On March 3, The University of Tampa hosted a Sykes Hall of Fame Business Speaker Series at the Falk Theatre. The honored speakers for the event were John Thompson, Chairman of the Board at Microsoft, and Bob Dutkowsky, CEO of Tech Data Corporation. The two gentleman shared some of the details of their tumultuous journeys that led the to the head of such great organizations. The subject of discussion was the Shaping of the Future of Tech.
John Thompson completed his undergraduate studies at Florida A&M University and received his master’s degree in Management from MIT’s Sloan School of Management. He received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business and an honorary doctorate degree from Florida A&M University. As impressive as his educational background is, his professional background is even more impressive.
John is currently the CEO of Virtual Instruments as well as Chairman of the Board for Microsoft Corporation. He has served in a numerous leadership positions at IBM Corporation and was the CEO of Symantec Corporation. He is an investor and advisor in many start up technology companies and has been recognized by many organizations for his leadership, including receiving the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Lifetime Achievement award in 2012. Thompson had great advice to share with the audience that he had learned throughout years of experiences the rise and fall of tech companies.
The next speaker, Bob Dutkowsky, has a resume that is just as impressive. With a bachelor’s degree in labor and industrial relations from Cornell University, he is a seasoned business professional with over 30 years of experience in the information technology industry, holding senior level positions in sales, marketing and channel distribution with manufacturers like IBM, EMC and JD Edwards.
Bob started out as a salesman and rose through the ranks at IBM holding various positions like sales and marketing and general management positions, tenures as director of Software and Services, vice president of Product Marketing, executive assistant to IBM CEO Lou Gerstner, vice president of Distribution, and vice president of Worldwide Sales and Marketing. Clearly no stranger to leadership, Bob went on to join EMC as vice president of Markets and Channels and was quickly promoted to president of Data General in 1999. During his stay at EMC, the company’s annual revenues grew from $2 billion to $9 million. Bob currently is the CEO of Tech Data Corporation, a worldwide IT distribution company.
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