Born: New York City I was born in New York but consider myself a Midwesterner. I lived my first 17 years in New York before I went to college. I went to the University of Chicago and stayed in Chicago for 24 years, so I really consider myself a Chicagoan. I started and ran my first three businesses there and then became a Texan for a while when I joined CompUSA back in 1990. When I was done with CompUSA, having been in technology my whole life and having been on quite a few boards and doing business with companies in the Bay Area, as well as really liking the weather here, I said, ‘I’m moving to California,’ and that was 16 or 17 years ago. I’m one of those roving executives who settled in California.
Education: Attended the University of Chicago, but chose to leave school to focus on his business
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced?
When my ex-wife and I divorced, by that time, I understood that I was this hard-charging, maniac type, and that it would be very easy for me to wind up seeing my kids once a month and being a weekend-warrior type. So I made a commitment that until my kids were done with college, I would focus my career around opportunities that did not require an extensive amount of travel, and I could live close to the office and be there when I needed to. I was very fortunate during my days at CompUSA that I did not have to do much travel. When I first came out to California, I did not have to do much travel, so I became then a traveling maniac as soon as my daughters got into college. … But I really do consider that possibly my greatest life achievement is that I was able to create the necessary balance to be there for my kids, particularly while they went through their teenage years.
What’s your favorite board game and why?
I don’t think I’ve played a board game in 100 years. I like the thinking-type board games, Risk or Scrabble, and I like them because I don’t like games of chance. I like games that make you work and exercise the brain cells.