Bob Dutkowsky, Who Led Tech Data Into the Cloud, Dead at 69

TD Synnex CEO Rich Hume called Dutkowsky a "mentor and a friend."

James Anderson, Senior News Editor

May 23, 2024

2 Min Read
Bob Dutkowsky passed away at 69 years of age
Bob Dutkowsky

Members of the IT distribution channel are remembering former Tech Data CEO Bob Dutkowsky for his role in shaping the industry.

Dutkowsky, who served as CEO of the disti from 2006-2018, and executive chairman from 2018-2020, has died at the age of 69.

Dutkowsky in his dozen-year tenure at the helm of the distributor saw the company restructure its European business, pivot toward the cloud opportunity and buy Avnet's technology solutions practice. Tech Data, now TD Synnex, went from a $20 billion company in 2006 to a $37 billion company in 2018.

Numerous companies, for many of which Dutkowsky served on the board of directors, have offered their condolences.

Hume Gives Tribute

TD Synnex CEO Rich Hume, who succeeded Dutkowsky as Tech Data CEO in 2018, honored his predecessor in a statement.

"On behalf of everyone at TD Synnex, we are deeply saddened by the passing of Bob Dutkowsky and extend our thoughts to Bob’s family and the countless friends and co-workers who had the privilege of knowing him," Hume said.


Hume credited Dutkowsky for Tech Data's acquisition of Avnet’s IT business in 2017. That $2.6 billion gave Tech Data a "true end-to-end portfolio" and set the company up for future transactions, Hume said.

Under Hume, Tech Data went on to be sold to Apollo Global Management for about $5.4 billion and later merged into Synnex for $7.2 billion.

Hume emphasized Dutkowsky's personal impact. Dutkowsky served on the boards of directors for United Way Suncoast, the American Heart Association and the Moffitt Cancer Center.

"Bob was more than a business leader; he was a mentor, a friend, and an inspiration who left an indelible impact not only on our company but also our community and the broader technology business partner ecosystem," Hume said.

Bob Dutkowsky: A Decorated Career

Dutkowsky started working in the IT industry in 1977 after graduating from Cornell University.

He joined IBM as a seller and moved into a variety of roles, including director of software and services and vice president of product marketing. In 1993 he accepted a personal invitation from CEO Lou Gerstner to serve as Gerstner's executive assistant.

He went on to serve as executive vice president of markets and channels of EMC. He left EMC in 2000 to serve as CEO of GenRad, which merged with Teradyne. He then led J.D. Edwards, which PeopleSoft bought.

Prior to joining Tech Data, he was CEO of Egenera and serving on McAfee's board of directors.

McAfee CEO George Samenuk introduced Dutkowsky to then-Tech Data CEO Steve Raymund. Raymund had inherited leadership of the distributor from his father Edward, who founded the company in 1974. Dutkowsky became the first CEO outside of the Raymund family at Tech Data.

A 2016 article by the Florida Trend provides delightful insights on Dutkowsky's first 100 days at Tech Data and the following years.

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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