Former Tech Data President to Lead Growth and Expansion for Leading Distributor of High Technology Products
San Jose, Calif. – April 22, 2004 – Bell Microproducts Inc. (Nasdaq: BELM) today announced the appointment of Mr. Graeme Watt as President of its European divisions. Mr. Watt will take responsibility for the company’s UK based Ideal Hardware, Bell Microproducts European divisions, and the company’s expansion program in the EMEA region. He will report to Mr. Don Bell, President and CEO of Bell Microproducts Worldwide.
“Graeme has the in-depth knowledge necessary to lead Bell Microproducts European operations in a world class manner. His experience base and talent will give the expert guidance to Bell Microproducts ongoing expansion program in the EMEA region,” stated Don Bell, President, CEO and Chairman of the Board. “We are very excited to welcome him on board.
“Since entering the European/UK market in late 2000, Bell Microproducts’ EMEA sales have grown to 46% of our total sales of approximately $2.2 billion in 2003. We expect EMEA to continue to be a strong growth market for the company in the future. We plan to expand our operations where we are presently serving the market, and to make selective acquisitions to add to our ability to serve our customers better,” Mr. Bell stated.
Mr. Bell continued, “Bell Microproducts is well positioned for strategic expansion, growth and profitability. We achieved record revenue levels in 2003 and expect that 2004 will be another record year as well. With the addition of $145 million in equity and convertible debt the Company has raised over the past 6 months, we have added to our capital base to support strategic investments and acquisitions.”
Mr. Watt was most recently employed by Tech Data Corporation, where he served as President of European and Middle East Operations. During his tenure he was responsible for their business expansion, multi-billion EU annual revenues, and had responsibility for over 5,000 employees.
During his tenure as President of Tech Data EMEA, Mr. Watt was responsible for many developments including the acquisition of three companies, the implementation of major restructuring programs, the development of a centralized purchasing organization, and the expansion of the company’s e-commerce capabilities. He has been employed in IT distribution for 15 years. While with Tech Data, and companies acquired by Tech Data, he held various positions including Regional Director of the Northern Region, Managing Director of the UK and Ireland, and Finance Director.
Mr. Watt graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a BSc honors degree. He is also a qualified Chartered Accountant.
Mr. Watt replaces Martin Blaney who has been acting as interim President since late February. Mr. Blaney, who joined Bell Microproducts in December of last year as Chief Operating Officer of Europe, will continue in that role. Mr. Bell stated, “We appreciate the contributions Martin has made to Bell Microproducts since joining the company, and also during his interim assignment. He will continue to play an integral role in our company as we roll out our strategic plan.”
About Bell Microproducts
Bell Microproducts is an international, value-added provider of a wide range of high-technology products, solutions, and services to the industrial and commercial markets. The company's offering includes semiconductors, components, computer platforms, peripherals, and storage products of various types including desktop, high-end computer and storage subsystems, fibre channel connectivity products, RAID, NAS and SAN storage systems, back-up products, storage management software, and extensive support, integration and installation services. Bell Microproducts is an industry-recognized specialist in storage products and is one of the world's largest storage-centric value-added distributors.
The company's products are available at any level of integration, from components to subsystem assemblies and fully-integrated, tested and certified system solutions. The company adds value with a broad range of services including testing, software loading, kitting, mass storage system integration, and computer system integration. Trained and certified technical personnel complete each of these processes at Bell Microproducts' ISO 9001:2000 facilities. Bell Microproducts markets and distributes more than 125 brand name product lines, as well as its own Rorke Data storage brands, to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), contract electronic manufacturing services (EMS) customers, value-added resellers (VARs) and system integrators in the Americas and Europe. More information can be found in the company's SEC filings, or by visiting the Bell Microproducts Web site at www.bellmicro.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements, which reflect the Company's current views of future events and financial performance, involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results or facts to differ materially from such statements for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to: the ability to successfully integrate the operations of recent acquisitions, industry conditions, changes in product supply, pricing, and customer demand, competition, other vagaries in the computer and electronic components markets, changes in relationships with key suppliers, foreign currency fluctuations and the other risks described from time to time in the Company's reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission (including the company's Annual Report on Form 10-K). Investors should take such risks into account when making investment decisi
ons. Shareholders and other readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. The company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements.
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