Tag Archives: Avnet

avnet - cio 100 award honoree

Avnet Selected By CIO Magazine As A CIO 100 Award Honoree

Global technology distributor Avnet, Inc. announced that it was named to the 2012 CIO 100, which is developed by IDG’s CIO magazine. The 25th annual award program recognizes organizations around the world that exemplify the highest level of operational and strategic excellence in information technology (IT). CIO selected Avnet as one of the recipients for this award based on the company’s development of a data storage management system, which significantly enhanced Avnet’s business continuity capabilities for its main North American data center.

“Like most large companies, the amount of data that Avnet needs to store is growing at a tremendous rate,” said Steve Phillips, senior vice president and CIO, Avnet, Inc. “Our IT team focused on developing a technology-based solution to meet our current data storage needs while allowing for future growth, which will only accelerate as we look to offer more ‘bring your own device’ options for employees. I commend the team on their ability to develop an innovative system that effectively addresses both our short- and long-term business needs.”

The data stored in Avnet’s data center more than quadrupled in the last two years. To manage this growth, Avnet’s IT team completely redesigned its North American data storage backup systems and processes to optimize operational performance. The new data storage management system leveraged a variety of technologies, including state-of-the-art robotics, virtual tape and de-duplication. As a result, Avnet significantly enhanced its business continuity capabilities; decreased the time to recovery in the event of a system failure; positioned itself to manage the rapid, long-term growth of business critical data; reduced the power consumption in its data center; and improved the productivity of its data center team.

“For 25 years now, the CIO 100 awards have honored the innovative use of technology to deliver genuine business value,” said Maryfran Johnson, editor-in-chief of CIO magazine & events. “Our 2012 winners are an outstanding example of the transformative power of IT to drive everything from revenue growth to competitive advantage.”

Executives from the winning companies will be recognized at the CIO 100 Symposium & Awards Ceremony, to be held Tuesday evening, August 21, 2012, at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. Complete coverage of the 2012 CIO 100 awards will be online at www.cio.com on August 1, 2012, and in the August 1, 2012, issue of CIO magazine.

For more information on Avnet and the CIO 100 Awards, visit Avnet’s website at avnet.com and CIO’s website at cio.com.

Avnet Softball Classic

Avnet Hosts 9th Annual 16-Inch Softball Classic April 21st

Valley families looking for fun in the sun while watching the biggest big ball softball tournament around or businesses looking for a team-building exercise should check Avnet’s 16-Inch Softball Classic.

In addition to action on the field, there will be live music, Chicago style hot dogs and activities for the kids.

On Saturday, April 21st, 32 teams, 16 co-ed and 16 men’s teams made up of valley businesses will compete in the 9th Annual Avnet 16-Inch  Softball Classic at Tempe Sportsplex. Beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, the teams will be compete in this single elimination Chicago-style softball tournament in support of Swing Fore Kids and the Spark of Hope/JDRF Foundation.

Sponsored by Emerson and Insight, the event will also include clowns painting faces and making balloons for all the kids; door prizes and raffles; and winners of the co-ed and men’s division win D-Back’s Suites. Second-place winners get Don & Charlie’s Gift Certificates.

As the highlight of the tournament, Chicago Cubs Hall of Famer Ron Santo’s family will take to the field and play in the Celebrity Team against the CEO’s at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 21st. The celebrity team also includes Dan Bickley, Mike Jurecki and Mike Bauer, along with valley sports and TV personalities.

CEO’s and Presidents who were invited include; Doug Parker of US Airways, Brad Casper from Phoenix Suns, Phil Gallagher of Avnet, Todd Davis of Lifelock, Bryan Sperber from PIR, Vienna’s Jim Dencek, Steve Dow of Emerson, Gene Holmquist of Insight, Steve Zylstra, president of AZ Tech Council and columnist for AZ Business Magazine.

For more information on Avnet and the 16-Inch Softball Classic, visit Avnets’s website at avnet.com.

Jim Teter, Goodwill - AZ Business Magazine November/December 2011

Jim Teter, Goodwill Industries of Central Arizona

Jim Teter, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Central Arizona, discusses how the economic bust has affected Goodwill, why they’ve seen an increase in donations, employment at Goodwill, its future and more.

