WT Business Beat

By Nick Wakeman

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Executive moves

With the hiring of Paul Leslie, Apptis Inc. is picking up an executive with a strong track record in the federal services business.

Leslie was an important part of several success stories, including BDM International, BTG and Apogen. After the sale of BDM to TRW Inc., Leslie continued on there as part of the executive team.

His hiring is another sign of how far Apptis has moved in its transformation. With roots stretching back to 1983, the company was easily classified as a value-added reseller as recently as 2004. But with an infusion of money from New Mountain Capital, Apptis kicked off a series of acquisitions that helped the company build a substantial services business.

The company hasn't abandoned product selling as wins such as ITES-2H and FirstSource attest to. Rene LaVigne is president and chief operating officer of the Apptis Technology Solutions business, its reseller unit. But the company can make a legitimate claim to being a services provider and systems integrator.

Coincidentally, GTSI Corp., another reseller trying to become more of a services provider, announced an important executive move of its own this week. The company promoted Scott Friedlander from executive vice president to president. In early 2006, GTSI brought Jim Leto on board to lead the company through a similar transformation as Apptis has been going through.

Leto has met with some success and as the company becomes more profitable, they'll likely close some acquisitions to accelerate its transformation.

But GTSI is in a tougher spot because it is publicly traded, while Apptis is private. Leto has to answer to shareholders every quarter and that can be a bright and hot spotlight every three months.

Posted by Nick Wakeman on Nov 29, 2007 at 7:22 PM


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