John Roach was chairman and CEO of RadioShack and its corporate predecessor Tandy during the chain’s glory years of 1983 through 1999.
He penned the following reflections for a local newspaper and shared them with TWICE.
The demise of RadioShack is indeed sad for the many employees and stakeholders who grew the company to national prominence.
After Charles Tandy rescued the company from near extinction in 1963, he inspired a culture of entrepreneurship to grow people and stores to great heights.
We became a distribution system for leading-edge technology and support centers for all consumer electronics.
We had the distribution system to exploit the CB radio craze of the mid-’70s; to pioneer personal computers (the TRS-80); to have early digital stereo receivers; early cordless telephones; early cellphones; the first laptop computer (the Model 100); the first Windows computer; and the predecessor of the Palm, to name a few.
We supported vacuum tubes, eight-track tapes and phonographs long past their prime.
Our store personnel were a great resource for customers. Many grew up the management ladder and achieved financial success. The management team worked with integrity, dedication and a sharp focus on results.
Fort Worth benefitted as well, with a peak of 8,000 jobs in Tarrant County. Non-profits benefitted from more than $3 million in annual contributions in the ’90s.
Many people built a great company. We’re sad to see it go.