Tag Archives: Avnet

Avnet NYSE Bell Ringing

Avnet Celebrates 50 Years On The New York Stock Exchange

Phoenix-based Avnet, an electronics and global technology distributor, celebrated it’s 50th anniversary as a public company on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) by ringing the closing bell on Dec. 15. Front and center at the bill ringing was Avnet Chairman and CEO Roy Vallee.

“We think our founders would be proud of the fact that we are now one of only 350 companies that have been listed on the New York Stock Exchange for 50 years,” Vallee said. “This milestone distinguishes Avnet as a premier company — one with demonstrated adaptability, a strong culture and conservative financial discipline. These positive attributes have allowed us to grow steadily and profitably over time and become the global leader in technology distribution.”

At the time the company was first listed on the NYSE, Avnet’s market capitalization was $37 million. Today, the company’s market capitalization is approximately $5 billion.

Avnet is one of the largest distributors of electronic components, computer products and embedded technology, serving customers in more than 70 countries. For the fiscal year ended July 3, 2010, Avnet generated revenue of $19.16 billion.

Avnet's Roy Vallee On Leadership

Avnet’s Roy Vallee On Leadership

Thirty-seven years ago Roy Vallee was stocking shelves at a small electronics distribution company in Los Angeles. That small firm has grown up to become Avnet, Inc., a Fortune 500 firm located in Phoenix, Arizona. Avnet is one of the largest distributors of electronic parts, enterprise computing and storage products, and embedded subsystems in the world. And Roy Vallee is the CEO and chairman of the board. One morning recently, marketing professor  Antony Peloso sat down with Mr. Vallee to talk about Avnet, his leadership style, and how to motivate employees — even in a far-flung global operation. Professor Peloso leads the Marketing Professional Sales and Relationship Management Initiative, which fosters strong relationships between students who are headed for careers in sales, marketing faculty members and corporate partners. The goal is to build professional sales capabilities and advance the profile and status of the sales function. And now let’s hear what Mr. Vallee has to say about one the toughest jobs of leadership: motivating employees. (26:42)

The podcast no longer works, please check the wpcarey website for the transcript.

Arizona Business Magazine's Editor-in-Chief Janet Perez

The Buzz on AZNow.Biz – October 18, 2010

This week on AZNow.Biz: Avnet chairman and CEO Roy Vallee talks about leading one of the largest distributors of electronic parts in the world. Green columnist Dustin Jones asks whether sustainable housing is in Arizona’s future, and political columnist Tom Milton looks at the political scene as we close in on next month’s mid-term elections.


Who To Watch: Roy Vallee

Roy Vallee
Chairman of the Board and CEO
Avnet

“..we are seeing a bounce-back in IT spending.”

–Roy Vallee, Avnet

Although it believes its performance was pretty good under the circumstances, Phoenix-based Avnet Inc. chalks up 2009 as a harsh year. Now, Avnet is focused on an improving economy and the business it will bring.

Serving more than 100,000 customers in 70 countries, Avnet is one of the world’s largest technology distributors, linking end-user clients with more than 300 software developers and electronic component and computer product manufacturers.

“It’s fair to say we have been severely impacted by the global recession,” says Roy Vallee, chairman and CEO of the Fortune 500 company. “Sales (for calendar year 2009) will be down by a double-digit percentage and earnings per share will be down substantially more than that, probably by roughly 40 percent. It has, in fact, been a tough year.”

Avnet’s revenue for its July-to-June 2009 fiscal year declined 9.6 percent from fiscal 2008, to $16.23 billion.
Globally, Vallee says purchasing of information-technology (IT) equipment dropped “precipitously” in 2009 by 5 percent or 6 percent.

“There were only two years in history when IT spending was negative and that was 2001 and 2002,” he adds. “So there was a big cutback by businesses on IT in 2009.”

Because of the nature of the electronics supply chain, business spending on electronic components deteriorated more rapidly than IT. But Avnet held to its strategy of focusing on value-based management and return on capital, rather than earnings per share. As sales declined, it reduced investment in inventory and accounts receivable and generated $1.4 billion in cash flow from operations.

