TD Synnex CEO Rich Hume promised “no dramatic changes” as Synnex and Tech Data merge. Photo by Evan Peter Smith
Post merger, TD Synnex CEO reaffirms company’s commitment to Greenville
Evan Peter Smith, September 3, 2021
The ink is now dry on the $8.3 billion merger between Florida-based Tech Data and California-based Synnex, creating TD Synnex, the largest technology distribution company in the world.
Think of it as a gigantic information technology supermarket, with a customer base now of more than 150,000 small, midsize and enterprise businesses across more than 100 countries.
The merger is of particular interest to Greenville, given Synnex’s longstanding philanthropic efforts in the community and its status as a major employer, with a local workforce numbering more than 1,200.
In that regard, TD Synnex’s new CEO Rich Hume has a message for Greenville.
“First and foremost, and most importantly, we will absolutely continue in the communities that we’re in,” Hume said.
Speaking from inside the lobby of the Peace Center the morning of Sept. 1, Hume had just finished a livestream event in which he addressed the more than 22,000 TD Synnex employees across the world. But his message to that massive pool of workers was not altogether separate from his message for Greenville, specifically.
“It’s important to have a barometer of who we are, what we do and how we get it done, as well as our values, articulating that,” he said. “It just makes it so critical for all of our coworkers to make sure we participate responsibly in the community, so we’re going to do that.”
Locally, that sense of community responsibility is best exemplified by Synnex Share the Magic (presumably soon to be renamed TD Synnex Share the Magic), an annual fundraising initiative created in Greenville by Peter Larocque back in 2011. Since its creation, the project has raised more than $14 million for South Carolina children and their families facing challenges such as life-threatening illness, abuse and neglect.
“I am certain that Share the Magic will continue as we move into the future”
-TD Synnex CEO Rich Hume
To the four charities that are the primary recipients of those funds – A Child’s Haven, Clement’s Kindness, Make-A-Wish South Carolina, and Pendleton Place – Hume offers a promise of “full support to those philanthropic efforts.”
“I am certain that Share the Magic will continue as we move into the future, but I’ve had no discussion relative to whether we’ll make incremental investments or how we’ll think about that,” Hume said, referring to the possibility of expanding the initiative or offering additional programs. “But I think it’s very, very safe to say that the program as you know it, as it’s been growing through time, will probably stay on the trajectory it’s been.”
Share the Magic has funded more than 150,000 hours of therapeutic childcare, $900,00 in financial support for families with pediatric cancer and other serious blood disorders, more than 2,000 wish fulfillments through Make-A-Wish South Carolina, and 19,000 nights of care to more than 200 at-risk teenagers, among other initiatives.
Tanya Camunas, executive director of A Child’s Haven, which provides therapeutic childcare to at-risk children, summed up that affirmation with one word: “Awesome.”
“I can just say, [the former Synnex has] been so instrumental in creating a stronger community, and their vision for making sure that all children are thriving in our community has been what has driven us to become better and grow into the program we are now,” Camunas said. “By working with families, that in turn strengthens our community.”
While she still expects some small changes, Camunas said she feels bolstered and confident that the organization can stay on its current trajectory.
Greenville-based employees of the former Synnex were offered similar reassurance. Hume said he understands the personal questions that come from a merger.
“Certainly, when something like this happens, it all becomes, ‘What is my compensation? What are my benefits?’ The short answer to all those questions is everything moves on the same as it’s been,” he said. “No dramatic changes.”
Hume noted Greenville’s large base of talent as its main strategic advantage, especially as the two sides of the company merge their respective cloud platforms — Tech Data’s StreamOne platform and Synnex’s Stellr platform — into a single entity. Rather than reducing investment, Hume suggested the new merged company would increase that investment, all while building a single platform.
“So instead of having to build two, we build one, and that way we can have — allow me to use a simple term — a lot more bells and whistles,” he said.
Those bells and whistles include security, analytics, internet of things and artificial intelligence, what Hume calls “next generation technology,” which is experiencing hyper-growth in an IT market that is otherwise growing by the single-digits, annually.
For Greenville, that opens up the opportunity for future growth.
“It’s a great opportunity to bring more resources to Greenville not only to support the core business, but also to support those next-gen technology areas,” he said. “And Greenville’s a great town. It has great opportunity overall. I think it’s a jewel that is being uncovered.”