CDW is a leading multi-brand technology solutions provider to business, government, education and healthcare organizations in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. A Fortune 500 company with multi-national capabilities, CDW was founded in 1984 and employs nearly 8,800 coworkers. For the trailing twelve months ended September 30, 2017, the company generated net sales of nearly $15 billion.
Richards is responsible for the strategic direction and performance of the company as well as leading the senior management team.
Richards joined CDW in 2009 as President and Chief Operating Officer with 33 years of experience in the technology industry. He became President and Chief Executive Officer in October 2011 and added the title of Chairman in January 2013. Prior to joining the company, Richards served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Qwest Communications where he oversaw the day-to-day operations and performance of Qwest and, before assuming that role, was Executive Vice President of the business markets group. Richards also served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Clear Communications Corporation, a network management software company and as executive vice president and management committee member of Ameritech Corporation, where he oversaw cellular, security monitoring, network services and cable television operations.
Additionally, Richards worked for 19 years with Bell Atlantic, now Verizon, in various sales, marketing and operations roles in telecommunications and computer services. Richards is a 1976 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, where he earned a B.A. in economics and a 1991 graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned an M.S. in management as a Sloan Fellow. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement of Chicago and Northern Trust Corporation, on the Board of Trustees for the University of Pittsburgh and Rush University Medical Center and is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and the Executives' Club of Chicago.