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


Blog: Venture

Twitter: @VentureTampaBay

  1. Years after $62 million judgment, Paul Bilzerian is alive and well on Caribbean island


    Those around long enough in Tampa Bay might recall disgraced corporate raider Paul Bilzerian as the maverick who made millions and built a 10-bedroom castle with an indoor basketball court in Tampa's tony Avila community.

    Convicted of fraud in 1989, he was sentenced initially to four years in prison and ultimately served 13 months. In 1992, the Securities and Exchange Commission won a $62 million judgment from him for illegal stock manipulation....

    Paul Bilzerian built this 10-bedroom home in Avila. In 2000, his wife agreed to sell it to get him out of prison. The sale took 14 years to go through.
  2. Roly-poly no more, muscled Captain Citrus unveiled to boost OJ sales


    Roly-poly Captain Citrus has been working out at the gym. With the likes of Iron Man and Captain America.

    The Florida Department of Citrus, together with Disney-owned Marvel Custom Solutions, unveiled a $1 million redesign of a now buff Captain Citrus on Tuesday at Heroes' Haven Comics in Tampa.

    "Transformed from a life-sized orange into a young man mysteriously powered by the sun, the newly imagined Captain Citrus is a sculpted hero clad in a muscle-skimming citrus-hued suit," says the citrus industry of its new hero....

    Captain Citrus, before his Marvel makeover. [Florida Department of Citrus]
  3. Trigaux: Detailed peek inside ailing Olive Garden chain sheds light on tough economic trends


    When unhappy investors start dinging a restaurant chain for serving too many breadsticks or too much salad dressing at once, for failing to salt cooking water for pasta, and for using too-costly "to go" bags, is an overhaul far behind?

    The once popular, now stumbling Olive Garden chain was targeted this past week by an activist investor group trying to put its own directors on the board of the chain's struggling parent, Darden Restaurants in Orlando. To emphasize its dissatisfaction, investor group Starboard Value produced a 294-slide presentation aimed at Darden shareholders slated to vote for new company board members next month....

    The once popular, now stumbling Olive Garden  chain was targeted this past week by an activist investor group trying to put its own directors on the board of the chain's struggling parent, Darden Restaurants in Orlando. [MELISSA LYTTLE   |   Times]
  4. Tampa Bay's creating more successful startups, but can it keep more of them?


    This is Todd Goldberg's rapid entrepreneurial trajectory.

    It's a rocket shot that went from graduating as a University of Florida engineer in 2012 to working here at Nielsen Co. to co-founding a Tampa Bay startup to getting his business bought this past week by multibillion-dollar Ticketmaster, the kingpin of concert-entertainment-sports ticket sales and distribution.

    "If you were offered an opportunity to do something you love every day even though the odds for success were heavily skewed against you, would you go for it?" So begins Goldberg's personal blog from August 2013....

    Todd Goldberg’s startup, now called Eventjoy, was started in Tampa Bay but relocated.
  5. Ticketmaster deal to buy St. Petersburg startup is a good sign for Tampa Bay entrepreneurs


    News like this is what makes Tampa Bay entrepreneurs dream and try harder.

    Ticketmaster, the nation's juggernaut in ticket sales and distribution, said Thursday that it has acquired Eventjoy, a provider of a free digital ticketing platform for event organizers that launched in St. Petersburg.

    The move is good news for anyone involved in the bay area's startup community, which continues to fight for attention, credibility and — of course — investor money....

  6. First six inducted into Florida Inventors Hall of Fame


    They gathered in Tampa to celebrate a Florida Dream Team of remarkable people for their inspiration — and perspiration. Surprise: This team has (almost) nothing to do with sports.

    Six Florida inventors were inducted Wednesday evening into the new Florida Inventors Hall of Fame. Some of them — especially Thomas Alva Edison — are familiar to many. Others toil under the public radar, like many creators of life-changing inventions....

    GATORADE: Invented by University of Florida professor Robert Cade.
  7. 'Wolf of Wall Street' to kick off U.S. redemption tour at Ruth Eckerd


    It isn't every day that a boy born in the Bronx and raised in Queens, who once sold meat door to door, and who built a brokerage firm in his 20s that prospered and then imploded from excess and fraud ends up in prison owing investors millions of dollars.

    And it's even less common that the same guy writes a confessional memoir behind bars about his drug-and-sex-addled, high-flying brokerage days. That book ends up being turned into an Academy Award-nominated Martin Scorsese movie in 2013 starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the bigger-than-life boy from the boroughs of New York....

