Brightpoint boosts GB, cuts back EU


Brightpoint GB, formerly Hugh Symons Telecom, has moved to a new warehouse on the same industrial site it was located on previously, in Poole, Dorset.

The new warehouse is four times the size of the old space.

It has also taken on half a dozen new staff and expects to recruit 10 more, as sales increase and it taps into new channels with the scale of its US parent behind it.

The distributor is looking to sell Windows Mobile devices, traditionally business-oriented phones, into consumer channels.

It holds the sole UK distribution contract for HTC devices and its recently-launched Touch Diamond represents a very conscious courtship of the consumer market on HTC’s part.

Brightpoint GB managing director Hugh Roper (pictured right) said: "We are about building scale. We are talking to all vendors about opportunities in the market.

"Our strength has traditionally been in data and B2B solutions, but we are now looking to open up more retail routes to market for HTC and Windows Mobile devices, just as those devices now appeal to the consumer market."

Meanwhile, Brightpoint last week confirmed it will cut 275-325 staff from its European operations and make further operational cost reductions to enable annual cost savings of $25-$30 million.

Brightpoint put the job cuts down to the continued integration of Danish distributor Dangaard, acquired by Brightpoint last year.

It said 50-75 positions will go at Brightpoint’s European division headquarters in Denmark by the end of 2008. Administrative positions within the information technology, human resources, legal, finance and commercial/sales and marketing areas will be affected.

Brightpoint said another 225-250 positions will be eliminated from other European operating entities by the end of 2008, although its UK business.

Brightpoint is preparing a high-tech centralised warehouse and service centre in Europe, which will automate much of the distribution process for mainland Europe and enable further operatinal cost savings, starting early next year.

It is shaking up its executive board, with European president Steen Pedersen, a Dangaard founder, to leave the business in November as his role is eliminated.

Brightpoint is lumping its European operations with its Middle East and Africa division, and setting Asia Pacific up as a separate entity.

Current Brightpoint co-chief operating officer and president of international operations Michaél Køehn Milland (pictured left) takes responsibility for Europe, as well as the Middle East and Africa. He also takes charge of global business development.

In the Asia Pacific region, Bruce Thomlinson’s title changes from president of Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa to president of Asia Pacific.

In the US, Brightpoint’s co-chief operating officer and president of the Americas Mark Howell assumes the role of president of the Americas. He will oversee all global logistics operations.

Milland, Thomlinson and Howell will report directly to Brightpoint chairman Robert Laikin.

Brightpoint said it will also implement further cuts in the Americas and Asia Pacific. It forecast global Q2 sales three-five per cent up on 2007, with 295-300 million units sold.