Jim Kavanaugh Featured in CEO Magazine: Adding Value to the Technology Mix
WWT CEO Jim Kavanaugh endured difficult times, but persevered to now leverage a powerful network of businesses throughout the world.
Posted by CEO Magazine on July 7, 2017:
Jim Kavanaugh, CEO of World Wide Technology, a Missouri-based technology integrator, had to endure difficult times, but persevered to now provide advanced design, configuration, logistics and deployment capabilities to Fortune 500 enterprises from around the world, leveraging a powerful network of business and technology partners across industries ranging from healthcare to oil and gas.
It is very difficult for Jim Kavanaugh, CEO of privately-held World Wide Technology (WWT), to imagine the role of a leader taking the reins of an organization already in place, instead of keeping in mind what he and his company have had to endure and live through since its establishment in 1990.
“When I go back to the early days, probably the first five years of WWT, some of the main things were the big learning opportunities, and the relentless focus on needing to close business to stay in business,” Kavanaugh says. “In the first 3 to 5 years there were challenges that you wouldn’t normally think go with running a business. It’s a little different than thinking about the innovation, and growth and leadership programs.”
The experiences obtained in those years, from finding the right people for the right positions to maintaining a rigorous financial management to achieving the correct attitudes toward the business could serve as the basis for a book on the dos’ and don’ts of being an entrepreneur. “Those are some of the things that we’ve done a good job of figuring, learning through the years and continuing to create what I’d consider a learning leadership organization, that we continue to keep our eyes and ears open, looking at that practices of companies around the world from how they manage financially, how they manage innovation, who they manage people and culture,” he adds.
Also, it was no small feat for an executive then in his mid-twenties to convince the likes of Cisco, for example, of the soundness of WWT’s business plan and of the benefits of partnering up, Kavanaugh explains. “It is something that I continue to do today.”