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Martin Dodd: The Charismatic and Steady Sales Director of Targus

July 10, 19 - Posted in: Business
Martin Dodd: The Charismatic and Steady Sales Director of Targus

Take a trip down memory lane with Martin to reflect on the past 31 years at Targus.  

Targus has a long-reigning history of offering solutions to mobile workers. Thirty-six years ago, an idea turned into a reality when the company was founded in a small garage in the United Kingdom. In the present day, Targus has become a global industry leader in tech, soft goods, and mobile accessories with over 45 offices internationally.

One of the most charismatic members of the Targus family has been part of the captivating journey for thirty-one years. See what Targus was and has become through the eyes of Martin Dodd, our cardinal veteran of the company.

1. What is your role here at Targus and has it evolved in the past years?

Currently, I’m focused on Sales Operations working with our major Alliance Partners, primarily Dell and Lenovo but also stepping in with HP where needed. I work with their supply chain people to ensure they have the right product where they want it when they need it. In the past I had been more focused on front line sales, working with the Product Marketing teams at our partners to ensure they had the right products in their portfolio that would complement their hardware. When I first started with Targus back in 1988, I was working with our distribution partners throughout Europe, we mainly supplied our own Targus branded products along with a line of Apple logoed products for the Mac. The first series of Targus branded products were called “The Lappac Series” which we made in both nylon and leather.

2. Please share a brief history of Targus and how the company has evolved since you started 31 years ago.

I had worked with Targus for a couple of years before I joined the company, I worked for a freight forwarder based in London who handled Targus’ shipping from Asia. At that time Targus was making all their product in the Philippines. They had a hot shipment coming in for Compaq which got lost in a warehouse at Heathrow Airport right before Christmas. At that time airport security wasn’t like it is today so I was able to drive to the warehouse and locate the package and deliver to Lorely Hay at their Christmas party.

It was at that time that I first met the founder of Targus, Neil Copp. A few weeks later, I was at Targus and Lorely told me that Neil wanted to see me. He told me he was impressed how I had gone out of my way to find their lost package and would like me to join the company to replace their current Sales Director who was heading out to America to start Targus USA.

A month later I started at Targus and started working in a two-roomed office of approximately 10 people sharing a phone with three other people. All our product was warehoused at a moving company’s facility a few miles away so every time we had a shipment coming in or going out, a few of us would have to go over there to unload or relabel.

This was 1990 and laptops were starting to take off. Toshiba was particularly a major player and we had a lot of business with Apple. A couple of years later, business was booming so we moved to a new complex in Sunbury where we had a suite of office, each with their own phone and our very own warehouse.

Late 1990 I moved to The USA supposedly for three years. Targus had just begun operations in Buena Park, CA, after we outgrew that location, we moved to the current facility in Anaheim.

3. What are some of your favorite memories past and present?

We used to have a bell in the UK office that we would ring every time a new order came in over the fax machine.

4. What excites you the most about the future of the company?

I’m excited to see where the technology side of the business takes us, especially docking stations and the MiraLogic project. Docking stations have evolved a lot throughout the years and seeing Targus getting recognized at CES for innovative technology is amazing to see.

5. What is your favorite Targus product?

I love our lineup of backpacks; they are great to travel with. I’ve always taken family trips with my daughters and having a backpack makes travel a breeze, instead of holding bags I could hold their hands to make sure we were always together in the airports.
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