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CEO Profile

Robert Dutkowsky - CEO of Tech Data Corporation - Most Respected CEOs, Top CEOs, Best CEOs

Robert M. Dutkowsky
CEO of Tech Data Corporation

The Sales CEO

Company Profile

Industry: Computers Wholesale
Employees: 7,600
Revenues: $23B
Market Cap: $1.84B

CEO Achievements

In January 2006, Tech Data - the world’s second largest distributor of IT products—named technology industry veteran Dutkowsky as its new CEO and Board Member in October 2006.  Dutkowsky’s first order of business was to oversee the final stages of Tech Data’s European restructuring and business optimization plans. He also turned his eye toward expansion and introduced a new corporate strategy of execution, diversification and innovation that would be the foundation of Tech Data’s future success. Very quickly, the company was once again positioned for profitable growth throughout all regions in which it operates. His strategy paid early dividends. At the conclusion of Dutkowsky’s first full fiscal year with the company, Tech Data generated a record $23.4 billion in net sales with 80 percent increase in net income.

During the economic challenges of 2009, Tech Data followed Robert Dutkowsky’s strategy of strategy of execution, diversification and innovation to position itself, its customers and its vendor partners for future growth. Despite declines in net sales experienced across the entire IT industry, Tech Data has created new efficiencies, enhanced services levels, and broadened its solutions that resulted in  increased profits.

Tech Data made a number of acquisitions expanding its product offering, customer portfolio, technical capabilities and geographic reach. These included the acquisition of certain assets of Compumedi, a leading IBM distributor in Spain; certain assets of Investronica’s Portuguese IT distribution operation; certain assets of Man and Machine’s German-based Autodesk distribution operations; and certain assets of Ireland’s sole Autodesk distributor Cadco. In the Americas, Tech Data announced several distribution agreements, further diversifying its solutions portfolio. These new and expanded vendor partnerships include Force10 Networks, Brocade’s IP networking solutions, Pelco video surveillance solutions, Sharp LCD TVs and more.

For its last fiscal year (reported Jan. 31, 2009), Tech Data generated a record $24.1 billion in net sales.

Robert Dutkowsky oversees all aspects of the company’s extensive worldwide IT products distribution operations. He joined Tech Data in 2006 and has over 30 years of experience in the IT industry including senior management positions in sales, marketing and channel distribution with leading manufacturers and software publishers IBM, EMC and J.D. Edwards.

Dutkowsky began his IT career in 1977 when he joined IBM as a salesman. He spent 20 years with IBM, where his rise through the ranks included various sales and marketing and general management positions, and tenures as director, Software and Services; vice president, Product Marketing; executive assistant to former IBM CEO Lou Gerstner; vice president, Distribution – IBM Asia/Pacific; and vice president, Worldwide Sales and Marketing – RS/6000 product line.

In 1997, Dutkowsky joined EMC as executive vice president, Markets and Channels before being promoted to president, Data General in 1999. During his time at EMC, the company’s revenue grew from $2 billion to $9 billion. In 2000, Dutkowsky was named president, chairman and CEO of GenRad, leading the company to a successful merger with Teradyne, a test equipment manufacturer for semiconductor, electronics and network systems. Later, in 2002, Dutkowsky served as chairman, president and CEO of J.D. Edwards until the company integrated with PeopleSoft. Immediately prior to joining Tech Data, Dutkowsky was chairman, president and CEO of Egenera, Inc., a utility computing company based in Marlboro, Mass.

He serves on the board of directors for SEPATON, a data storage and protection manufacturer. He also is a member of the board of directors for the United Way of Tampa Bay, the Tampa Bay Rays Foundation and the advisory board of the University of South Florida Business School.

Dutkowsky earned a bachelor’s degree in labor and industrial relations from Cornell University. He is also a recipient of the 2000 Ellis Island Medal of Honor recognizing distinguished American citizens

CEO Insights

What I remember about (my early teachers) is that their expectation of excellence was high.. I struggled a bit in early years in school... They forced kids like me to continue to come along...I struggled with math...But if Mrs. Padagoola (my teacher) didn’t say, “I’m going to help this guy over the hump,” I’m not sure where I would have went with that. - Robert Dutkowsky, CEO of Tech Data

If you’re hiring sales guys you want to hire guys that make things happen. - Robert Dutkowsky, CEO of Tech Data

The (IBM HR guy), bless his heart, (asked) "What do you want to do when you grow up?” I said, “I want to be President of IBM...And he said, “If you want to do that, you want to be a salesman. The last six guys who ran IBM started out as salesmen...I said, “OK, I’m going to go be a salesman... IBM probably hired 50,000 people that year. How did I get the right answers at the right time? - Robert Dutkowsky, CEO of Tech Data

Friday night my wife would say, “Can we go to the movies this weekend? Did you sell anything this week?” It was real commission, hand-to-mouth kind of stuff. - Robert Dutkowsky, CEO of Tech Data

IBM has a real formalized development program. Every employee has a development plan. Gary (My mentor) said, “You have a lot more skill than to be a marketing representative for IBM. You need to go into management...We’ve decided that you’re going to move on... You were being groomed for your next job, and your next job, and your next job. - Robert Dutkowsky, CEO of Tech Data

I was working for Lou Gerstner at the time. He was chairman of IBM, and he came into my office and asked, “Do you have any international experience?” I said, “Yes, I lived in Nebraska once.” I thought that was kind of cute, but he didn’t laugh at that. In typical Lou fashion, he said “In 90 days you will be living in Tokyo. Get your wife and family ready for this.” - Robert Dutkowsky, CEO of Tech Data

About Tech Data
Tech Data Corporation (NASDAQ GS:TECD) is one of the world’s largest distributors of technology products from leading IT hardware and software producers. Tech Data serves more than 125,000 IT solution providers in over 100 countries. Every day, these resellers depend on Tech Data to cost-effectively support the technology needs of end users, including medium and small businesses (SMB), large enterprises and government agencies.

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