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. In downtown St. Petersburg, a business incubator will open in St. Petersburg College facility


    A business incubator will open in downtown St. Petersburg later this year in space leased in St. Petersburg College's downtown facility.

    Dr. Kevin Gordon, who runs SPC's downtown campus, confirmed that a planned incubator will occupy more than 6,000 square feet on the ground floor of the SPC building at 244 Second Ave. N in space once used by the former Florida International Museum.

    The incubator will be called TEC Garage St. Petersburg — TEC being short for Technology Entrepreneurship Center — and operate on at least a three-year lease. It will be run by the staff of Largo's well-established incubator known as the Tampa Bay Innovation Center. TEC Garage will be funded by $400,000 set aside by state legislators last year and used to build out the now-empty space at St. Petersburg College. ...

  2. Duke's battles in spotlight as utility's shareholders meeting looms


    In quieter times, Duke Energy would strut into its first annual shareholders meeting since becoming the country's biggest electric power company. Instead, it's stumbling into the May 1 event preoccupied with damage control. It faces a half-billion-dollar lawsuit filed by nuclear reactor maker Westinghouse for allegedly unpaid services rendered at the now-defunct Levy County nuclear power plant site north of Tampa....

  3. Before entrepreneurs take startup plunge, better to know thyself


    What is your "entrepreneurial mind-set"?

    Now there's a practical way to find out.

    A group of leadership training and psychology professors at St. Petersburg's Eckerd College have come up with a tool to help individuals and business groups assess their entrepreneurial strengths and weaknesses.

    The benefit? To better know thyself and, in the process, become a sharper entrepreneur....

  4. There are 2014 Top Workplace companies, and then there are winners five years running


    Big or small, any company must be pretty special to qualify as a "Top Workplace" on the 2014 Tampa Bay Times annual survey. So imagine the strength of culture, discipline and sense of mission a business must share with its employees to make the list every year.

    More than 250 different companies have made the Top Workplace lists since 2010, when this newspaper began its annual survey. But only 18 area businesses belong to the elite club of five-year winners....

    Executives of Clearwater’s USAmeriBank, including CEO Joe Chillura and Alfred Rogers Jr., let loose at a mock ’80s rock concert.
  5. GM chief succeeds … as butt of TV jokes


    Would you buy a used Chevy Cobalt from Mary Barra?

    The recently installed CEO of General Motors serves as little more than the punch line for bad jokes these days, courtesy of her duck-and-weave testimony on Capitol Hill over GM's decade-long failure to deal with ignition-switch problems in the Chevy Cobalt and other small GM models.

    It's hard to tell if Barra's appearance before the House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee proved little more than a warm-up act for Saturday Night Live's television lampooning of her unresponsive testifying....

    General Motors CEO Mary Barra listens as she testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington on Wednesday, April 2, 2014.
  6. At Moffitt, math modeling aims to generate new treatments for cancer


    “Getting Cancer Wrong" is, at first glance, a scary headline. It appears atop the online version of Newsweek's March 28 cover story focusing on an admittedly little understood cluster of math gurus housed at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa.

    They are a rare bunch in cancer research. A bit like medical Moneyball guys who use mathematical models to find fresh ways to treat one of the toughest diseases....

  7. Tampa Bay hosts Richmond business group eager to find best practices for its own economy

    Economic Development

    They came. They saw. They compared.

    More than 150 business leaders from Richmond, Va., spent the past week on a tour of the Tampa Bay business, cultural and entrepreneurial scene. The mission? To find any and all best practices employed here that the Richmond metro area can adopt, in the process making the economy of Virginia's capital city more competitive and appealing for future growth....

  8. Latest tale of rigging stock markets is call to reforge tougher rules


    The U.S. stock markets, the most iconic in global capitalism, are rigged. This time, the culprits are a combination of the stock exchanges, big Wall Street banks and high-frequency traders.

    That, in a nutshell, is the premise and warning in a new book detailing how the fix is in on America's stock exchanges, the ones that transact and value vast sums of everyday people's pensions, 401(k)s, the worth of public companies and investments....

    Flash Boys by Michael Lewis warns about high-speed trading.
  9. Recruiting jobs to Tampa Bay: three touted deals that went sour

    Economic Development

    In today's economy where nothing stays the same for long, think of regional business recruiting as a leaky boat. The mission? To keep pouring more and better jobs into the boat faster than jobs are lost through holes in the hull.

