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Thursday, Apr 18, 2024
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OCBJ INSIDER

Ingram Micro’s future in Irvine looks set, following HNA Group Co.’s $7.2B sale of the distribution giant to LA PE firm Platinum Equity, run by Detroit Piston owner Tom Gores.

See Kevin Costelloe’s front-page story for more on the transaction; Ingram CEO Alan Monié tells the Business Journal that China’s HNA “was a good partner, but I think we will see benefits from having a prominent, U.S.-based company as our parent.”

Those thoughts are no doubt echoed by Palmer Luckey, whose Anduril Industries HQ sits kitty-corner to the Park Place office campus that holds Ingram’s base; see this page for more of Luckey’s thoughts on China’s outsized influence on U.S. technology companies.

The sale to Platinum Equity comes as Ingram has lost a tie to its past. Former Ingram President David Dukes died earlier this month, after a long bout with COVID-19. He was 76.

Dukes was instrumental in building Ingram into what is now far and away OC’s largest company by revenue.

“David understood the dealer network and had great relationships with key vendors,” Chip Lacy Jr., the former CEO of Ingram, told trade publication CRN last week. “He had a maturity and calmness that really helped the company as we grew. It was a rough and tumble, low-margin business. David provided a smoothness to our edges. He was a great face of the company.”

Dukes stepped away from the company in the 1990s, to focus on board and charitable work, including stints as Chairman of the Board for Children’s Hospital of Orange County, and Chair of the UCI CEO Roundtable.

“He was very helpful to me, and taught me the ropes” at the Roundtable, said New Majority co-founder Tom Tucker. “He was very active in the community.”

Dukes’ community work extended to ownership of Cappy’s Café, the PCH landmark in Newport Beach. A Vietnam veteran, he’ll be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

See our front page for stories on how OC hospitals are coping with the latest surge in COVID cases, and on how local restaurants are pushing back on the latest state restrictions.

Jack Syage, CEO and co-founder of Newport Beach’s ImmunogenX, a clinical stage firm that focuses on treating celiac disease, has made a name for himself in the analytical instrumentation field. He has closely tracked COVID-19 statistics here and elsewhere in the state, with his findings running in our Leader Board page earlier this year.

“I am in support of most of Newsom’s current shelter-at-home plan—I hate the use of the word lockdown,” Syage, whose name I misspelled in our latest OC500 directory, told the Business Journal early last week.

“It worked the first time, and you have to nip rising cases in the bud before infections go too far,” he said, while noting that “I question the effectiveness of closing outdoor dining as long as sufficient distance is maintained—maybe make it 10 feet.”

For those on the fence about holiday travel to or from OC, “I would avoid unnecessary travel as you can’t avoid contact with strangers,” Syage said. “Drive if you can, even if from the Bay Area. I would allow family gatherings of less than 10 people, but try to keep it outside as much as possible.”

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Mark Mueller
Mark Mueller
Mark is the Editor-in-Chief of the Orange County Business Journal, one of the premier regional business newspapers in the country. He’s the fifth person to hold the editor’s position in the paper’s long history. He oversees a staff of about 15 people. The OCBJ is considered a must-read for area business executives. The print edition of the paper is the primary source of local news for most of the Business Journal’s subscribers, which includes most of OC’s major corporate and community players. Mark’s been with the paper since 2005, and long served as the real estate reporter for the paper, breaking hundreds of commercial and residential real estate stories. He took on the editor’s position in 2018.
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