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Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

Robert Trigaux

Robert Trigaux joined the Times as a business writer in 1991. In 2000, he began writing a business column three times a week. He served as business editor from 2005 to 2008, when he resumed his role as business columnist. While at the Times, he has covered a range of beats including banking and finance, technology, telecommunications, energy and economic development. He has received various awards for business writing, including two Green Eyeshades from the Society of Professional Journalists, a commendation for column writing from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers and a first place in business columns from the National Association of Newspaper Columnists.

In the late 1970s, Robert started his business journalism career in New York writing for various business publications covering topics from technology to the furniture industry. At the American Banker, a daily national newspaper, he covered the financial industry in New York and London, then served for eight years as its bureau chief in Washington, D.C. He holds an economics degree from Colgate University.

Phone: (727) 893-8405

Email: trigaux@tampabay.com

Blog: Venture

Twitter: @VentureTampaBay

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  1. Tampa snags Johnson & Johnson corporate services headquarters with 500 jobs

    Business

    TAMPA — Johnson & Johnson, the giant pharmaceutical company best known for its Tylenol and Band-Aid brands, on Thursday said it has picked Tampa as its headquarters to house key corporate services including finance, human resources and information technology.

    As part of the deal, the company will create 500 jobs averaging at least $75,000 over the next three years and make a capital investment of $23.5 million into the Tampa region. In exchange, Johnson & Johnson becomes eligible for state and local incentives of up to $6.37 million the company would receive — once it delivers on the promised jobs and wages. ...

  2. Tampa-based Ironman brand now in hands of Chinese company

    Business

    One of the world's best known sports brands and symbols of endurance competition, Tampa-based Ironman, now belongs to a Chinese firm. Dalian Wanda Group of China bought Ironman's parent company, World Triathlon Corp., this week from Providence Equity Corp. for about $900 million in equity and debt.

    The buyer, owned by China's richest billionaire, says Ironman will remain headquartered in Tampa's Rocky Point area....

    The Chinese firm Dalian Wanda has purchased the parent company of Tampa-based Ironman for $900 milllion.
  3. Trigaux: Amazon again pushing boundaries on customer delivery

    Business

    You can almost anticipate the Amazon news release coming in, say, 2020.

    In a new service called Prime Ahead, Amazon announced today it will offer delivery of a wide range of goods to its Amazon Prime members in the Tampa Bay area at least one hour before its customers even realize they want what arrives at their doorsteps. Amazon said its new service will save customers the effort of thinking of something new to buy....

  4. St. Petersburg unveils plan for jobs recruiting arm similar to Tampa's

    Economic Development

    A sea change is under way in how St. Petersburg intends to recruit companies to move jobs here.

    Once passive, the city was content to lend a hand only if a business came knocking. But emboldened by its downtown renaissance, St. Pete now plans to aggressively pursue companies and jobs in specific industries like marine science and health care.

    To accomplish that, the city is creating its own economic development corporation, or EDC, much like the successful Tampa Hillsborough EDC that has become the powerful corporate jobs recruiter on the eastern side of Tampa Bay....

  5. Satisfied with your car? It's less likely, given rising prices, pace of recalls

    Autos

    It's a troubling combo: More-expensive cars that are more likely to be recalled for problems.

    The record pace of auto recalls and rising price tags drove car buyer satisfaction down for a third straight year, according to new data released Tuesday by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, or ACSI. Customer satisfaction with automobiles fell 3.7 percent to a score of 79 on an ACSI scale of 0 to 100. The most beloved auto in the United States is a Lexus, and the least satisfying is a Fiat....

    Customer satisfaction among automobile owners has fallen for a third straight year, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Cars made by Chrysler, like those shown here, received some of the lowest satisfaction scores.
  6. How does Florida job growth compare to other states?

    Business

    While Florida's unemployment rate dipped to 5.4 percent last month, 28 other states and the nation as a whole boasted lower jobless rates.

    It can be tough to assess how the Sunshine State is doing without knowing how other states are performing. So let's take a look.

    Seasonally adjusted, Florida's employment hit 8.1 million in July, an increase of 30,500 jobs or up 0.4 percent over June. Only California (+80,700) and Texas (+31,400) reported greater increases in jobs that month. Nor did all states report gains. New Jersey lost 13,600 jobs, followed by Louisiana (-4,500) and Kansas (-4,300)....

  7. Plunging stock market isn't over, but the U.S. economy has sturdy legs

    Markets

    How do you capture the pain of stock markets that usually run quite effectively on greed, but lately seem overwhelmed by fear? Consider these colorful attempts by veteran market reporters to share the visceral impact of Black Monday's plunging stock markets.

    • "It's been a bit difficult to get the license plate of the truck that's running over the stock market, considering that when you look up right now all you see are axles and undercarriage," said Bloomberg News, whose primary expertise is to interpret stock markets....

    People watch trading boards Monday at a private stock market gallery in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Stocks tumbled across Asia on Monday as investors shaken by the selloff last week on Wall Street unloaded shares in many sectors. U.S. markets followed with massive losses.
  8. Tampa port flexes muscle, injecting waterfront plan into downtown renaissance

    Economic Development

    With Port Tampa Bay's unveiling of a $1.7 billion redevelopment vision for its 45 acres of waterfront property near the Channel District, a cornerstone piece of greater downtown Tampa's potential renaissance has arrived.

    The bold port plan, highlighted by the purposely sky-high 75-story twin towers, seeks to resurrect a stretch of waterfront still pockmarked with vast parking lots and aging industrial storage structures. That's commendable by itself....

