Westcon-Comstor appoints first chief people officer

Westcon-Comstor chief people officer, Erna de Ruijter-Quist
(Image credit: Westcon-Comstor/ Erna de Ruijter-Quist)

Global technology provider and specialist distributor Westcon-Comstor has announced the appointment of its first chief people officer (CPO), with Erna de Ruijter-Quist stepping into the newly-created role.

Reporting to CEO David Grant, the seasoned leader becomes a member of the executive leadership team and will oversee all people-related matters across the business. 

Originally from the Netherlands, she is now based in the UK and joins the company from global enterprise software firm Sage, where she was responsible for major organizational redesign programs. 

She is also credited with establishing strategic workforce planning capabilities to support Sage’s growth ambitions.

Prior to her time at Sage, she held international leadership roles at HSBC, Virgin Media, Liberty Global, Sony, and GE Capital, placing a strong focus on organizational change

Commenting on her new role, de Ruijter-Quist said the aim is to help Westcon-Comstor’s 3,500-plus staff base to “innovate, learn, and grow”.

“91% of Westcon-Comstor employees would advise a friend to apply for a job here, so there is clearly already a strong culture and sense of belonging and purpose,” she said.

“Westcon-Comstor is a pioneering organization that performs a vital role at the heart of the technology ecosystem and is redefining IT distribution through its digital and data leadership. It’s exciting to have the opportunity to play a key role in driving the company’s future growth.”

With more than 30 years distribution experience, global tech provider and specialist distributor Westcon-Comstor operates across more than 70 countries around the world. 

The company goes to market through two lines of business – Westcon and Comstor – and works to connect IT vendors with a channel of technology resellers, systems integrators, and services providers.

With its newly created role of CPO, the company said it is looking to accelerate its transformation as it shifts closer towards a software and subscription-based recurring revenue model. 

To aid this ambition, Erna de Ruijter-Quist will leverage her experience in organizational development, organizational design, and change management experience, while also continuing to drive the company’s culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). 


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She will also focus on employee engagement, innovation programs, internal mobility, as well as learning and development, the firm said.

“Erna’s passion for building great leadership teams and helping individuals, teams and organizations be their best shines through and is one of the main reasons we chose to appoint her to this important role,” commented Westcon-Comstor’s CEO David Grant. 

“Technology is what we do, but people are the beating heart of our business and our most important asset. 

“We are delighted that Erna is joining Westcon-Comstor at such a pivotal point on our journey to becoming the world’s leading data-driven technology provider and specialist distributor of cyber security and networking solutions and services.”

Daniel Todd

Dan is a freelance writer and regular contributor to ChannelPro, covering the latest news stories across the IT, technology, and channel landscapes. Topics regularly cover cloud technologies, cyber security, software and operating system guides, and the latest mergers and acquisitions.

A journalism graduate from Leeds Beckett University, he combines a passion for the written word with a keen interest in the latest technology and its influence in an increasingly connected world.

He started writing for ChannelPro back in 2016, focusing on a mixture of news and technology guides, before becoming a regular contributor to ITPro. Elsewhere, he has previously written news and features across a range of other topics, including sport, music, and general news.