Richmond, VA 23235
|Richard L. Sharp - Managing Director|
As a 27-year-old computer programmer, Mr. Sharp founded Applied Systems Corporation in 1975 and served as CEO of the company as it grew to over 300 employees. ASC was an industry leader in the development of custom hardware and software business systems using advanced mini- and microcomputer technology. The industry-leading company was acquired in 1981 by publicly-traded Tymshare, Inc.
In 1982, he joined electronics retailer Circuit City, earning the position of President in 1984, CEO in 1986 and Chairman and CEO in 1990. During his tenure and prior to his retirement in 2000, Circuit City’s revenues grew organically from $175 million to $12.5 billion. Jim Collins cited Circuit City as one of the “Good to great” companies, as described in his bestselling book.
During the 1990s, as Circuit City continued to grow, Richard Sharp led the team that created the consumer-friendly, used car concept of CarMax. His innovative leadership as the company’s initial Chairman and CEO was instrumental in the success of CarMax, which was spun off to Circuit City’s shareholders and listed on the NYSE. Today, CarMax is America’s largest used car retailer with annual revenues approaching $7 billion. Mr. Sharp retired as Chairman of the Board in 2007.
In 1992, he served as founding investor of Flextronics International, a leading multi-national company in electronics design and manufacturing. Mr. Sharp served as the company’s Chairman for several years and served as a director to the NASDAQ-listed company with annual revenues of nearly $30 billion.
In 2005, another unique opportunity was presented to Mr. Sharp as a founding investor in Crocs, Inc., the manufacturer of the ubiquitous and iconically comfortable plastic shoes. Mr. Sharp served on the board and as Chairman from 2005 to December 2010. He resigned as Chairman of the Board and as a director on June 29, 2011. He helped lead the company from obscurity to worldwide fame. Crocs, Inc. went public in February of 2006 on the NASDAQ and currently has revenues of approximately $1 billion.
Throughout his career, he has served on numerous other for-profit and non-profit boards. He has served as chairman for both the National Retail Federation and the Virginia Business Council.
As a long-term advocate and champion for K-12 public educational reform, Mr. Sharp’s community endeavors include serving as Chairman of Children First America. He is also the founder of and principal contributor to Children First Virginia, an organization that provided scholarships for low-income students in grades K-8 through 2007.
He serves on the Boards of Johns Hopkins University and University of Virginia Schools of Medicine, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond, and the VCU School of Engineering Foundation.
Mr. Sharp studied electrical engineering at the University of Virginia (1965-1966) and computer science at The College of William and Mary. In 1985, he attended the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program. He and his wife Sherry, both of Alexandria, have been married for over 40 years and have two married daughters and four grandchildren, all of whom reside in Richmond.