Dutkowsky Steps Down as Egenera CEO, Moves to Tech Data
Published: September 21, 2006
by Timothy Prickett Morgan
Blade server pioneer Egenera has announced that its president and chief executive officer, Robert Dutkowsky, has received an outside offer he could not refuse. Beginning on October 1, Dutkowsky will leave his post as CEO at Egenera to take on the same job at IT distributor Tech Data, which had $20.5 billion in annual sales in fiscal 2005.
Although Dutkowsky is leaving the CEO post at Egenera, he will continue to be chairman of the company. Egenera said that its chief operating officer, Michael Thompson, will become the company's president and CEO. Thompson used to be director of worldwide sales at fault tolerant server maker Stratus Technologies, and he held various executive positions at Tandem (now a part of Hewlett-Packard) before that.
Dutkowsky has moved around a bit in the past decade. He was a rising star in IBM's Unix server business in the late 1990s, and was an executive assistant to former IBM chairman and CEO, Louis Gerstner. He eventually jumped to EMC to run its marketing and channels, and he was put in charge of the Data General acquisition, which focused primarily on midrange storage arrays. In 2000, Dutkowsky left EMC to become president, CEO, and chairman of electronics manufacturer GenRad, which was acquired a year later by Teradyne. In early 2002, he was tapped to be president and CEO of the formerly independent ERP software maker J.D. Edwards, which was sold to PeopleSoft, which in turn was acquired in January 2005 in a hostile takeover by Oracle.
Based on this history, Dutkowsky seems to be a precursor or a catalyst for acquisitions. It is a wonder that his appointment to Egenera didn't result in its acquisition by another server maker.
Back in January, Tech Data announced that it was going to split the role of chairman from the role of CEO. Steven Raymond has been chairman and CEO of Tech Data since 1986--which is an eternity in the IT business and a truly remarkable tenure in any business--and he plans to continue steering the company as a non-executive chairman.
Tech Data was founded in 1974 and has over 90,000 customers that it distributes IT products to around the globe. It is one of the largest IT distributors, ranking right up there with Avnet, Arrow Electronics, Ingram Micro, and CDW.