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After 36 years in distribution Tech Data's Steve Raymund has announced his retirement with the current CEO taking up the role of chairman.
Raymund is stepping down from his chairman position in June concluding a relationship with the firm his father founded that started when he joined the firm in 1981.
His time at Tech Data included a stint as CEO from 1986 to 2006 that saw the firm go through some of its most important changes, including the expansion, through the acquisition of Computer 2000, into the UK.
The Raymund story started with a fairly humble beginning, and had it not been for his ability to overcome a potentially business-ending challenge, the past few decades might have turned out very differently. This could have remained a tale of a small computer supplies business operating in one state in America.
After completing his graduate studies and a spell in a bank, he was invited to work for one of his father's businesses. The choice was between a manufacturer rep company selling to the aerospace and defence sectors, and a small, local computer supplier-distributor that was turning over around $1-$2m a year. It was the latter that a young Raymund opted for, and hence began his channel career.
At the time, Tech Data was selling storage cassettes and other digital media, and it specialised in focusing on its local geography. With an established local business that had fairly long-term clients in the Florida area, life was fairly stable, and getting a business education seemed to be going at a steady pace.
Until the decision by a breakaway group of staff to take the bulk of the client base with them, that is, which left the business reeling. Rather than give up Raymund dug in and was able to take the firm forward and with Panasonic create a vendor and distributor relationship that was a model for future signings.
He masterminded an expansion across the US, then into Canada and then in 1998 it took a majority interest in Munich-based Computer 2000. The acquisition of Azlan followed in 2003 and then Raymund headed upstairs three years later with Robert Dutkowsky becoming CEO.
"Tech Data has been an important part of my life since I joined the company that my father founded, and its growth and evolution into a global leader have been nothing short of remarkable," said Raymund. "I have been fortunate to work with some of the most outstanding people in the industry in my time at Tech Data."
"Steve's contributions to Tech Data are immeasurable. He has left an indelible mark on our company, our industry and our community, and Tech Data would not be the company it is today without his foresight and visionary leadership," said Dutkowsky. "Personally, I am grateful for Steve's guidance and collaboration since joining Tech Data and wish him the best in retirement. I am honored to assume the chairmanship of Tech Data and look forward to continued growth and success for our customers, vendors, employees, and shareholders."