Tech Data Corporation, of Clearwater, Fla., is celebrating its 35th anniversary. The company-established during the formative years of the computer industry as a data-processing supplies reseller-has successfully managed through the highs and lows of the technology industry during the last three decades to emerge as one of the world's largest IT products distributors.
"Today's milestone is an exciting achievement," says Tech Data CEO Robert Dutkowsky. "It underscores the strength and stability of Tech Data. Our company-thanks to all our employees worldwide-has proven its ability to keep up with the technology industry's rapid pace, efficiently execute on behalf of our customers and vendor partners, and smartly manage the business during both robust and challenging economic times."
Tech Data distributes the latest IT solutions from about 450 leading hardware and software producers to more than 125,000 IT resellers in more than 100 countries. The company has operations in 23 countries, sold more than $90 million worth of IT products a day last year, and extends billions of dollars in credit to its reseller customers. For its fiscal year ended January 31, 2009, Tech Data generated net sales of $24.1 billion, a record-setting year for the company that ranked it 102nd on the Fortune 500. Tech Data's current market capitalization exceeds $2.0 billion.
A History Of Growth
Tech Data Corporation was founded in 1974 by Edward C. Raymund, father of the company's chairman and former CEO Steven A. Raymund. In 1983, the company began supporting microcomputer resellers as a wholesale distributor. Tech Data employed about a dozen people then and handled all customer orders from a small office/warehouse in Clearwater, Fla., not far from its worldwide headquarters today.
Solid performance in the United States supported the company's international expansion. Tech Data entered Canada in 1989 through an acquisition, and in early 1993 the company launched an export division based in Miami to serve the Latin American market. Tech Data entered the European market in 1994 through an acquisition and opened its first distribution center in Latin America in 1997.
In 1998, Tech Data acquired a majority interest in Munich-based Computer 2000, Europe's leading IT products distributor. Computer 2000 also gave the company a broader presence in Latin America. In 1999, the company doubled its size in the Canadian market through the acquisition of Globelle Canada. In 2003, it acquired several companies including Azlan Group PLC to further build its European operations.
In October 2006, Dutkowsky was named CEO of Tech Data. He quickly began positioning the company to capitalize on new growth opportunities with a renewed emphasis on three key strategies: execution, innovation and diversification. In February 2007, Tech Data established its first joint venture, Brightstar Europe, to capitalize on the emerging mobile and wireless device market in Europe. Last year, Tech Data further strengthened its position in Europe by acquiring certain assets of Nordics-based IT distributor Scribona, making Tech Data the region's market leader.