Kevin Vasquez and Henry Schein Animal Health stay sharp in the face of challenges to remain an industry leader

It’s not a case, however, of paralysis by analysis.

“I have an MBA, but I tend to be more intuitive than anything else,” he says. “Well, data just confirms what your intuition tells you. And one cannot exist without the other as far as I am concerned.

“You cannot make baseline black and white decisions just strictly upon data, and you certainly can’t make effective decisions that are substantive strictly on your intuition,”

Vasquez says. “It takes a great balance of both to be able to arrive at the most effective solution, and that’s what we employ here.”

 

Takeaways:

  • Determine the response to any challenge with a deep dive analysis.
  • Execute new strategies through a consistent message and constant monitoring.
  • Set up timely reports with the right data to support decision-making.

 

The Vasquez File:

Name: Kevin Vasquez
Title: Chairman, president and CEO
Company: Henry Schein Animal Health

Born: Annapolis, Maryland

Education: Bachelor’s degree in marketing from Western Carolina University and a master’s degree in business administration from Central Michigan University.

What was your first job and what did you learn from it? My first job was working in the tobacco fields of North Carolina at 9 years old. I learned a strong work ethic, the value of a dollar and the importance of teamwork.

My father passed away at 44 when I was 9, and my mother was left with four children at home ranging from ages 3 to 15 and no income other than Social Security. We all had to find our own way.

I’ve worked since I was 9 and put myself through college and sought out opportunities — only in America can this happen. What a great country we live in.

What is the best business advice you ever received? You can only achieve true success through the success of others. Hire good people, break down barriers and provide a pathway that allows good people to do good work.

If you weren’t a CEO, what is something you have always wanted to do? I wanted to be a fighter pilot, but poor eyesight diverted my interests — having 20/800 vision doesn’t help.

If you could recommend a leadership book to business owners, which one would you choose? I prefer to read books that focus on demonstrations of leadership throughout American history, military and otherwise, which in turn can be applied to leadership principles in business as well as our personal lives. I just finished reading “Revolutionary Summer” by Joseph J. Ellis, which chronicles the birth of American independence from March through October 1776. Much about strategy implementation, determination, commitment and leadership can be learned from our forefathers and applied to business.