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Home » News » CompTIA acquires struggling TechAmerica
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CompTIA acquires struggling TechAmerica
Seven of 31 former TechAmerica employees lose their jobs, including CEO Shawn
Osborne
May 5, 2014
By Lori Sharn
CompTIA expanded its staff and its reach into the technology sphere all at once,
when it acquired TechAmerica and its brands and assets—along with any
liabilities. The move was approved by boards of both organizations Friday, May
2, and announced to the public Monday, May 5.
Twenty-four of TechAmerica’s employees will now work for the much larger
CompTIA, which is headquartered in the Chicago area. They won’t need to
move, however, as CompTIA plans to keep TechAmerica’s office space in
Arlington, Va.
CompTIA CEO Todd Thibodeaux told CEO Update his board had been looking
for partnership opportunities for at least three years to expand the breadth of the
organization. CompTIA focuses on education and certification, as well as small-
and medium-sized businesses. Members of TechAmerica include very large
companies, and the group has much more experience with public sector
contracting and procurement issues.
“Bringing in the public sector, bringing in the commercial and enterprise parts of IT, allowed us to be a
much more comprehensive representative for the IT industry,” Thibodeaux said.
A new tagline, “The ICT Industry Trade Association,” will be added to CompTIA’s name. The organization
will continue to use the TechAmerica brand for its public advocacy. One member from TechAmerica’s
board will join the CompTIA board.
CompTIA is going from 165 employees and about $50 million in revenue to nearly 200 employees and
up to $53 million in revenue, Thibodeaux said.
TechAmerica CEO Shawn Osborne, who is now out of a job, said he and the board had been looking at
opportunities to put together a trade group with a stronger voice in fragmented technology association
landscape. CompTIA was the board’s first choice. “From a membership and a service standpoint, it was
very complementary,” he said.
TechAmerica was created by a merger in 2009, when the Information Technology Association of America
came together with the American Electronics Association. Revenue reached a high of $15 million that
year, compared with $10.5 million and 79 employees, according to CEO Update’s database partner
Association Intelligence.
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When Osborne became CEO in 2012, he said the organization was losing $3.5 million a year. He said he
succeeded in cutting expenses and losses each year, while focusing on the group’s core competencies
and value proposition, and in 2014 the group was poised to break even.
“We really sat back and said what’s next, and that’s when we got into the conversation about
consolidation,” Osborne said. As for his future: “Over the years I’ve done a couple of business ventures,
and I’ll probably just reengage with that,” Osborne told CEO Update.
The respective boards approved the acquisition the same day as TechAmerica and the Information
Technology Industry Council announced they had settled a lawsuit. TechAmerica had accused ITI and
three former employees of taking trade secrets and membership lists to their new group. The settlement
was confidential and no details were disclosed.
TechAmerica recently moved its offices from Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., across the river
to the Potomac Tower, at 1001 19th Street North in the Rosslyn area of Arlington.
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