Jim Teter

Title: President and CEO
Company: Goodwill Industries of Central Arizona


Why did you decide to move to a nonprofit after all your years of success in for-profit industries?

I’ve always had a lot of respect for Goodwill’s mission and Goodwill’s board of directors was looking for a little bit different direction as we continued to grow. They were looking for someone that had business experience because we operate Goodwill like a business, but they also wanted someone who had some nonprofit experience as well. I’ve been involved in nonprofits as a volunteer for over 25 years, but I’ve run larger business operations. I think the board of directors found that appealing. It’s given me a chance to use all my experience to help make a difference for Goodwill. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s about: helping Goodwill be all it can be as we grow and get bigger.

Has the economic bust been a boon for Goodwill?

Because of the nature of what Goodwill does, which is a thrift retail business, we tend to fare a lot better in difficult economic times than most businesses. Up until 2007, we were growing 20 to 22 percent a year. In the years during the recession we’re still growing at 11 or 12 percent a year and reaching thousands and thousands of people and helping serve them. So this has been an opportunity for us to introduce some new people to Goodwill because a lot of people are looking for the values that they find when they shop at Goodwill, so our customer counts are up and our revenues are up. Those are all good things.

Are you seeing a shift in donations?

What we’ve found is that people tend to hang on things a little bit longer. People are not donating quite as much as they did before the recession. But the good news is we have more people donating. Our donation counts are up about nine percent year over year. I think that’s because people know that we are going to get the most value out of their donations, and we help a lot of people prepare for and find work. That’s what we are all about: helping people find work.

How has the increased unemployment rate impacted Goodwill’s goal of putting people to work?

People that are coming in the career centers today are quite diverse in their backgrounds and their experiences. Generally speaking, we still have a lot of entry-level employees that are seeking jobs, but we get a little bit of everything these days. We have people that have college degrees, masters degrees, PhDs. What we offer them is, at no cost to them, a very convenient way to go build resumes, learn skills they didn’t have so they can move into a different industry. A lot of people are finding that attractive and taking advantage of that.

Where do you see Goodwill ten years from now?

We believe we can continue to grow and help more and more people. The only reason we want to be bigger is because we can reach out and serve more people, help more people prepare for and find jobs. I kind of wish we could put ourselves out of business, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. We will be the first thing that comes to mind when people ask, ‘Who can help someone with employment and job training? That’s Goodwill.’ That’s where we would like to be in the next five to ten years.

Vital Stats: Jim Teter

    • Joined Goodwill in 2008
    • Before Goodwill, was Chief Operating Officer of Calence, LLC in Tempe
    • Graduate of Texas Tech University with a bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering
    • Has more than 26 years of experience with high-profile corporations such as IBM and Avnet
    • Co-chaired South Texas United Way’s business campaigns, served on the Board of the American Heart Association, was an active member of the Corpus Christi Economic Development Corporation and served on the external executive committee for Texas A&I University (now part of the Texas A&M University System)
    • Actively supported Respite Care of San Antonio, Hacienda de los Angeles in Phoenix and Paiute Neighbor Association in Scottsdale
    • Member of the Association for Corporate Growth, Arizona Business Leadership, Phoenix Community Alliance, Organization for Non-Profit Executives and Greater Phoenix Leadership

Arizona Business Magazine November/December 2011

 

Don Cardon, Arizona Commerce Authority

Don Cardon: The Driving Force Behind The Arizona Commerce Authority

A political appointee with a successful track record in the private sector, Don Cardon has become the face of the new and innovating Arizona Commerce Authority. While Gov. Jan Brewer is chair of the public/private economic development agency and sports mogul Jerry Colangelo serves as co-chair, it is Cardon, as president and CEO, who has his hands on the reins.

Leaders who have gotten to know Cardon better during the process of creating the Arizona Commerce Authority say he keeps his cool at all times, in good days and bad, is respectful of all points of view, is thoughtful, and someone who projects an element of stability for the state of Arizona.

