Born: Akron, Ohio
Education: Bachelor’s degree, electrical engineering from the Ohio Institute of Technology
What is the greatest business challenge you’ve faced, and how did you overcome it?
It’s solving all of the issues of being the CEO of a company as large as Brocade Communications. The canvas is so large between working with customers, engineering, and marketing and developing branding campaigns it can almost seem overwhelming. I’ve learned that the only way to succeed is to surround yourself with incredibly talented people who are stronger than me. I’m pretty secure with myself, and I know what I don’t know, so I’m not afraid to hire strong people who do know. The minute you start to think that you’re smarter than everyone else, you’re kidding yourself.
Whom have you admired most in business and why?
Well, I certainly admire all entrepreneurs because of what they’ve achieved, and I admire inventors like Gutenberg and Thomas Edison.
Klayko on the secret of achieving professional growth: You need to have balance in your life and keep things simple. I’m very consistent, I’ve been married to the same woman for 32 years, and I love working, but I also know when it’s time to stop working and when it’s time to shut that part of my life down.