    Jordan Belfort, 52, is embarking on his U.S. redemption tour, but it’s hard to pin down his character.
  8. Entrepreneur gives her name and record $10 million gift to USF St. Pete College of Business


    A 78-year-old woman raised in a one-schoolroom town in Germany, who wore wooden shoes as a child and emigrated here with $30, and who later started and sold a successful surgical instrument company, is now the University of South Florida St. Petersburg's top benefactor.

    The university announced Thursday that it has received a $10 million gift to name its business school the Kate Tiedemann College of Business, effective immediately. The gift is by far the largest in USF St. Pete's 49-year history and binds a successful entrepreneur and Pinellas County resident to a business college gaining national attention for its entrepreneur studies....

    The University of South Florida St. Petersburg has received a $10 million gift, the largest single gift in its history, from entrepreneur Kate Tiedemann. As of today, their business school is the Kate Tiedemann College of Business. 
  9. Rep. Dwight Dudley rips Gov. Rick Scott's record on utilities


    With the November election looming ever closer, one state legislator again sought to remind voters that Gov. Rick Scott is no friend to middle-class Floridians when it comes to getting tough on big electric utilities. Rep. Dwight Dudley, D-St. Petersburg, criticized the governor in a telephone briefing for the media this afternoon for his lack of action in letting big power companies like Duke Energy charge consumers and businesses high rates for electricity....

  10. In braver, new workplace ahead looms the 24/7 employee

    Working Life

    Today's hand-wringing over greater wage inequality raises tough questions about the prospects for our economy. Is the once-enduring belief in the American Dream fading fast?

    What better time but on a Labor Day weekend to realize the changes increasingly faced in the workplace — from the blurring of work and personal time to the shrinkage of benefits — are just a warmup act. Business experts say the pace of transformation at work will only accelerate ahead, whether we like it or not....

  11. Trigaux column: From Duke, the rare apology


    Does being a monopoly mean never having to say you're sorry?

    That Big Bully image is certainly the growing public perception of Duke Energy Florida, the dominant electric utility in west-central Florida and — let us not forget — part of North Carolina-based Duke Energy, the biggest power company in the United States.

    So it comes as a mild shock that Duke Energy Florida on Wednesday came so tantalizingly close to expressing a formal apology — and meaning it. ...

  12. At Healthbox Tampa, a mission to support 7 startups taking on silos of medical industry


    Who in their right mind would purchase expensive, personal services with minimal information about the provider and little if any idea of the price?

    Well, we do that all the time as consumers (or patients) of the health care system.

    Efforts to streamline health care and empower consumer decisions with better information are under way. But the task often feels like chipping away at an iceberg with a toothpick....

    Craig Anderson, chief operating officer and founder of Head Rehab, works with his wife, Vera, right, to help Caitlin Wills on Tuesday as she tries the company’s test system. Head Rehab uses its device to gauge athletes’ balance, memory and reactions after head trauma.  EVE EDELHEIT 
  13. Florida fades in use of renewable energy as big utilities call the shots


    Some enterprising lawyer really should sue the state of Florida for misrepresentation. When it comes to energy resources, calling Florida "the Sunshine State" is as bogus as it gets.

    Other slogans come to mind that more realistically capture Florida's energy image. How about "the Pushover State" for starters?

    Fresh numbers are out comparing how each state relied at the start of this century on different fuels to generate electricity, and how that has changed today....

    Gov. Rick Scott has paid little attention to the energy sector.
  14. Amid jittery news, 20 ways the Tampa Bay economy keeps bulling ahead


    Middle East chaos. Stock market jitters. Ebola. It's been a rough week (month and year, too). But take heart. There are still plenty of positive steps under way making the Tampa Bay economy and business scene stronger, more innovative and more confident.

    Here are 20 examples from 2014 so far, ranked from small to big.

    20. Wolf of Wall Street: It's the real Wolf, Jordan Belfort, not the Leonardo DiCaprio character from the movie, coming to speak at Ruth Eckerd Hall on Sept. 15....

    Tech Data is Tampa Bay’s biggest-by-revenue public company.
  15. Top consumer complaints: Amid familiar scams, new and higher-tech fraud gets more aggressive


    Consumer protection advocates this past week described not just the rising tide of old scams, but newer and more aggressive frauds hurting more people across the country and in the Tampa Bay area.

    No wonder so many folks may want to disconnect their phones, unplug their Internet and never answer the front door again.

    If deflecting scams were only that easy.

    Yes, the top consumer complaints about ripoffs once again are dominated by the old standbys. Auto sales and repair complaints are No. 1 on the latest annual top 10 list unveiled this past week by national groups that track these problems. Right behind were gripes related to home improvement and construction, credit and debt matters, retail sales difficulties and utility billing disputes, among other concerns....

    Newly built modern court jury box with wooden decor.