BenQ appoints Schnell to drive digital home push

Consumer electronics vendor BenQ has appointed channel veteran and former Harvey Norman division chief, Paul Schnell, as its new senior product manager in a bid to expand its product distribution and drive its convergence strategy.

Formerly in charge of the retailer’s $400 million PC and notebook and LCD division, the new role will see Schnell head up all of BenQ’s product divisions, encompassing its core LCD monitor and TV business, as well as its newer consumer electronics business. He will oversee BenQ’s three current product division managers.

Schnell boasts 10 years experience in the channel, including stints with Australian distributor Synnex, as well as resellers Impact Systems Technology and Hartland/Edge Computer.

After four years in the retail space with Harvey Norman, Schnell said he was ready for a new challenge.

“My initial focus is to work on our supply chain management,” he said. “BenQ is still small enough to be agile. This allows us to leverage our ability to bring new products to market as well as react quickly to trends and changes.

“To-date we have not experienced the full benefit of this. Managing a total channel is always a challenge. We have some excellent partners in our distribution business today. Our retail presence will definitely increase, but as with any channel model, this needs to be carefully considered. Now that we have some runs on the board we can be quite specific about who we choose to go to market with."

The new appointment follows BenQ’s decision to spend $12 million to develop and market its brand in the digital home market earlier this year. As part of this strategy and to drive retail sales growth, it also signed a national distribution agreement with Tech Pacific in February.

New products launched by the company for the digital home market include digital cameras and projectors, notebooks and optical drives.

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