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ST. CLOUD — Jeff Gau is retiring from his position as chief executive of St. Cloud-based Marco Technologies, and Marco President Doug Albregts will take his place next month.

Gau, 62, joined the IT and printing-services company in 1984 as a sales representative and moved into a series of leadership positions before taking the helm as CEO in 2003.

The business that had some $400 million in revenue last year started as a small typewriter shop in St. Cloud in 1973.

"There were two [offices] in St. Cloud. They both had dirt parking lots," Gau said.

Since then, Marco has grown to serve more than 28,000 customers nationally with business IT services, copier and printer solutions and cloud services.

Under Gau's leadership, the company consistently achieved double-digit annual revenue growth and expanded from about 160 employees to nearly 1,200 at 54 locations, according to a news release.

"Building a resilient model over those years to address the changing technologies was our strategy — to stay relevant," Gau said. "And the company is, frankly, in the absolute best financial shape it's ever been in."

Gau said the company's diverse services and customer base with clients in many industries helped Marco thrive during the pandemic.

"It took us 39 years to get our first $100 million in sales. It took three years to get the next $100 million. It took one year to get the next $100 million," he said. "Once we got it figured out, it just accelerated," Gau said.

In 2015, the employee-owned company was acquired by Minneapolis-based Norwest Equity Partners for an undisclosed price.

"It was a way for us to continue our growth strategy, to continue to invest in the business," Gau said. "And at the same time, we could satisfy our obligation to the employees who had ownership stake in the company."

Albregts will become CEO on April 1.

Jenny Berg • 612-673-7299