But even more importantly, according to Roy Vallee, outgoing chairman and CEO of Avnet, are Cardon’s financial skills.

“Not only does he have numeric literacy, (he also has an)  understanding of financing, how to pull deals together and how to interact with banks and other sources of capital,” Vallee says.

Cardon began his employment with state government in March 2009 as director of the Arizona Department of Housing, and just a couple of months later Brewer appointed him director of the Arizona Department of Commerce, predecessor of the ACA. Before joining the state, Cardon was president and CEO of Cardon Development Group, creating low-income workforce housing projects in Phoenix, Gilbert, Eloy and Winslow, and was the visionary behind the group that helped create CityScape, a mixed-use development in Downtown Phoenix.

Cardon’s stated intention was to see the ACA through its formative stage until a permanent president and CEO could be brought onboard, enabling him to return to the more lucrative private sector. But as the ACA board of directors took shape, comprising the cream of Arizona’s business and community leaders, Cardon was urged by Brewer, Colangelo and board member Michael Manson to remain.

“We sat him down and said you can’t create vision and hope with no structure or follow through,” says Manson, co-founder/executive chairman of Motor Excellence in Flagstaff. “That’s the worst kind of leadership. He realized that was true. We identified him as one of the few people in the state who had the political connections, the Commerce Department background and the business connections to make this work.”

Manson, who has founded several other companies, including PETsMART, says Cardon brings enthusiasm, energy and integrity to the ACA.

“He’s eternally optimistic and politically sensitive,” Manson says. “It takes a unique person to be politically rooted, but business oriented, and to be able to handle all of the political and business entities and very strong personalities it requires. He is truly focused on doing the right things for this organization.”

Indeed, focus is a key word in Cardon’s vocabulary. In guiding the ACA, the focus is attracting and retaining businesses in science and technology, aerospace/defense, renewable energy, and small business/entrepreneurship. He once told an interviewer: “You can’t just kind of throw a line in water and say whatever fish comes along you’ll take, which isn’t to say we won’t respond to any other opportunities. But you have to know what you’re trying to go after.”

At the Commerce Department, economic development was “a shotgun approach,” Cardon says. It was an approach he intends to avoid.
“There was no focus within the department,” he says. “Because of the lack of focus, I don’t believe the Legislature has had a great deal of confidence in our efficiency, our ability to accomplish what we set out to do. It was an agency that has really lost touch with what it’s really supposed to be about.”

Another ACA board member, Mary Peters, president of a consulting group bearing her name, touts Cardon’s private-sector background.
“Don understands what it takes to attract and retain businesses in Arizona,” says Peters, whose resume includes stints as federal highway administrator of the U.S. Department of Transportation in President George W. Bush’s administration from 2006-2009, and director of the Arizona Department of Transportation from 1998 to 2001.

“He knows how to put projects together and how to manage,” Peters says. “That’s the value I see in Don and what he brings in the transition from the Commerce Department, having that continuity. Having spent most of my professional career in the public sector, it’s helpful for me to have someone with that private-sector experience to realize what businesses are looking for. I have a different perspective. I know very well the regulatory side of government. I know what it’s like to work through issues with government agencies so those issues aren’t barriers to companies that would like to come into Arizona.”

When Vallee of Avnet, also on the ACA board, heard about a move to encourage Cardon to accept the top ACA job, even after a search firm had been hired and specs of the job had been outlined, his instant reaction was, “That’s fantastic.”

The reasons: Cardon had a good track record at the Commerce Department and had been intimately involved in the creation of the Commerce Authority.

“He understands the history and the purpose of what we’re trying to accomplish,” Vallee says. “This was a brand new entity, and if we recruit someone who had not been involved in creating it, that person would flounder for a while trying to figure out what the job is all about.”

Because the ACA is a public/private partnership, having a CEO with experience and expertise in both areas is considered a huge benefit.

“He is better able to manage that environment very, very well — better than anyone with one viewpoint or the other,” Vallee says.

Vallee mentions Cardon’s core values, especially integrity.

“We all want someone in that role we can trust,” he says. “People are going to want to do business with someone they can trust, whether it’s investment coming from within state or from outside. As people get to know Don and develop that trust, it’s going to be beneficial to economic development.”

