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Adam Interviews Paychex CEO

Marty Mucci talks company growth and small business wage stagnation

PENFIELD, N.Y. (WROC-TV) - Marty Mucci will never forget how his first meeting with Tom Golisano ended.
“We were having coffee in a Styrofoam cup and I got up and he said, 'I don't really have a job for you, but I enjoyed the conversation and I might call you to come back,' and I said OK,” Mucci remembers. “So I got up and took my cup and said, 'Where can I throw this away?' And he said, 'You know, you just passed the big test with me, you want to throw your own cup away. You know how many people come in her and think I'm supposed to clean up after them.' I said, 'Well, you're going to have thank my mother for that. We couldn't leave the table without taking everything off the table.'”
That was 16 years ago.
Mucci has been CEO at Paychex since 2010 and has overseen impressive growth.
“Now over 650,000 clients, we're in Europe as well as here in the U.S.,” Mucci says. “From just 8 years ago we've grown from $2 billion in revenue to $3.4 billion in revenue and the company's market value is now $24 billion and it was 10 8 years ago so it's changed tremendously.”
The most significant shift for Paychex, like many other companies, has been in their technological outreach.
“We were always known as a personal service, dedicated people to you, and it's changed to where small businesses, employees as well as those businesses, small- to mid-sized businesses, they want more technology, they want more services, they want to do things themselves, they want to chat instead of talk many times, they want to go on the web and look at your service and compare it and we have all of that.”
Paychex also regularly surveys their clients to get a read on small business attitudes and trends.
Mucci takes the results to cable news often appearing on shows like CNBC's Mad Money.
Earlier this year he predicted the tax bill would increase wages, but Mucci says recently produced data shows wages rising at a slow rate.
“We surveyed many businesses to get more data and what we found is many small businesses are not making enough of a profit to raise wages or 30% of them said they were investing in capital investments or other investments to help it grow. We're seeing more companies go to part-time to contingent workforce, anything to try to hold those wages down because they're still not making enough profit,” Mucci said.
Before Paychex, Mucci had been CEO at Frontier Telephone in Rochester.
His passion for work then has carried over into today.
“I'm probably the person who had a lot more work in (the work-life) balance, but that's OK by me,” he says. “Fun is having a team that takes the team to the next level.” 

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