“I’m going to help the company and our partners go to the next level. I spent the [past] five years understanding how partners and vendors go to market and what a vendor needs from partners, and, more importantly, how partners should find customers and address markets. I can add a lot of value to my team, to the partners and to our vendors,” he added.

Ecclestone said he knew what Tomlin was capable of delivering and expects he will make a positive difference to the UK&I business. “We always talk about the culture of the business. So, it’s really nice to have somebody who has that culture in their DNA as well,” he said.

Eccleston has also sat in the UK&I managing director chair at Exclusive. When in that role, he said that the market continued to provide the distributor with growth opportunities, and that continues to remain his view, with expectations that the business would continue to improve under fresh leadership.

From his current EMEA perspective, he said there are encouraging signs that the business climate is improving, making it an even more ideal time for Tomlin to join.

“Things are getting a little bit easier. The vendors are saying that their pipeline [is looking stronger]. The mood’s just slightly beginning to lift, and Rob has joined at a very good time,” he said.

Tomlin announced that he was calling time on his stint at Dell earlier this year, but he also has experience in distribution on his CV, including a spell as managing director for UK & Ireland at Tech Data Advanced Solutions.

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