The Billionaires Behind The Secret Tech Mecca In America’s Heartland

Technology’s pace of innovation is frenetic and unending. David Steward and Jim Kavanaugh have found the surest way to pile up riches.

“Over the years, Kavanaugh has built out the company’s sales catalog in both hardware (servers and networking equipment) and software (managing projects on the cloud or authenticating user logins). Kavanaugh has also made World Wide Technology famous for its ability to package a lot of disparate tech into a single system. For instance, when asked with overhaul one bank’s cybersecurity program, it selected products from more than dozen companies like Microsoft, Cisco and Red Hat, creating a comprehensive new program from scratch. “It’s similar to how a car manufacturer will take a bunch of different car parts and turn them into a car,” says Lawrence Walsh, CEO and chief analyst of the 2112 Group, a technology research firm. In other words, customers come to a dealership to buy a car that will take them from Point A to Point B. They are not equipped to assemble the components themselves. This has helped differentiate World Wide Technology in an industry in which competitors like SHI International (run by billionaire Thai Lee) and publicly traded CDW have similar sales catalogs.”


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