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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

  1. At Tampa Bay Technology Forum, it's time to stake a claim as a tech hub


    Look out. Swagger is spreading.

    Just when you thought that the recent regional outbreak of swagger fever had been confined to Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and a few area economic development groups, a new case is emerging.

    Meet the new, improved Tampa Bay Technology Forum, or TBTF.

    Clearly, the regional confidence recently displayed by Buckhorn and area economic leaders — notably by Tampa Bay Lighting owner and real estate developer Jeff Vinik in his growing role as cheerleader for downtown Tampa's rebirth — has inspired TBTF to become a bigger player in shaping the regional economy....

    Members of the Tampa Bay Technology Forum — from left, Kelly Kavanaugh, Jason Sango, Brian Murphy, Chase Stockon, Victoria Edwards, John Kuemmel, Chris Cate, Jeff Alagood and Cheryl Kleiman — are ready to make Tampa Bay a bigger name in the technology community.
  2. Hillsborough in hunt for up to 700 Johnson & Johnson jobs

    Economic Development

    Health care giant Johnson & Johnson, ranked 11th on Fortune's 2015 list of the world's most admired companies, is considering plans to invest up to $23.5 million to establish a "shared services headquarters operation" in Hillsborough County with as many as 700 jobs averaging at least $75,000.

    The deal will depend on a state and county incentive package of taxpayer money to make Hillsborough competitive with other potential sites the company is said to be considering....

  3. Trigaux: Jobs, but at what wage?


    WHEN IT COMES TO A LEGACY, two-term Florida Gov. Rick Scott and the Legislature have a choice.

    They can be remembered, sadly, as the political leaders who helped drive down the state unemployment rate from its double-digit nightmare — but left the state emaciated in the process, with a lots of poor-paying jobs and a diminished middle class.

    Or they can be saluted, enthusiastically, as Florida's elected team that not only helped reduce unemployment but positioned the Sunshine State for a 21st century economy — one marked by a workforce enabled with skills to better compete for higher-wage work that could sustain a growing middle class....

    [ CAMERON COTTRILL | Times ]
  4. Shares of Tampa's Walter Investment Management hit by losses, federal investigations


    TAMPA — Walter Investment Management Corp., a mortgage banking business and one of Tampa Bay's 10 largest public companies by revenue, on Thursday morning reported sharp losses for the fourth quarter and all of 2014. The company also provided more details on earlier disclosures that it was under investigation by multiple federal and state agencies.

    The 6,700-employee company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it is facing "increased scrutiny and potential enforcement actions by federal and state agencies, including a pending investigation by the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) and the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) and a pending investigation by the Department of Justice and HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development)."...

  5. Pitching Tampa's virtues on CNBC, Vinik broadens reach of downtown project


    Jeff Vinik's personal pitch for Tampa is beginning to reach a national audience.

    Leveraging his past Wall Street credibility, Vinik used a TV interview Wednesday morning on CNBC to tell a bigger world that Tampa is an "undervalued" asset. He urged businesses to visit and appreciate its new opportunities — and weather.

    That's a powerful message to an elite business audience from an individual whose past success as manager of the Fidelity Magellan fund back in its heyday gives Vinik a strong bond with listeners....

  6. Beneath PR spin, Duke Energy pleads guilty to environmental crimes


    There's public reality. And then Duke Energy reality.

    The country's biggest power company, the parent of Duke Energy Florida, invoked a classic PR move last week by issuing a news release at 4:20 p.m. on a Friday, shortly before the end of the workweek.

    That timing often signals something bad has happened that the culprit hopes will get ignored in the weekend crush.

    Duke's release said it has reached a "proposed agreement with the U.S. government" that, if approved, would "close a federal investigation" of three Duke subsidiaries related to the Dan River coal ash spill (near the North Carolina-Virginia border) and ash basin operations at other North Carolina coal plants....

    One year ago, about 39,000 tons of coal ash spilled from a Duke Energy power plant, fouling the Dan River in Danville, Va.
  7. Will long awaited wage bump by Walmart really make a difference?

    Working Life

    Historic or horsefeathers?

    What should we make of Wal-Mart's decision last week to raise its minimum hourly wage for 500,000 employees? Is this a belated decision to improve the lives of low-paid workers? A white flag to the increasing national labor calls to boost low wages in America?

    Perhaps it's an inevitable attempt to remain competitive as the economy gathers steam and workers see more options of where to work. Or is this Wal-Mart blowing smoke, announcing what is in effect a cheap public relations ploy that — for a company approaching a half trillion dollars in annual revenues — won't make much difference?...

