Following the scaling down of its operations in South Africa which saw the closure of its office in Johannesburg, chip manufacturer AMD yesterday introduced its new agent representative for the region.
Jaco Laubscher, well known in distribution channels through his dealings with ATI and Sapphire, will now officially represent AMD in sub-Saharan Africa.
Laubscher will report into the company's META regional head, Gaith Kadir who oversaw operations in South Africa before Imi Mosaheb established the local office about 18 months ago.
"It is like coming home for me," Kadir says. "And my aim is to re-establish AMD's presence in the region."
Kadir says that the current economic conditions had forced the company to re-evaluate its worldwide business model and that this had resulted in the closure of the Johannesburg office.
"AMD was one of the first companies to rethink its business model in order to deal with the recessionary climate we are experiencing and, unfortunately, this resulted in the closure of the South African office," Kadir says. "We had to approach the market a bit differently and that is why we have adopted an agent partner model for the foreseeable future. We may have closed the local office, but we are not abandoning the market.
"Jaco is South African, he's from South Africa and he's a part of our business," Kadir says. "Our commitment to South Africa hasn't changed, our product hasn't changed and we still have Asbis and Ingram Micro SA as our master distributors.
"South Africa continues to be our gateway into sub-Saharan Africa and it is still an important region for us," he adds.
Laubscher, who is based in Knysna and will commute regularly to Johannesburg, says he is looking forward to the challenge of taking AMD further into the market.
"I'm ready to focus on our partners and our channel, and grow the business that we already have step-by-step," Laubscher says. "I'm looking to work very closely with the channel and I'm glad to be on board."