BiographyThirty-seven years ago Roy Vallee was stocking shelves at a small electronics distribution company in Los Angeles. Shortly thereafter he was promoted to the shipping dock and eventually established a sales office for the company in San Diego.
Today he heads Avnet, Inc., one of the world's largest companies, which was named No. 1 in its industry on Fortuneís Most Admired Companies list in 2009.
Mr. Vallee's leadership ability and sales skills served him well when he joined Hamilton/Avnet as a field sales representative in 1977. Through subsequent promotions he held positions such as systems business manager, sales manager, general manager, regional director and vice president.
In 1989, Mr. Vallee was appointed president of Hamilton/Avnet Computer, and in 1990 was named senior vice president and director of Worldwide Electronics Operations for Avnet.
He was elected to Avnet's board of directors in November 1991, and in March 1992 was appointed president and chief operating officer. In July 1998, Mr. Vallee was named chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Avnet, Inc.
The groundwork for Avnet's future as an international company had begun in 1991 with the acquisition of U.K-based The Access Group, a semiconductor distributor. In quick succession, 21 more important strategic companies had been acquired in Europe, South Africa, Asia and the United States.
When Mr. Vallee assumed the chairman and chief executive role, he continued on the acquisition path and from fiscal 1999 through fiscal 2008 Avnet added 33 more companies to increase its geographic coverage, scale and scope, and accelerate the creation of shareholder value.
Mr. Vallee also introduced value-based management to Avnet in 2002. Employees have embraced the concepts of return on capital employed which have contributed to considerable improvements in Avnetís financial performance and cash flow.
Active in the community and in various roles outside of Avnet, Mr. Vallee is a longstanding member of the Center for Corporate Innovation and is a former co-chair of then-Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano's Council on Innovation & Technology. In May 2008, Governor Napolitano invited him to join the board of the Arizona Economic Resource Organization, a private nonprofit group that seeks to boost the state's economic development efforts.
In November 2008, Mr. Vallee joined Greater Phoenix Leadership, a nonprofit organization composed of Phoenix area CEOs, which provides an executive forum through which corporate leadership can effectively and efficiently collaborate with the public sector and nonprofits to establish and sustain a safe, healthy and prosperous community.
Mr. Vallee is also a member of the boards of directors of two outside companies: Teradyne (NYSE:TER), an automated testing company for the semiconductor industry, and Synopsys, Inc. (Nasdaq:SNPS), a supplier of electronic design automation software.
In May 2007, Mr. Vallee was inducted into the CRN Industry Hall of Fame, which recognizes individuals who have transformed the technology industry with new ideas, revolutionary concepts and ingenious technology.
According to CRN, "the Industry Hall of Fame allows us to pay tribute to the industry's pioneers, visionaries, entrepreneurs and evangelists. Through their ideas, drive, and perseverance, these individuals have revolutionized the computer industry."
In November 2008, the National Electronic Distributors Association (NEDA) awarded Mr. Vallee with its highest honor, the Gail S. Carter Award, for his significant contributions to the industry.
Some of Mr. Vallee's thoughts are included in the book entitled, Leadership Secrets of the World's Most Successful CEOs, by Eric Yaverbaum (Dearborn Trade Publishing, Chicago, Ill.).
According to those who know and work with him, Roy Vallee exhibits the best leadership qualities with a particular emphasis on communications skills and is a positive role model for future business leaders.