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[Joseph Garnett Jr. | Times (2008)]
Tech Data's CEO Bob Dutkowsky.
Company information
May 2009

Address: 5350 Tech Data Dr., Clearwater, FL 33760; (727) 539-7429;

Business: Resale of computers, information technology

Ticker symbol, market: TECD, Nasdaq

Market capitalization: $1.45 billion

CEO: Robert Dutkowsky

Employees: 8,000

(Year ended Jan. 31, 2009)

Revenue: $24.1 billion, up 3 percent

Net income: $123.6 million, up 14 percent

Per share: $2.40, up 22 percent

Return on equity: +6.79 percent

Biggest challenge: With much of its business taking place in Europe, the company has been losing millions of dollars from foreign currency volatility against the dollar. That's in addition to customer spending cuts that could sap sales by an estimated 5 to 25 percent this year. Tech Data will spend this year integrating Dell computer products into its lineup. Hewlett-Packard has been its largest single source of equipment. "IT spending will be one of the elements that lead the economy back," CEO Robert Dutkowsky said. "We want to be in the right position to take advantage of it."

Corporate culture
May 2008

Small groups foster more open, honest dialogue

With balloons, colored table cloths, cupcakes and ice cream, employees at Tech Data celebrate birthday parties every month.

"The idea is to get to chat with everyone on campus over the course of a year," CEO Bob Dutkowsky said. "It's a very good way to say thank you and get into a dialogue."

Dutkowsky inherited the tradition from his former tech workplace, J.D. Edwards. The hourlong celebrations include candid conversations about the company's performance, its competitors' strategies or anything that's on employees' minds.

"People are shy and if you put them in a room with a crowd of 1,000, they won't say much," Dutkowsky said. "With 30 people around, they are more comfortable interacting."

As part of the company's employee-outreach effort, Tech Data has an anonymous e-mail program by which employees write directly to the CEO with their concerns and suggestions. The "Ask Bob" program gets about 15 e-mails a week, Dutkowsky said. They range from complaints about dress codes to acquisition ideas.

The company also has quarterly employee meetings to discuss performance and strategies.

"The whole idea is to be open and facilitate a dialogue with the employees," Dutkowsky said.

—Madhusmita Bora, Times Staff Writer

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