Smith & Associates Appoints Cleat Kimbrough as Vice President of Operations and Quality, Asia & EU

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Cleat brings years of operational expertise to expanding quality and service in Asia and the EU

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As business models and needs begin to adapt to our changing supply chain, it’s necessary for businesses to have skilled and flexible supply chain partners who can help them adapt with it.

Smith & Associates, the largest independent distributor of electronic components, today announces the appointment of Cleat Kimbrough to the role of Vice President of Operations and Quality, Asia & EU. In this position, Cleat will oversee the management of Smith's logistics and anti-counterfeiting efforts in the crucial Asian and European markets.

Cleat joined Smith in January of 2000 in its Houston headquarters’ operations department after earning his bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Texas A&M University. He was transferred to Smith’s Hong Kong hub in June 2000 to develop and manage operations in the company’s Asia-Pacific region, and was promoted to the post of Acting Executive Director for Hong Kong in January 2008.

Now, he will utilize the operational expertise he has gained in his fifteen years with Smith to expand and strengthen the company’s quality and service programs and capabilities in Asia and – alongside Smith’s Vice President of Operations and Quality, NA & EU, Art Figueroa – in the EU. Based at Smith’s Hong Kong and Houston hubs, respectively, Cleat and Art provide full collaborative leadership of Smith’s European operations so that Smith’s global operational and quality front is consistently strong across all time zones and regions.

As Smith builds on its thirty-plus years of experience in the electronic components supply chain, the company has moved to address new dynamics of the constant counterfeiting threat and customers’ needs for evolving service models. Cleat’s operational background will be an asset to Smith as he works to expand Smith’s heightened focus to the key regions of Asia and the European Union.

As Vice President of Operations and Quality, Asia & EU, Cleat will engineer strategies to support the continuous growth of Smith’s anti-counterfeiting program, including supervision of testing facilities’ equipment and their compliance to the standards of Smith’s many certifications and accreditations. He will also provide key local support of Smith’s strategic sourcing, global distribution logistics, and other supply chain strategies.

“Smith’s Asian hub in Hong Kong has grown consistently in presence and quality resources in the fourteen years since its founding, and Smith’s footprint in Asia has grown with it,” said Kirk Wehby, Smith’s Chief Operating Officer. “Meanwhile, our Amsterdam hub has also expanded in recent years to meet the localized needs of the bustling European market. Cleat is an ideal leader to help support Smith’s continued operational growth in these key regions.”

“As business models and needs begin to adapt to our changing supply chain, it’s necessary for businesses to have skilled and flexible supply chain partners who can help them adapt with it,” said Cleat. “From the most advanced quality and anti-counterfeit testing to custom inventory management solutions, Smith is able to offer this support to our partners.”

About Smith & Associates

Founded in Houston in 1984, Smith & Associates is a leader in the independent distribution of semiconductors and electronic components to electronics and high-tech manufacturers. Smith offers shortage sourcing for commodity and obsolete parts, innovative purchasing and inventory management solutions, redistribution of excess inventory, and component stocking for warranty and repair programs.

A privately-held company, Smith & Associates employs more than 350 people worldwide, with annual revenue in excess of US $747 million. Smith's regional hubs in Houston, Hong Kong, and Amsterdam are ISO certified. In addition, sales and purchasing offices are located in Austin, Silicon Valley, Guadalajara, New York, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, and Penang. For more information, see or, to reach a Smith representative 24 hours a day, please call: 1.800.HOUSTON or +1 713.430.3000.


For more information, contact:
Mark Bollinger
Smith & Associates, V.P. of Marketing
+1 713.430.3000

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