It also continued a tradition of acquisition, thus expanding its market. Avnet negotiated a controlling interest in Vanda Group in China, and acquired Abacus Group in the United Kingdom and Nippon Denso Industry Co. in Japan. It also formed a joint venture in Turkey with Sanko Holding Group. In India, it purchased a small firm to launch an IT distribution company.

Now Vallee thinks “we are past the trough.” The accordion-like behavior of the electronics supply chain is responding to the reviving global economy. What was once squeezed is now expanding. Vallee says IT spending is showing signs of improvement and that “components spending is increasing at a rapid rate.” That already is showing up in Avnet’s financials for fiscal 2010. And Vallee is hopeful that Avnet’s October-through-December second quarter revenue will top the same period a year ago.

“IT spending will grow in 2010, probably in the mid-single digits,” he says. “There is pent-up demand. Companies that needed to spend on IT put it off because they were uncertain about where the economy was headed. They were also uncertain about where they would get the money. But you can only delay that kind of spending so long. Now that the economy is turning and capital is more available, we are seeing a bounce-back in IT spending.”

That spending also is a result of renewed focus on business growth that follows a couple of years of emphasis on cash, balance sheets, profit and loss, Vallee notes.

www.avnet.com


Arizona Business Magazine

January 2010

First Job: Roy Vallee, Avnet Inc.

First Job: Roy Vallee, Avnet Inc.

Roy Vallee
Chairman and CEO
Avnet Inc.

Describe your very first job and what lessons you learned from it.
I was 13 years old when I landed my first job selling cosmetics and household products door-to-door. As a salesman, my earnings were based entirely on what I sold. That meant that if I sold nothing, I got paid nothing. While my first job was many years ago, being a door-to-door salesman taught me several valuable lessons that have helped me throughout my career, especially when I began working in technology sales. It taught me to focus on the customer and their needs, how to deal with rejection and use it as a learning experience, and how to motivate myself to keep making calls knowing that the more calls I made the better my odds of making a sale.

Describe your first job in your industry and what you learned from it.
I began my career in technology distribution in 1971 as part of a work-study program where I earned school credits. The job involved stocking shelves in the warehouse of a small electronics distributor in California. This gave me an opportunity to learn and experience first hand how a warehouse operates. Early on, I learned the importance of quality practices around inventory management and processing an order.

What were your salaries at both of these jobs?
As a door-to-door salesman in 1966, I was paid completely on commission and earned 35 percent of what I sold. When I worked at the warehouse stocking shelves, I was paid $2.25 an hour, plus I received school credit. While the money was important at the time, the experience that I gained from these jobs has been invaluable throughout my career.

Who is your biggest mentor and what role did they play?
My most influential mentor was Leon Machiz, the chairman and CEO of Avnet from 1988 to 1998. In 1989, I was a mid-level Avnet manager when he first noticed me during a presentation at one of our top suppliers. He called me into his office a few days later to promote me to president of Avnet’s computing business, a division that had $300 million in annual revenues at the time. This was a significant and unexpected promotion. However, Leon had been impressed by how well I understood our suppliers’ needs, their business challenges, and how Avnet could help them overcome those challenges. As I took on this new role, Leon spent hours with me talking about the business and helping me understand what it would take to be successful. His mentorship helped me understand one of the greatest lessons of my career — my job is not to run the company, but rather to lead it.

What advice would you give to a person just entering your industry?
I am a true believer in doing the right things consistently over time. My observation is that the most successful people in business are relentless about their focus on delivering the highest value to their customers and other partners — and that’s true if you are just starting out or if you are heading a big corporation. If you have your customers’ best interests at heart and approach that with an uncompromising single mindedness, they will reward you with their business.

I also believe that meritocracy is vital to attracting and engaging the best employees. And acting with honesty and integrity is always the right thing to do. Do it even though it might not be what everyone else is doing or it feels uncomfortable at the time. This will give you a solid reputation as an employee, business partner, employer and investment for shareholders.

If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing instead?
I would probably start my own company or buy into a smaller business and get involved in the strategy and people development. Alternatively, I might work in venture capital or private equity investing.