Hudaco Industries, a South African group specialising in the importation and distribution of high-quality branded automotive, industrial, and electrical consumable products, has appointed Ernie Smith as portfolio executive within the group. Smith will initially be responsible for leading suppliers BI and Bauer Geared Motor divisions, with additional divisions to be added to his portfolio in due course.
Smith has more than 25 years’ industry experience. He has held various senior management and executive positions across the value chain in large multinational and South African listed companies. He has a degree in Industrial Engineering, and also completed a management development programme at Harvard Business School while at Schneider Electric.
He held various positions at the latter over a decade, including that of vice president for the Low Voltage business division for southern Africa. Before joining Hudaco Industries, Smith was operating group managing director for several of Aveng’s business units, which are currently being divested as part of a strategic review process.
Smith’s short-term priories will be ‘To ensure BI and Bauer have clearly defined growth strategies, supported by an internal drive to better understand and serve our customers’ needs and expectations. This will include looking at ways to expand our product offering and territorial coverage.’
It will also focus on leveraging synergies from the complementary product offering within the Hudaco group to adapt the total value proposition. ‘I hope to use my depth and breadth of industry experience to guide both BI and Bauer to achieve their full potential,’ Smith concludes.