Advertisement
  1. Business

A rare day at Tech Data as one CEO hands leadership of the company to the next

Tech Data's incoming CEO Rich Hume (left) shares a moment with outgoing CEO Bob Dutkowsky during a send off celebration for Dutkowsky Wednesday afternoon at the company's headquarters in Clearwater. JIM DAMASKE | Times
Published Jun. 7, 2018

CLEARWATER — In 44 years, Tech Data has marked the transition from one CEO to the next just three times.

The first was in 1986, Steven Raymund became CEO of the small company that his father, Edward Raymund, had founded.

The second was in 2006, when Robert Dutkowsky succeeded Raymund.

And the third was Wednesday, when chief operating officer and former IBM executive Rich Hume, 58, succeeded Dutkowsky, 63.

LAST MONTH: Tech Data names Rich Hume to take over as CEO

Remarkable, Dutkowsky told several hundred employees at Tech Data's Clearwater headquarters, when you consider that the average tenure of a CEO at a publicly traded company is four years.

"That's a different company with a different culture," Dutkowsky said, one where people "embrace each other, put their arms around each other and ensure that they're going to be successful, day after day, week after week, quarter after quarter. ... This team is really well-positioned for a great run."

And it's not just any company. Tech Data is Florida's largest public company by revenue, with $36.8 billion in annual sales and is No. 83 on the Fortune 500 list of biggest companies.

LAST WEEK: Tech Data's first-quarter net sales jump 22 percent to $8.5 billion

So we asked the three members of the Tech Data CEO club (Edward Raymund died in 2008) their thoughts on this rare day for their company:

Bob Dutkowsky, on what's next in his new role as executive chairman of the board: "I'm going to be out of the day to day completely. A big part of what a CEO does is to be engaged in every big decision that's made in the company every day, and that's now Rich's job. My job now is to be there to advise Rich ... as well as to be available to be engaged in big projects. ... The role of the CEO is think strategically and deliver tactically. And so the tactics consume what you do every single day, and if you had more time to think strategically you could get more done. With areas like that I might be able to help Rich off-load some of that, but, again, he is now the leader of the company. ...

"Steve stayed on the board for 10 years after he left as CEO, so we kind of know how that CEO-chairman separation should work. And so we're going to be fine."

Rich Hume: "To be able to reach out to Bob will be the most extraordinarily helpful thing for me. When we look into the future and we look at large strategic projects that require the engagement and/or approval of the board, I would certainly like to get his advice ...

"The first thing on my to-do list is to make sure that I'm touching (base with) all of our employees, to make sure I reaffirm the future and what we'll be working and focusing on. Second is to continue to engage with customers and vendors to make sure I hear what they have to say. And then most importantly to get the entire organization aligned on our strategic direction. The strategy is fortunately very clear now to the organization, and we all now have to work on deploying it."

Steve Raymund, on what it's like watching the succession: "If you have confidence in the leadership and the process, then it's a great feeling, and I do. It really is a great feeling. The company is infinitely better today, better run than back in my day in terms of its people, processes, systems, position in the market. Bob has really taken the company to new highs. And I'm really confident in the succession planning process. ... There's no doubt in anybody's mind that Rich Hume is absolutely the right guy to be next leader at Tech Data. ...

"In the world of technology, what worked yesterday is not necessarily the formula that will work today. So they're going to have to come up with maybe new business models, new strategies, new programs and perhaps new people to carry them into the industry as it evolves going forward. It's completely different today than back in my day. I wouldn't have a clue about running the business today. So, yeah, they've got a lot of work to do."

MORE: Go here for more Business News

Contact >Richard Danielson

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. A citrus grove in eastern Hillsborough County. [Times (2017)]
    The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture is predicting a 3.3 percent increase for the struggling industry.
  2. Gas prices may go up as much as 5 cents this week, AAA, The Auto Club Group, said. Pictured is a man filling up at a gas station in St. Petersburg in 2017. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times  (2017)] SHADD, DIRK  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Gas dropped 10 cents on average in Tampa Bay last week and 6 cents on average in Florida.
  3. Artist Danny Acosta completes re-lettering  of the Southernmost Point in the Continental U.S.A. marker in Key West after much of the paint was stripped off in Hurricane Irma in 2017. [Florida Keys News Bureau via the Associated Press]
    Less than 10 percent of U.S. counties are "vacation home'' counties.
  4. The Maple Street Biscuit Company opened in April on the 600 block of Central Avenue. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
    The popular Jacksonville biscuit shop has recently opened a handful of Tampa Bay locations.
  5. [Getty Images] PHOTOGRAPHER: RASMUS JURKATAM; RASMUS JURKATAM  |  Getty Images
    A frustrated business card user learns that his on-time payments don’t boost his personal credit score.
  6. Regina Temple is the new president and CEO at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point. HCA West Florida
    Read this and more Pasco County business news.
  7. The City Council has called for consultants to design an outdoor concert pavilion with a fixed covering over 4,000 seats in the middle of its proposed overhaul of the downtown waterfront. That decision is causing some friction in the city as officials prepare to present preliminary design drawings to the public. City of Clearwater
    Some in the city are divided over Clearwater’s $64.5 million plan.
  8. Tampa Bay workers are more likely than employees in other metros to quit because of a boss they don’t like, according to a recent survey. Pictured are job seekers at a Tampa job fair in June. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times] JONES  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Tampa Bay and Miami tied for the percentage of employees who quit because of a boss.
  9. Recent sunny day flooding in Shore Acres, a St. Petersburg neighborhood vulnerable to rising sea levels. [Times] Susan Taylor Martin
    The organizations will explore the impact of climate change on Florida.
  10. The University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences - Pasco Extension opened an incubator kitchen on Sept. 23. It's  at 15029 14th Street in Dade City. The goal of the kitchen is to create educational opportunities for food entrepreneurs and help them to start new businesses. Whitney Eleamor (center left) developed the idea for the kitchen. PAIGE FRY  |  Paige Fry
    The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held last week for the Pasco County Extension Service community kitchen.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement