$4.1-million can buy a lot of bricks for Dutkowsky
The spotlight turned on Tech Data CEO Bob Dutkowsky last week after Tech Data's shareholders voted overwhelmingly for an advisory vote on how the top brass is paid (also known as the "say on pay" issue). Dutkowsky's 2008 compensation totaled $4.1-million, including salary, bonus, restricted stock and options. Asked if he's worth it, Dutkowsky replied, "How do you answer that question?" He tried to answer it, pointing to the company's turnaround in the past year. Then the former Massachusetts resident shifted to more pressing topics, like the Celtics vs. Lakers matchup in the NBA Finals. Does he still cheer for the Celtics? "I have a brick from the original Boston Garden. My son Kevin gave it to me. He's named after Kevin McHale."
Three Kens and no Barbie
When it came to the battle of Florida banking giants (controlled by megabanks based out of state), it's been the Ken and Ken show for years. Ken Lewis, CEO of Bank of America and onetime Tampa banker, right, and his arch-rival also based in Charlotte, N.C., Ken Thompson, CEO of Wachovia Corp., left. Bank of America was No. 1 in Florida until Wachovia recently one-upped them. But it's Lewis who stood triumphant in the end as Thompson found himself unceremoniously removed as CEO a week ago. The Biz turned to a third famous banking Ken, Miami banking expert Ken Thomas, for some insights. To Thomas, "there is no more competitive situation that exists in American banking" than the two titans. "If your kids play soccer in Charlotte, they have to pick sides: Bank of America or Wachovia," he quips. Thompson's downfall, according to Thomas: Wachovia wanted so much to be a national bank like BofA that it overpaid for World Savings Bank to have a West Coast presence. And then came the subprime bust.
If they're Cuban meatballs?
More than 100 people from Tampa city officialdom jammed a into tent on a hot Wednesday for the Ikea store ground-breaking caught a glib Mayor Pam Iorio. "First, I'm glad we attracted a progressive retailer with the foresight to rent a tent with air conditioning," she said, then expressed hope that shoppers drawn there will venture a few blocks to dine in Ybor City. "No offense," she said, "but not everybody will want to eat Swedish meatballs" in the 300-seat Ikea restaurant.
He's selling (life) insurance
Dodridge D. Miller, below, CEO of the Sagicor Group of Companies, thinks Floridians are ready to buy life insurance from his 168-year-old company that's based in Barbados. From its offices on Boy Scout Boulevard in Tampa, Sagicor has started selling policies and is hiring agents to compete with insurance giants like MetLife and Prudential. Sagicor sells life insurance in 44 other states. "We're staying very far away from property insurance," Miller said recently. "We're the dominant insurance company in the Caribbean, and we see the U.S. has the opportunity in the middle market."