    Walmart employee Kevin James restocks in the frozen foods aisle at a store in Washington last week. Walmart, the largest private employer in the country, said on Thursday that it would increase wages for a half-million employees.
  8. In a first, Publix toppled from No. 1 spot in grocery satisfaction


    Publix Super Markets, the Florida juggernaut of the grocery industry, was toppled from its No. 1 national industry ranking for the first time by two supermarket chains, says a report released Wednesday by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, or ACSI.

    Trader Joe's, which just opened its first store in St. Petersburg, tied with an upstate New York-based grocery chain called Wegmans at No. 1. Wegmans, which operates from Massachusetts to Virginia, has been on a tear recently, beating out such exalted brands as Apple, Costco and Amazon to take the top spot in a recent Harris Poll measuring corporate reputations....

    [Times files]
  9. Trigaux: Amid arctic blasts up north, Florida goes all out in pitch for tourists


    Talk about striking while the winter is frigid.

    The volume, variety and sheer creativity of current advertising by various regions of Florida to woo visitors here is at max volume amid wretched weather conditions up North. Kudos go to Pinellas County's millennial-focused guerilla marketing strike last week when actual snowmen appeared on the corners of downtown streets in New York and Chicago urging chilled locals to head south....

  10. Citigroup to add nearly 1,200 Tampa Bay jobs averaging $75,000 if incentives are right


    The New York money center bank Citigroup, already a powerhouse employer in this market, is considering a plan to add up to 1,163 jobs averaging a hefty $75,000 and $90 million in capital investment at its Sabal Park campus near Interstate 75 in Hillsborough County.

    It's not a done deal. Citigroup has other locations where it could place such high-paying jobs, which involve work in accounting, legal, human resources and operational support. The deal here depends on whether state and local authorities can agree on an incentive package of just under $15 million — and whether Citigroup finds a better deal elsewhere....

  11. From historic to wacky, Times readers offer up names for Jeff Vinik megaproject

    Economic Development

    Anybody like LiWoPla, which is a compression of Live, Work, Play?

    How about Via Kiniv (Vinik spelled backward)?

    Perhaps the more historic and stately the Garrison? Or keep it familiar with just Channelside?

    Readers, lots of them, of the Tampa Bay Times have spoken … and called, emailed and written me in recent weeks to offer some very diverse ideas of what to call Jeff Vinik's bold $1 billion redevelopment of some 40 acres of downtown Tampa. The project encompasses the city convention center to the west, the entire neighborhood surrounding the Amalie Arena and runs east along the waterfront to include the retail shopping area known as Channelside Bay Plaza, near the cruise ship terminal. ...

    Readers had plenty of ideas for names for Jeff Vinik’s plans for Tampa.
  12. Tampa Bay, awash in interim CEOs, hosts several hunts for new top executives


    It's a bountiful time to run an executive search firm, if the large volume of "interim CEO" positions across the Tampa Bay market is any indicator.

    St. Petersburg's PSCU, a hefty credit union service organization, just got its own interim CEO this week.

    The Tampa Bay Partnership's got an interim CEO.

    Tampa wireless technology firm Syniverse is run by an interim CEO.

    Even Hillsborough County's public school system has a new interim superintendent (which really is a CEO)....

  13. Rising economic tide lifts MarineMax, boating industry


    After a perfect economic storm nearly swamped Clearwater's MarineMax, the nation's largest boat retailer is on the rebound — good news for a struggling recreational boat industry and a big thumbs-up for Florida's improving business climate.

    The company's stock price that sank as perilously low as $1.44 in early 2009 and struggled in single digits for most of the next half decade now shows signs of robust recovery. ...

    Clearwater’s MarineMax, the nation’s largest boat retailer, has ridden out the Great Recession. Sales are up 45 percent.
  14. Fresh eyes on Tampa Bay startup scene assess area's promise, pitfalls


    Tampa Bay's economy is pushing forward on an abundance of opportunities lately, even as one observer this past week publicized our chronic regional differences. Consider four recent and upcoming events:

    1. Tampa Bay Startup Week: Tampa Bay Startup Week just wrapped up a series of events across the metro area aimed at building momentum for business startups and the entrepreneurs behind them....

  15. Verizon sells its Tampa Bay TV, Internet, landline phone services to Frontier


    So long, Verizon. Hundreds of thousands of Tampa Bay Verizon customers are about to meet a new service provider.

    Verizon Communications said Thursday it will sell its TV, Internet and landline phone business in Florida, California and Texas to Frontier Communications.

    The deal is valued at $10.54 billion. For 3,000 of Verizon's 10,000 employees in Florida, it means Frontier becomes their new boss when the deal is completed in early 2016. In all three states, 11,000 Verizon employees will join Frontier....

    In the past, Verizon customers complained about confusing bills and poor customer service. The company has worked hard in recent years to elevate its service quality to where it ranks among the best nationally in recent J.D. Power customer satisfaction surveys. [SKIP O'ROURKE   |   Times (2008)]