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Avnet CEO Says It Took Vision, Trust, Inspiration To Reinvent 100 Year Old Tech Company

William Amelio has made a career out of transforming and reinventing businesses. From his first job at IBM to later working at Allied Signal, NCR, Dell and Lenovo, Amelio focused on helping companies innovate and change. That’s what he has been doing at Avnet (AVT) since he was tapped to be CEO in 2016.

Amelio has orchestrated a massive reorganization that has radically changed the company. In the past two years, he has sold off businesses, made a major acquisition, shaken up the executive leadership and added two new positions in the C-suite. He hired a Chief Transformation Officer and a Chief Innovation Officer.

The Phoenix, Arizona based company, which has been in business for nearly 100 years, is now one of the world’s largest distributors of electronic components. With revenues of $22 billion, Avnet is ranked number 128 on the Fortune 500 list of America’s largest companies.

Speaking to Fortune, Amelio says change did not come easily. “There’s an invisible resistance in any organization that stops you from doing things. I like to call it like the corporate antibodies come out,” he says. “What you need to do is to have a compelling reason for change. And if you can get that across to the leadership and all the rank and file, all of a sudden you can make great change.”

Watch the video above for more from our interview with Amelio.