Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Former IKON Exec Out as Head of Ricoh U.S.

Here's a great article discussing the departure of Jeff Hickling from Ricoh, U.S. Hickling was the president and COO of IKON when it was acquired by Ricoh in 2008. He was named president and CEO of Ricoh U.S. in 2010. I haven't found any confirmation of his resignation, but the link I have listed seems like a reliable source.

The article discusses some of the problems Ricoh has had with the IKON acquisition. While it certainly was a great way to punch Canon in the stomach, it seems it also peeved quite a few of Ricoh's dealers. I can't say I had the opportunity to interact with too many dealers at the recent Ricoh event I was at, as press and analysts were mainly given briefings prior to the dealers arriving en masse. But the linked article says something about Ricoh's percentage of sales through dealers dropping from 70% to 20%, which can't be good.

Yes, IKON has brought a great increase in direct sales, certainly, but I personally heard multiple times about some of the conflicts it created with Ricoh Business Solutions, which managed a lot of direct business before the acquisition. This conflict is also discussed.

The article doesn't indicate who would be in line to replace Hickling, but it will be interested to see what kind of background they have.

Coincidentally? Ed McLaughlin, who had been president of Sharp Imaging and Information Company of America (SIICA) since 2003, resigned last month.

Wonder how much of this all has to do with copier vendors' attempted transition away from boxes and toward more services-oriented business spearheaded by MPS.

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