The Royo file Featured

7:00pm EDT December 26, 2008

Born: Spain

Education: AM, MBA and Ph.D. from Harvard University

What was your very first job?

My father worked for IBM in Spain his whole life, and IBM used to have these big exhibits in Madrid, Spain, and they needed somebody to demonstrate the PC. This was the early days of the PC, they needed someone to demonstrate the new capabilities of the first generation, and I’ve always been a geek at heart, and my father asked me — I was 14 — if I wanted to do that for the better part of the summer. I got to make a little bit of money in what I was doing, and it was a good realization that a lot of people are interested in this stuff.

Whom do you admire most in business and why?

The easy answers are the Steve Jobs and the Bill Gates of this world, but I find myself more following a person like what I understand (late Disney President and COO) Frank Wells was like. A person behind the scenes without getting or clamoring for any glory — and here I am talking to the press. Just make sure the trains get there on time, and the real focus is on execution and doing the right thing by our customers and employees.

What is the best business advice you’ve ever received?

I had a professor at Harvard business school, his name was Ed Schau, who actually used to be a congressman from Silicon Valley, who told me, always focus on the long-term and make sure that you’re leaving behind some footprints. And I know that sounds hokey, but it’s about doing the right thing.

If you could be one superhero, who would you be and why?

It would be Spider-Man because my 4-year-old daughter is madly in love with him, and I would make her the happiest child in the world.