GovConnection president steps down

Jay Lambke, president of reseller GovConnection, is no longer with the company. Company spokeswoman Karin Bakis confirmed Lambke's departure but declined to comment on the circumstances.

Jefferson Smith, vice president of federal sales at GovConnection, will continue leading the federal effort while the company searches for a replacement for Lambke, she said. GovConnection is a subsidiary of PC Connection.

"We are confident in the capabilities of Jeff Smith, and believe our customers in the U.S. federal market are well served by Jeff and his team," she said. The company will begin searching for a permanent replacement for Lambke in the fall, she added.

The General Services Administration canceled PC Connection's schedule contract in late 2003, hampering the company's ability to sell to the government. The company won a new GSA schedules contract in August 2004, and the company has been working since then to rebuild its position in the federal market, according to industry observers.

However, the company has yet to return to its earlier strength in the public-sector market. PC Connection's most recent quarterly report, for the quarter that ended June 30, states that "although we received a new contract in August 2004, we saw a significant year-over-year decline in our federal government sales. Our federal government revenues may continue to be negatively impacted as GovConnection seeks to regain sales under the new GSA contract."

The company's public-sector sales increased from $63.3 million in the same quarter of 2004, when it was operating without a schedule contract, to $65 million in the 2005 quarter. However, in the same quarter of 2003, before the original contract was canceled, the company logged public-sector sales of $75 million, according to quarterly reports.

"They have tried to do everything they can to recover from a major setback, but obviously they haven't recovered everything they lost," said Alan Bechara, president of PC Mall Gov, a GovConnection competitor.

GovConnection has been adding vendors to its new schedule contract to increase customers’ options, Bakis said. Vendors include Apple Computer, Adobe Systems, American Power Conversion, CommVault Systems, Sony, Xerox and ViewSonic.

As of noon Sept. 9, GovConnection’s stock price was down 1 cent to $5.67.

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