Bull`s Eye Awards: Distribution Executive of the Year

  • By

    Jessica Davis

    | Posted 2009-12-17




Bob Dutkowsky, Tech Data
When Bob Dutkowsky joined Tech Data in October 2006, he came to an IT distributor that found itself in trouble. The company was losing money in a time of economic growth. The industry was going through changes as hardware continued to be commoditized. And competitors were everywhere. A lesser executive might have been crushed by the weight of such a challenge, but Dutkowsky took it up and then some.

He embarked on an initiative to improve and standardize the company’s warehouse management systems, simplifying processes and cutting operational costs. And as he looked for cost savings in more standardized operations, Dutkowsky also explored new technologies and markets for Tech Data to diversify the company and expand its revenue options. Under Dutkowsky, Tech Data began a digital signage initiative; launched its Advanced Infrastructure Solutions division to capitalize on the opportunities in servers, storage and virtualization; added a printing business unit; and added a managed services offering, among others.

Dutkowsky was also the one who presided over the tough decisions to shut down certain operations, such as the company’s United Arab Emirates operations and consolidating a German warehouse to the Czech Republic back in 2007, even before the current recession hit. And when the Wall Street meltdown limited credit options for channel partners, Tech Data stepped in to recruit additional financial partners to help channel partners get deals completed.

As the recession dragged on in 2009, Tech Data’s revenues were hit, just like everyone else’s. But on each earnings call, Dutkowsky was able to tell analysts about better profitability and plans to take advantage of various upcoming opportunities. He has been quick to spread around the credit for the company’s relative success in such hard times.

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Jessica Davis covers the channel for eWeek and Channel Insider. Her technology journalism career began well before anyone heard of the World Wide Web and has included stints at Infoworld, Electronic News/EDN, and the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her work has also appeared on CNN and Forbes.com. She has covered hardware, software and networking, as well as the business side of technology. She has won several journalism awards, including a national ASBPE award for best staff-written column, and was named Marketing Computers hardest working tech journalist on their inaugural list of top tech journalists. Jessica can be reached at jessica.davis@ziffdavisenterprise.com

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