WWT CEO On 'Exciting' AI Strategy, Cisco, Nvidia And 40 Percent Growth In 2023
World Wide Technology's Jim Kavanaugh explains his $17 billion company's massive sales growth in 2023 and WWT's strategic moves around doubling down on AI.
by Mark Haranas, CRN
When a $17 billion company grows revenue by 40 percent in 2023, the IT industry needs to sit up and take notice. IT channel superstar World Wide Technology (WWT) has been driving up to 40 percent sales growth across the board in 2023 with no plans of slowing down, thanks to a bold strategy created by CEO Jim Kavanaugh then executed by his 9,000-strong team.
"There were so many people and analysts projecting [at the end of 2022] that we're going to have an economic recession this year, or we're going to have a hard landing, or we're going to have a soft landing," said Kavanaugh in an interview with CRN.
"But we just continue to see solid activity this year. I truly believe that's because of what we do. We provide significant value to these customers," Kavanaugh said. "And that's going to continue."
WWT is one of the largest partners in the world for Cisco, Dell Technologies, Pure Storage and Rubrik, as well as a top partner for Nvidia, Microsoft and Palo Alto Networks.
The St. Louis-based company has a global workforce of 9,000 employees, and growing, in more than 55 locations around the world. WWT has been recognized 12 years in a row by Fortune as one of the best places to work due to its leadership, innovation, and culture.
WWT's AI Push In 2023
"AI is a space that we feel very, very confident in our capabilities to provide a lot of value to our customers and our partners," said Kavanaugh, who's led WWT for more than 30 years. He has built a $17 billion IT giant from the ground up and survived countless market disruptions—everything from recessions and cloud computing to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
"In our collective space around IT in the channel, there's so much opportunity here. IT used to be a back-office discussion where you kept the lights on for customers—not anymore," said Kavanaugh. "IT, digital, AI—these are mainstream board level topics that are going to continue to really drive what companies doand what society does as we move forward."
In an interview with CRN, Kavanaugh explains WWT's winning sales strategy, his company's future in AI and the vendors he's betting on in 2023.