Vallee pauses and adds, “Don is a good man and a good executive, which makes him a really great fit for this job.”

[stextbox id=”grey”]For more information about the Arizona Commerce Authority, visit www.azcommerce.com.[/stextbox]

Arizona Business Magazine September/October 2011

 

Small Business Leadership Academy: Understanding Corporate Procurement Practices (Part II)

Small Business Leadership Academy: Understanding Corp Procurement Practices (Part II)

Small Business Leadership Academy: Understanding Corporate Procurement Practices (Part II)

One company’s purchasing is another company’s marketing.

If small and mid-sized businesses can keep that in mind, they will have discovered one of the secrets of success for a supplier, according to Joseph Carter, the Avnet Professor of Supply Chain Management at the W. P. Carey School of Business and instructor for the procurement classes in the 2011 Small Business Leadership Academy. Carter, a leading academic in the supply chain field, is also a Certified Purchasing Manager (C.P.M.) and Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM), designations granted by the National Association of Purchasing Management.

“The eye-opener for these business owners is self-awareness,” Carter said. “They are beginning to understand the role they play in their customers’ supply base.”

And that’s when procurement meets marketing.

“The owners of small businesses are so wrapped up in surviving that they don’t have the time – or the personnel – to specialize,” Carter said. “As a result many feel that their companies are under-appreciated by their customers.”

A company like SRP wants value from all of its customers, but a purchasing manager may be managing hundreds of suppliers. “A company, because it’s a large company, is not going to understand the supplier’s business and the supplier’s potential for adding value as well as the supplier does,” Carter said. Understanding the buying process and how the purchasing groups at large companies think enables suppliers to figure out what and when to communicate.

Suppliers must show how they add value to their customers’ enterprises. Sometimes that means understanding who the customer is. “The procurement officer is not your final customer,” Carter says. “Your customer is the user.” So small business owners cannot just try to compete on price. When dealing with procurement officers, they must elaborate on the total value that their company brings to the table, including “what’s in it for the procurement officer.” Elaborating on why working with their company will be worth the additional work of changing vendors, adding a new vendor, and the inherent risk of working with a new vendor, will enable that procurement officer to make that difficult choice with confidence.

The Small Business Leadership Academy (SBLA) is an intensive executive education program designed to strengthen the business acumen of small business leaders in Arizona. The program was jointly developed by the W. P. Carey School of Business and the Salt River Project (SRP), the program’s founding sponsor. Other seat sponsors this year include: Arizona Lottery, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Hahnco and U. S. Bank. Each week we will bring you a few salient points from each class as well as comments from the professors themselves and the impact the information has had on the students.

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For more information about the Small Business Leadership Academy, please visit SBLA’s website.

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avnet nyse anniversary

Avnet, Inc. Unveils Sculpture For 50th Anniversary

Avnet, Inc., one of Phoenix’s largest publicly-held companies will unveil a new sculpture outside its global headquarters in Phoenix on Monday, February 7th at 3 p.m. This year will mark the companies’ 50th anniversary on the New York Stock Exchange. For Roy Vallee, Avnet’s chairman and chief executive officer, this means only good things for the company.Duncan Niederauer and Roy Vallee

“There are very few companies that ever reach a milestone of this magnitude, and it speaks volumes about how our employers and leadership team have been able to adapt, innovate and succeed in accelerating the success of Avnet and our stakeholders,” Vallee said.

Vallee will be one of a number of Avnet executives participating in the unveiling. Among the executives attending are Rick Hamada, Al Maag, Ray Sadowski, Harley Feldberg and Phil Gallagher. Dignitaries also scheduled to attend include NYSE Euronext chief operating officer Lawrence Liebowitz and the Arizona artist who designed the sculpture Lyle London.

A sculpture may be a common way to commemorate a significant milestone, but for Avnet there is more personal meaning behind this one. Lester Avnet, who led the company in the 1950s and 1960s, was a well-recognized patron of the arts. The new sculpture will not only be a symbol of business accomplishments but also of a rich, artistic history.

