“I hit an incredible junction between my own career acceleration and the company’s momentum,” explained veteran HACR Corporate Executives Forum™ (CEF) participant Randy Huey, as he reflected on his extensive professional journey. From driving marketing and strategy in a number of different divisions at Dell, through the successful 2016 acquisition of EMC to his current role as Dell EMC senior vice president of Global Channel Strategy, Huey’s wide-ranging career in technology is nothing short of impressive. Born in a small Connecticut town to Mexican and Chinese parents, Huey completed graduate school with an MBA in strategy and marketing in 1999. He joined Dell shortly after and built a reputation for crafting and supporting lasting and effective corporate strategies, including Dell’s commitment to diversity.
An economist by training, Huey transitioned to the technology sector as Dell became ripe for the outstanding growth it experienced in the early 2000s. He arrived as the company’s bold move to direct consumer market sales turned it into the largest PC manufacturer in the world. During the next ten years, Huey assumed roles riddled with challenges that would test anyone’s professional elasticity, but his capacity to adapt helped him navigate this long decade of marketing diversification successfully. Being flexible allowed him to take advantage of opportunities at Dell, which in turn allowed him to gain a broader perspective on issues affecting the company. He credits his hunger for learning ingrained in him during his early upbringing for helping him tackle this stage of his career and HACR’s CEF program for connecting him with other corporate executives with similar experiences on issues affecting his own company. “Sometimes,” Huey said, “I discover that in some business areas we are all trying to solve common problems. Some are corporate challenges. Others are about professional development. Having these candid conversations in an open forum allowed me to look beyond my company’s challenges and discover opportunities and solutions lying just within reach.”
However, the HACR CEF program is not just about goals and challenges. It’s also about discovering your own professional ambitions. After one session on Latinos in Corporate Boards and seeing the example of others who achieved that milestone, Huey’s grew ambitious. “These conversations were a real eye opener and served as a guide to better position myself and reach my future goals,” Huey explained. “Understanding the potential barriers and knowing the path to the boardroom has been extremely useful.” Huey also points out how these new professional relationships with other high-ranking corporate leaders, evolved into an ecosystem of ongoing cooperation. “By creating a trusted network of allies who can authentically discuss topics such as boardroom consideration or other personal/professional development issues, we work together on revealing the building blocks of executive progress and success. For both, ourselves and the leaders in our organizations.”
Naturally, diversity of thought is the first thing that comes to mind when learning about the cooperation between HACR CEF members, and that is something Huey believes is critical to the success of any company today. “A company automatically has a strategic advantage when it has a roster of diverse thought partners. Leaders who can bring a wider focus by leveraging ideas and perspectives in a practical and productive way. It’s about reflecting, looking at the hard questions, and finding the best possible solutions through the eyes of individuals with different but valuable backgrounds and experiences,” he said.
Stacking Solid Building Blocks
At Dell, Huey has invested in the company’s diversity potential by sharing his wealth of knowledge and perspectives with developing leaders of different backgrounds. He is active in Dell’s Latino Connections employee resource group (ERG) and a member of the monthly Mentors Circle, a group designed specifically for emerging young Latino executives at the company. This is a safe forum for emerging leaders to discuss career development and safely share their visions for where they want to be in the future. Huey stresses the need for rising talent to have a clear direction in mind, as this first solid building block will ensure that they are setting themselves up to win in their professional journeys. In fact, there is a whole corporate infrastructure to support and grow Dell’s future diverse leadership. “Everything, from the emerging leader tracks, to the amazing celebrations of cultural heritage months, to the regular board meetings where we talk about everything impacting the Latino community, in and outside the company,” Huey said, “I am proud to say, all are well organized and very well subscribed.”
A lot of what Huey shares, discusses, and mentors others on, he learned at the HACR CEF. That is why he is always looking for young talent to nominate for HACR’s Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers™ program (YHCA) or encouraging other executives to join as fellow HACR CEF participants. “HACR has an active role in a lot of what we do with our ERG,” Huey says. “We want to be sure our agenda matches HACR’s values and objectives by focusing on executive development and ensuring others are aware of these opportunities.”
Vision & Collective Leadership
“Winning through diversity” philosophy and culture of inclusion comes from the very top of its corporate structure, starting with CEO Michael Dell and his executive team. We have a make-it-happen philosophy at our company and it applies to what we consider our shared culture.”
At Dell, the shared culture is about driving, building and acquiring talent in an inclusive environment. From the talent identification to the development and retention of that talent, “It’s all part of the professional curriculum,” Huey said.However, Randy believes that having a world class ERG, a strong vision, and leadership is not enough to create more opportunities to grow the Hispanic talent pipeline. He thinks that leading global companies should embrace a collective and more systematic approach to directly connect with other companies that share the philosophy of developing Hispanic talent. Huey envisions a system where companies share agendas and ideas. “This could increase the possibility of identifying and developing talent.” He even suggests breaking this concept down further into “regional collective councils”. For example, if companies wanted to stitch something together in the Austin community, where companies are already on board with this philosophy, the regional collective councils could serve as a vehicle for companies to create thought partnerships and share best practices. “These councils could be regional repositories where we talk about community and people development,” he said, “a place where we can talk about the direct relationship between inclusion efforts and our corporate achievements.”