    Luis Ajamil, president and CEO of Bermello, Ajamil & Partners, shows off the new plans for the Channel District area during a press conference this month. Port Tampa Bay’s vision includes developing more than 9 million square feet of mixed-use space in the next decade.
  9. Are Tampa Bay gas prices heading back below $2 a gallon?

    Business

    With area gas prices down an average 91 cents a gallon in the past year, are we heading for a sub-$2 period of cheaper auto travel?

    It's possible. Gas prices in this metro area now average close to $2.28, down a penny from the day before, and well below the $2.51 a month ago and the $3.19 we paid one year ago, says AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge report.

    Some area gas stations already sell gas for a lot less. According to the Gas Buddy website, the Speedway on 30th Avenue North in St. Petersburg is selling gas at $2.12, while the Rally store on 49th Street N in Clearwater is a penny cheaper at $2.11. A Brandon Shell on Lumsden Road is at $2.14....

    Gas prices across the bay area are moving closer to $2 per gallon, including at this Wawa on 22nd Avenue N in St. Petersburg. Gas stations were charging $3.19 one year ago.
  10. Trigaux: How long can Florida's record-breaking tourism pace continue?

    Tourism

    Florida racked up yet another record quarter in tourism growth, a remarkable accomplishment that still must beg the inevitable question: How long can it last?

    At some point, the record will falter and the 25.8 million tourists who came to this state in the second quarter — and the 54.1 million who came in the first half of this year — will dip slightly. Egos will be hurt. Hand-wringing may ensue. Fingers will point. All true, even though tourism numbers will still be high....

    The Harry Potter attraction in Orlando — shown here during its grand opening — has helped Florida break tourism records, and planned Star Wars, Toy Story and Avatar attractions at Disney parks are likely to offer a boost, too.
  11. Tech Data posts strong quarter, enjoys stronger outlook

    Business

    On a day when the Dow plummeted 358 points, Tech Data Corp. watched its shares soar as the Clearwater technology distributor and Tampa Bay's largest public company by revenues reported strong earnings. Shares rose more than 13 percent Thursday to over $63, erasing in one day almost exactly the stock's decline since the start of 2015.

    In an interview, CEO Bob Dutkowsky said Tech Data revenues grew 8 percent across all of its markets in an IT industry that is expanding at average 4 percent pace. That means, he said, that Tech Data is taking market share away from other companies. ...

    Tech Data CEO Bob Dutkowsky, pictured at the Nasdaq in 2012, says company revenues grew 8 percent across all of its markets in an IT industry that is expanding at average 4 percent pace.
  12. In 'placid times' two Tampa Bay insurers make Fortune's fastest-growing list

    Business

    Eight Florida companies, including two Tampa Bay area insurers, made Fortune magazine's annual list of the 100 fastest-growing companies for 2015.

    Tampa's HCI Group and St. Petersburg's United Insurance Holdings are ranked No. 31 and No. 45, respectively.

    "Who knew how crucial Florida weather is? Another property and casualty insurer enjoys placid times, bolstered by revenues from windstorm policies," said Fortune of HCI's strong performance on the annual list. Insurance companies tend to prosper when there are few storms to prompt claims by policyholders. HCI ranked No. 2 last year....

  13. For Florida's chief job recruiters, it's bonus time

    Business

    Our state's chief job recruiters want a bonus.

    On Thursday, the board of state-backed Enterprise Florida, the chief job-recruiting arm of the Sunshine State, will be asked to approve up to $765,000 in combined bonuses divided up among its first-year president and his staff. The amount of the bonus package is the same as Enterprise Florida successfully sought last year for its staff.

    Enterprise Florida CEO Bill Johnson, the former director of PortMiami, signed a $265,000-a-year contract in February to run the economic development agency, which receives state and private funding....

  14. Which airlines at TIA do people like and which ones not so much? This will tell you

    Airlines

    Here's news to cheer: Amid a striking surge in U.S. traveler complaints against the airline industry, the airline that handles more than a third of all passengers in and out of Tampa International Airport not only keeps its arrivals reasonably on time but also suffers relatively few consumer complaints overall.

    Southwest Airlines, with a nearly 36 percent market share at TIA, faced only 89 consumer complaints systemwide in June, according to the most recent Air Travel Consumer Report on airlines released by the U.S. Department of Transportation. In fact, the top three airlines at TIA fared well, with Southwest, Delta and US Airways enjoying good on-time arrival times and low numbers of consumer complaints. And JetBlue, No. 6 in TIA market share, enjoyed the best arrival time rate — nearly 84 percent — and a remarkably low 23 complaints in June....

    The top three airlines serving Tampa International Airport fared well in the most recent “Air Travel Consumer Report” on airlines released by the U.S. Department of Transportation, with Southwest, Delta and US Airways enjoying good on-time arrival times and low numbers of consumer complaints.
  15. Theme park wars: Disney strikes back at Harry Potter with Star Wars expansion

    Tourism

    "Never tell me the odds," says Star Wars character Han Solo in one of his more memorable movie lines.

    We're going to tell you anyway.

    There are two key reasons behind Walt Disney Co.'s announcement Saturday that it plans to build Star Wars-themed lands at both its Disney Hollywood Studios in Orlando and its original Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, Calif., in one of the largest expansions in the company's history....

    The Star Wars lands planned for both Disney Hollywood Studios in Orlando and Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., is one of the largest expansions in Disney’s history.