This heritage of the arts and Avnet’s employees and business partners, who have made Avnet a $20B+ leader in technology distribution, will be recognized at the sculpture unveiling.NYSE Bell Ringing

Avnet, Inc. is one of the largest distributors of electronic components, computer products and embedded technology serving customers in more than 70 countries worldwide.

“Driven by the proliferation of technology, profitable organic growth and strategic acquisitions — 115 since joining the NYSE — Avnet has grown rapidly while demonstrating financial sustainability over the last 50 years on the NYSE, and it is well positioned to continue to thrive as an industry leader,” Vallee said.

For more information about Avnet, visit www.avnet.com

Roy Vallee, Chairman & CEO of Avnet - AZ Business Magazine Jan/Feb 2011

CEO Series: Roy Vallee

Long-time member talks technology, dealing with global economic problems, adapting to the changing world of technology, and more.

Roy Vallee
Title: Chairman and CEO
Company: Avnet

How you would you assess the current state of your industry?
Things are going pretty well for technology. Calendar 2010 will be a very good year by historical standards for our electronics business and our IT business. And in 2011, I would say things are going to normalize and grow at the secular growth rate for the industries. For us that’s good news because secular growth is kind of 1-1/2 to 2 times overall economic growth, so things are pretty good in technology.

You had a great first quarter. What do you think that portends for the economy in 2011?
Well, I’m not 100 percent sure, of course, but I think a couple of things are clear. Technology is leading this recovery. We’re growing a lot faster than the overall economy, certainly certain segments of the economy. So, I’m very pleased about that. And I think it also does indicate that we are at least in the early stages of a macro-economic recovery, even if it’s a gradual one … and hopefully that cyclical recovery will continue through 2011 and beyond.

Could this improvement possibly be a blip?
I think from an IT spending perspective that the possibility of it being a blip is there, but let’s maybe define blip. … Corporate psychology is such that it’s ready to invest in IT projects after it’s done swapping out the old hardware. I would also like to point out, though, that a significant part of our business is electronic components and a portion of those find their way into a variety of consumer goods, and that part of our business is quite strong, as well. So it’s not just corporate spending that’s driving our growth.

How is Avnet dealing with the various Global economic problems?
We deal in a variety of markets. Some of them are actually quite exciting right now; obviously places like China, India, Brazil, other parts of Asia Pacific, parts of Eastern Europe. There are parts of our business growing very rapidly these days. So the way we deal with that is we gear up and try to support the market that is there. In the areas where the developed countries have been hard-hit by the economic downturn and credit crunch, we simply dial the resources down. … we basically size our business to the amount of opportunity that exists on a local level.

In December, Avnet celebrated 50 years on the New York Stock Exchange. What do you think that says about your company?
It says a lot of things. First and foremost, adaptability: there have been a lot of economic cycles, there’s been changes in technology, there’s been changes in our industry structure at the fundamental value proposition of distributors like Avnet; there’s been globalization. So, the company being (on the NYSE) 50 years says we’re highly adaptable as an organization. … I think another thing it speaks to … is what I would call financial conservatism or fiscal discipline. And I think the third thing … is the culture. We’ve got a culture that is very grounded in our core values.

    Vital Stats



  • Joined Avnet in 1977
  • Appointed president of Hamilton/Avnet Computer in 1989
  • Elected to Avnet’s board of directors in 1991
  • In July 1998, he was elected chairman of the board and chief executive officer
  • Named to the Twelfth District Economic Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in 2010
  • Member of the Arizona Commerce Authority board of directors
  • Member of the boards of directors for Teradyne and Synopsys
  • Inductee of the CRN Industry Hall of Fame
  • Participates in Greater Phoenix Leadership

Arizona Business Magazine Jan/Feb 2011

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

The Buzz on AZNow.Biz – January 3, 2011

This week on AZNow.Biz, read about how the economic recovery has companies looking for ways to make sure they retain their key employees. Also, read and watch the latest edition of our CEO Series. We talk to Roy Vallee, the CEO and chairman of Avnet. And check out our Touchdown AZ section to find out what kind of economic impact the upcoming BCS College Football Championship could have on the Valley’s economy.


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.