Samsung and BenQ’s Canadian operations see exec shuffle

In one fell swoop, both Canadian managers of top display solution vendors have left their respective posts.

Greg Milkovich, executive director of sales and marketing for Samsung Canada, has resigned as of Feb. 28. Meanwhile, Jimmy Davlouros, BenQ Canada’s GM has left the Canadian operation to become chief operating officer of BenQ North America.

Milkovich became the de facto GM of Samsung Canada back in Jan. of 2004 and set the subsidiary on track to be a major player in the printing market. When contacted, Milkovich said his departure from the subsidiary was amicable. The primary reason for his resignation was a difference in management philosophy, he said.

“My view on what Samsung brings to the table is very positive and it has a tremendous amount of assets from a technology and brand standpoint, but at the end of the day there was a difference of opinion,” Milkovich said.

“The IT space is not always rosy. There are ups and downs and margins are difficult. But clearly the fact that the direction I wanted for the company and where I felt we should go next did not jive with what the company wanted.”

Samsung’s drive in the printer market was not a factor in his decision to resign, he said.

“Printers has become a tremendous success story for Samsung and it will carry forward,” he said.

Milkovich added that he will look back very favourably on his experience at Samsung. He said even though he resigned two days ago he is already pursuing a number of opportunities inside the IT space.

There has been no official reason given by Samsung about Milkovich’s departure.

Milkovich was at one time the vice-president and general manager for rival NEC in Canada.

Jim Mandala, national sales manager, information technology division for Samsung Canada, called the resignation “unfortunate.”

“Personally I am very sorry to see him go. He did an excellent job for Samsung and he was well liked by the customers and the staff,” Mandala said.

As for Davlouros, this will be his second kick at the U.S. can in a little under a year. He was previously appointed the vice-president of sales and marketing for the U.S. region for BenQ, only to be demoted back to the Canadian office.

As GM of BenQ Canada, Davlourous seemingly overnight built the brand into a major force in the marketplace.

The Davlouros promotion coincides with the departure of Ralph Tang, the former CEO, from the American business unit. Tang returned to Taiwan to take over BenQ’s worldwide marketing. Replacing him will be Ben Chu.

Nava Akkineni will take over from Davlouros in Canada next week. His title will be that of office manager instead of GM. Davlouros, when contacted, said Akkinei will be more of a laison between himself and the Canadian team. BenQ Canada’s Mike Booker will now be in charge of the IT division of the subsidiary.

“We are going to rock-and-roll. There’s no doubt about it,” Davlouros said about his new post. “I am flattered to death and I had a choice. I knew someone would have this role and I wanted it,” he added.

Davlouros also said BenQ currently falls short on back end infrastructure in North America. Building the infrastructure to support a billion dollar organization will be his top priority as COO.

Davlouros said he always believed he would be back in the U.S. “I had no idea that this opportunity would be available to me. But, I figure, I am 45 and I can probably take this company by the horns and make it a powerhouse,” he said.

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