Ingram Micro Inc. Chief Executive Alain Monié has tapped company veteran Paul Bay to lead its largest operating division.

Bay, 42, an executive vice president for the region, was promoted on Thursday to president of Ingram Micro North America.

“Under his leadership, he organized the North American commercial, corporate and advanced solutions groups into efficient, growing and highly profitable divisions,” Monié said.

Bay replaces Keith Bradley, who is stepping down from that position at the end of this year. Bradley will remain with the company through February to assist with the transition.

Santa Ana-based Ingram is the world’s largest technology distributor and competes in a sector with razor-thin margins, netting less than a penny on the dollar.

The North American region comprised nearly 42% of the company’s $36.3 billion in sales in 2011.

Bay is the latest executive to join the management ranks under Monié since he took the helm in early January.

In March he named Michael Romero vice president and general manager of Ingram’s North American mobile business unit, where he leads a growing team in sales, technical support, business development and marketing.

Bay joined Ingram Micro’s U.S. sales division in 1995, and steadily moved up the ranks. He left the company in 2006 to lead Kansas City, Mo.-based Punch Software, and returned to Ingram in 2010.

He is credited as the chief architect behind the development of a divisional business unit structure in North America, which has led to greater efficiency and productivity, increased revenue growth and profitability, according to the company.

Ingram shares are up less than 1% in afterhours trading to a market value of about $2.3 billion, erasing most of its losses from Thursday’s trading session.