Famous Fort Worth small business govt and focused civic chief John V. Roach died Sunday. He was 83.
Roach acquired fame in the business enterprise entire world as CEO of electronics retailing big RadioShack after speedily climbing the company ladder at Fort Value-dependent Tandy Corp., RadioShack’s parent business. He was equally properly recognised for his civic functions and his lifelong assist of his alma mater, Texas Christian University.
“John Roach was a outstanding leader and a wonderful mate who was thoroughly committed to making Fort Value a much better place to dwell and work,” explained previous Fort Value Mayor Ken Barr. “For numerous many years, he was Fort Worth’s most recognized company and civic chief. His amazing leadership was everywhere you go – at Tandy Company, at TCU, and through the business, civic, and cultural lifestyle of our city. We’re seriously going to miss out on him.”
Roach earned graduate and undergraduate degrees from TCU and was instrumental in TCU’s progress and enhancement though serving as chairman of the board of trustees.
“Texas Christian University is deeply saddened by the passing of John Roach,” mentioned TCU Chancellor Victor Boschini. “John had the most large affect on TCU he was a devoted fan, chief and visionary who was passionate about TCU in all approaches probable. John was dedicated initially and foremost to shifting the lives of our students. His management of the board of trustees and university through a time of unprecedented adjust and advancement has produced TCU the major national college is it currently.”
Len Roberts, who served as CEO of RadioShack from 1999-2005, explained Roach “was second to none for his motivation, strength, enthusiasm and enthusiasm for his beloved Fort Value group. He lived and breathed TCU, the Fort Truly worth small business local community and his vision for a far better community for us all. He aided forge everlasting bridges between the small business local community and our political leadership. We are a stronger and a lot more purposeful group since of John Roach.”
Dee J. Kelly Jr., whose late father, lawyer/civic chief Dee J. Kelly, was for many several years a critical member of the Fort Really worth leadership hierarchy along with Roach, said: “John Roach was one of the great pillars of our city for lots of several years. His appreciate for his family members, TCU, and all matters Fort Worthy of are unmatched. He was a mentor who usually built you smile with his wit and wisdom. He leaves a good business and own legacy powering. Fort Well worth has truly dropped a person of its shining stars.”
Roach launched his enterprise occupation in 1967, when he was employed as a information processing supervisor at Tandy Company, a leather-based merchandise and hobby retail company that owner/operator Charles Tandy experienced started out to extend 4 decades earlier by paying for RadioShack, a Boston-based ham radio and mail-buy company.
Right after Tandy died out of the blue in 1978, company director and Tandy’s longtime buddy Philip North took in excess of as interim president and CEO of Tandy Corp., in accordance to an on-line chronology of Tandy/RadioShack posted by the internet site Reference for Business enterprise.
North experienced little abilities in electronics and technological know-how, the chronology reported, and as electronics grew in great importance for the business North tapped Roach for significantly significant roles. By the time of Tandy’s demise, Roach had advanced to vice-president of production.
But even right before Tandy’s death, Roach’s technical skills served him progress via the government ranks at RadioShack. Roach was appointed as RadioShack’s executive vice president straight away just after Tandy loss of life, starting to be RadioShack division’s president and chief operating officer in 1980 and CEO in 1981.
Just after North retired in 1982, Roach grew to become chairman as very well as CEO, a position he held until his retirement in 1999, according to the chronology.
Targeted on rising technological know-how, the organization prospered by the 1970s and 1980s, with innovations these kinds of as the TRS-80, the initial completely-assembled own computer system.
Roach was credited as a visionary, who had the capacity to see the electric power of the microprocessor and what it would do for customers. He produced correct predictions that the computer would become more private and interrelated extensive in advance of the introduction of the web.
In 1982, significantly less than a yr after turning out to be CEO, Roach was singled out as “the ideal of the best” by Financial Entire world, which lauded Roach as “the driving pressure at the entrance-managing organization in the pink-incredibly hot personalized laptop race.”
RadioShack was also at the forefront of telecommunications as a result of wireless telephones and company but its electronics solutions inevitably fell target to competitiveness from smartphones and retail giants like Wal-Mart and Amazon, which could undercut costs on electronic gadgets.
Beneath Roach’s management, the company’s computer division was in a position to conquer challenges with computer software developed by suppliers these as Apple and IBM.
Roach also led the enterprise via its large retail store growth. By its peak in 2,000, with Roach a short while ago retired, RadioShack operated practically 7,500 corporate stores across the United States as nicely as international areas these types of as Mexico, the United Kingdom and Australia.
Born in 1938 in Stamford, Texas, Roach’s relatives moved to Fort Really worth when he was a youngster, according to a biography of Roach released by TCU when the university’s Honors School was introduced and named for Roach.
Roach’s father operated a community grocery retail outlet, the bio claimed, exactly where Roach helped out stocking cabinets, checking out customers and doing other duties when he wasn’t in college.
Though learning physics and math at TCU, he ongoing to perform at guide employment, like unloading rail boxcars, the bio said. He returned to TCU to gain a master’s degree in enterprise administration, in the procedure understanding about laptop programming and the likely of popular computer use by shoppers.
Roach was elected chairman of TCU’s Board of Trustees in 1990 and led the “1990s Task,” a blueprint for the university’s agenda above the coming decade.
Roach constantly encouraged TCU to approve major raises in funding for technologies for training and studying. He also led the energy to construct a $25 million engineering center.
His contributions to the progression of math, science and laptop or computer science education in the United States led to Roach’s participation in the launch of the countrywide Tandy Technologies Scholars Program, which benefits lecturers
In the course of his tenure as board chair, TCU was identified for its economic stewardship, according to the TCU biography. He established the agenda for conservative fiscal administration and championed balanced budgets. For the duration of his tenure, the endowment additional than doubled to about $1 billion, inserting it among the the leading 40 of the nation’s colleges and universities, and TCU’s budgets had been in the black all over the ten years of the 1990s. A fundraising marketing campaign, which Roach spearheaded by the management-reward period, raised a lot more than $126 million.
Roach also oversaw the smooth changeover of leadership for TCU from long-serving Chancellor William E. Tucker to Dr. Michael R. Ferrari in the late 1990s.
By the time the TCU Honors Higher education was launched in 2009, Roach was serving as an Emeritus TCU Trustee and as a board member for the TCU Neeley University of Organization Board of Site visitors and the Van Cliburn Foundation. He also served as chairman of the Fort Worth Government Roundtable, a situation from which he retired final thirty day period.
The Honors College or university was funded by a $2.5 million present from Paul and Judy Andrews of Fort Value as a tribute to Roach, a shut friend of the few.
Roach credited his upbringing for his achievement, the bio said
“I experienced tricky-doing the job mothers and fathers, and undoubtedly an exceptionally established mother. I consider if I experienced a role product it was of a robust family members-based upbringing,” he stated in the TCU biography.
“There are so several wonderful difficulties and alternatives out there. No matter whether you’re searching at small business, or irrespective of whether you’re on the lookout at the local community, or regardless of whether you’re seeking at the household, there are just an infinite amount of issues in all instructions that make it exciting to get up in the morning,” he said.