Jim Kavanaugh is an American businessman serving as the CEO of World Wide Technology.
After winning a state soccer title at Rosary High, Kavanaugh went on to play soccer at Saint Louis University. In 1983 he was selected as MS amateur player of the year and competed for the United States in the 1983 Pan American Games.
After college Kavanaugh was drafted to the Los Angeles Lazers, a Major Indoor Soccer League team, in 1986 as the second pick in the first round of the professional soccer draft.
After a short stint in the Major Indoor Soccer League, Kavanaugh turned to a career in business but still remains involved in the St. Louis sports community. In 2012, Kavanaugh became the President of the Board at St. Louis Scott Gallagher Soccer Club and Saint Louis FC Board. He is also an owner of the St. Louis Blues.
Kavanaugh worked at Future Electronics as a sales manager (1988–1990) after his soccer career and prior to joining World Wide Technology.
World Wide Technology
In 1990 Kavanaugh joined David Steward in the latter's newest business venture, World Wide Technology, which provides technology products, services and supply chain services.
In 1999 World Wide Technology spun off its telecommunications division to form Telcobuy.com. Sales for the two companies continued to grow, although revenues slipped in 2002 as World Wide Technology felt the impact of the technology recession. In 2003 combined reported revenues passed $1 billion, and World Wide Technology Holding Company was formed as the parent company for the two firms.
Almost since its inception, Kavanaugh focused on WWT's corporate culture, which he believes is essential to its success and growth. "WWT’s continued growth is tied to a business culture defined by core values, the first of which is trust,” said Kavanaugh. “We are committed to creating a profitable growth company that is truly a great place to work." WWT has been recognized as a great place to work by Glassdoor and Fortune.
In 2009, WWT was doing well, but Kavanaugh wanted to make sure the organization was staying ahead of the competition. Kavanaugh's idea was to develop innovation labs that would be a "playground for super-smart people" and house cutting-edge equipment to deliver faster, better results to customers. This idea led to the creation of WWT's Advanced Technology Center (ATC), a collaborative ecosystem to design, build, educate, demonstrate and deploy innovative technology products and integrated architectural solutions for World Wide Technology customers, partners and employees. "It's a virtual ecosystem," Kavanaugh says. "We can bring in software, but we actually bring in the physical hardware too. So we’re able to replicate not only what the software looks like but we do it in physical environments that simulate that customer’s environment. … It's definitely not a standard offering for what systems integrators are bringing to their customers. I think it's very unique."
WWT's annual revenue is estimated to be greater than $9 billion, ranking it as one of the largest private companies in the US.
In addition to growth overseas, WWT expanding its campus with a new headquarters in Westport Plaza in 2017.
- 2010: Saint Louis University Business Hall of Fame.
- 2007: EY Entrepreneur of the Year
- 1998: Forty under 40