    Lately, the Tampa Bay area has been on a roll, adding more jobs than subtracting them. But when the area loses a high-profile project that pays well and comes with a globally recognized brand name like Time Warner, it hurts. A lot....

    With Time Warner executive John Martin at his side, Gov. Rick Scott speaks at a news conference at the state Capitol in Tallahassee after the media giant announced plans in 2011 to establish a shared services center in Tampa.
  10. After Bollywood glitz, Tampa Bay aims to deepen ties with India


    We're just a month or so away from the Bollywood Oscars, a multiday extravaganza here that culminates in a high-glitz, hyper-fun awards show set for Raymond James Stadium before an expected live audience of 35,000 and global viewers estimated at an astonishing 800 million.

    Recent Bollywood award ceremonies held in Bangkok, Singapore and Amsterdam have delivered visually spectacular affairs and strong plugs for those host cities....

    Bollywood actor Bipasha Basu performs during the International Indian Film Academy ceremony in Singapore in 2012. IIFA in Tampa is expected to reach 800 million TV viewers.
  11. Flatlining Pinellas badly in need of economic CPR

    Economic Development

    In the tri-county core of Tampa Bay, the populations of Hillsborough and Pasco are expected to grow steadily for decades to come.

    But Pinellas County looks destined to flatline.

    Forecasts for the year 2040 show the number of people living in what already is Florida's highest-density county will be 926,000 — about the same as today.

    Pinellas' lack of space to grow — and its inability to attract new businesses as cheaply as Hillsborough and Pasco — should be sounding alarm bells....

  12. Tampa Bay Rays' ad campaign urges team and fans to raise the bar


    The Tampa Bay Rays may be fighting low game attendance, and the team's future stadium location remains fuzzy. But team executives remain optimistic that, once again, the Rays will be serious contenders in a 2014 season that kicks off in a few weeks.

    Fans of plenty of other major-league baseball teams simply can't be as confident this season, says Brian Auld, Rays senior vice president of business operations....

  13. As Florida grows, it still lacks corporate brands with global clout


    It's tough for Florida to be viewed as a global business player when corporate brands in the state cannot compete on the world stage.

    Now that Florida will soon trail only Texas and California in population, does the state's business community boast any corporate brand valuable enough to rank among the world's 500 most powerful brands?

    Nope. Nada. Zilch.

    So says the recently released Brand Finance Global 500. The annual ranking by the consulting firm Brand Finance named Apple for the third year in a row as the world's most valuable brand, worth more than $104 billion. It's followed by South Korea's fast-rising Samsung at No. 2, with a brand worth about $79 billion....

    Florida could be considered the Rodney Dangerfield of corporate brands: no respect, no homegrown names with global recognition.
  14. Old habits: State spending sprees that demand better oversight

    Economic Development

    True or false: Enterprise Florida economic development officials spent the following sums, largely taxpayer money, at these locations to woo businesses to the Sunshine State:

    1. $22,000 on New York Yankees luxury suites and related purchases.

    2. $13,000 at the San Diego Zoo.

    3. $16,000 on Texas Rangers and Atlanta Braves baseball.

    4. $7,800 at Truluck's Seafood Steak & Crab House (home of the $48 prime New York strip) in Austin, Texas, the 21 Club (home of the $75 fixed price dinner) in Manhattan, and 4 Rivers Smokehouse in Orlando....

    Enterprise Florida CEO Gray Swoope, left, has a new contract paying up to $375,000 in salary and bonuses, a 25 percent leap.
  15. As RadioShack shrinks, the land of lost retailers gets crowded


    The last time I went into a RadioShack store, I bought a small Grundig radio. It was on a whim. And it was 10 years ago.

    Therein lies RadioShack's problem. The chain is no longer essential. It failed to evolve into a must-visit destination retailer like Trader Joe's are for foodies or Bass Pro Shops are for the outdoor crowd.

    It's the reason why the struggling chain announced this week that it plans to close as many as 1,100 stories....

    Winn-Dixie is absorbing all of Tampa Bay’s Sweetbay Supermarkets, but since 2011 has lagged in keeping its shoppers happy, according to the American Consumer Satisfaction Index.