ORMEROD DEPARTS DEXTRA, MORE INTEGRATION WITH 20:20 ON THE CARDS

Mark Ormerod, group managing director of Dextra Solutions / 4U Airtime Distributor, has resigned “with immediate effect”.
If that sounds a little on the chilly side, it was probably deliberate. And it’s interesting that the press release
announcing Ormerod’s departure doesn’t include the usual warmth-filled send-off in the form of a direct quote from the boss; instead we got this – “John [Caudwell, chairman and CEO of Dextra’s parent the Caudwell Group] has accepted Mark’s resignation. John recognises the positive contribution Mark has made to the growth and development of Dextra Solutions over the years”.

The immediate cause appears to be the termination by Nokia of Dextra’s accreditation after counterfeit accessories were found in the company’s inventory. Nokia has been cracking down hard on counterfeiting (see our report on page 22) and Dextra was audited in March. The distributor was informed in early April that it had been dropped by Nokia.

That alone would probably not have been enough to force Ormerod’s resignation; third-party Nokia-compatible batteries and chargers are widely available and widely used. But John Caudwell is at an advanced stage in his sale of the Caudwell Group, with an announcement said to be due in the next few weeks; and the putative new owners – reported to be a consortium put together by an investment bank – could easily be spooked by the possibility of dodgy dealings and an image of lax management.
Ormerod’s departure then demonstrates that the group’s management is prepared to take swift and dramatic action to set things right.

In fact it is likely that change was in the air. Mark Ryan, group managing director of 20:20 Logistics, will take on Dextra Solutions as well and the two operations “will in future form part of a strategically enhanced distribution offering under [his] leadership”.

As the Caudwell Group statement put it, “These management changes have created an opportunity to strategically improve our distribution offering and to capitalise on the potential for synergies between 20:20 Logistics and Dextra Solutions.

“European expansion plans will benefit from the provision of a one-stop shop for both handset and accessory distribution … These changes are expected to benefit the group as relationships with both customers and suppliers, many of which are common to both Dextra and 20:20 Logistics.”

  
Mark Ryan, group MD at 20:20 and now head of Dextra/4U: “confident that management changes will enhance the growth and development of business.” 
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