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Entrepreneur Profile: Gavin Maloof
Gavin Maloof is a renowned sports and technology entrepreneur, having owned the NBA Houston Rockets, the NBA Sacramento Kings, and the NHL Vegas Golden Knights. He is also an executive partner with STAXOS, a technology and telecom company providing cloud, telecom, and security solutions to companies.
Gavin is a successful entrepreneur in a number of industries: sports, entertainment, hospitality, liquor, and technology. In 1980, Gavin was named president of the Houston Rockets at the age of 24, making him the youngest owner and operator in major professional sports history. The Rockets enjoyed immediate success under Gavin’s leadership, advancing to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history in 1981 and qualifying for the NBA playoffs in all three seasons.
The Maloof family is the only ownership group in NBA history to take two different franchises (the Houston Rockets and the Sacramento Kings) to the league’s Conference Finals.
As majority co-owner of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings for 14 years, Gavin helped guide the franchise through its most successful seasons, having registered 50-plus wins for five consecutive campaigns and back-to-back NBA Pacific Division titles in 2002 and 2003.
Off the court, Gavin and his brother Joe Maloof earned the 2001 World Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame’s Most Involved Executives award for the organization’s philanthropic efforts. In fact, during the Maloof’s ownership of the Kings, the family donated more than $20 million in-kind donations, gifts, and services to families and children in need within the Sacramento, Calif., area.
Fast forward to present day: Gavin is still involved in professional sports, specifically the recent improbable and historic run to the Stanley Cup Finals as a minority owner of the Vegas Golden Knights in their inaugural Cinderella season.
He’s also heavily involved with several successful endeavors, including curing and preventing hangovers with the popular DrinkAde, a line of vitamin-based health supplements.
Most recently, Gavin has expanded his entrepreneurial endeavors into the technology sector by investing in STAXOS, which aims to become every CIO and CTO’s best friend and partner.
Tell us how you got your start as an entrepreneur?
From an early age, I was always working in the family business, from working in the warehouse to delivering product to eventually helping my father and siblings run our companies.
What do you think is the best way to build business relationships?
You have to do what you say and deliver all expectations set. My father ingrained in me the art of delivering a great product, experience, results, and, most important, how you treat customers and employees. You have to treat your employees well and they will treat your customers well.
What do you think are important entrepreneurial skills to have?
You have to have a great product and the ability to deliver that product in the way your customer is demanding it be delivered. You also must surround yourself with great people. It is no longer important to be the smartest person in the room, it’s more important to leverage a lot of smart people.
What is STAXOS?
STAXOS is a technology and telecom company with access to over 300 carriers/suppliers of connectivity and IT services globally. The company’s executive team and group has worked with and supported over 36,000 companies over the last 25 years, creating over $250 million in annual revenue back to the carriers and providers they represent.
Educating, enabling, solutioning, stacking, sourcing, and acting as a point of escalation when things go awry, STAXOS creates a great partnership with CIOs and CTOs. Imagine having access to agnostic cloud architects, engineers, security experts, and seasoned technology pros all at your disposal—essentially becoming an extension of your organization’s technology and telecom department. And it’s free to participating companies.
How did you get involved with STAXOS?
I have known Robbie Vega, the co-founder, for almost 25 years. His previous company, Global Comm, was always winning different awards and attracting great companies as customers. I knew he was looking to do something with his great friend and co-founder, Nick Wilson, who built an incredible model and company centered around mobility and expense-management software.
Nick is running and overseeing STAXOS as the president and CEO as well as driving the mobility and software division. Robbie and I are continuing to grow the technology, cloud, data, network, security, and managed IT services side of the company. The response has been incredible: We typically capture meetings with just about any company. Even better, the conversation quickly turns to STAXOS’s validity in the technology space. Companies quickly sign NDAs and put us to work; most see value and love the concept.
Why do companies want to partner with STAXOS?
Simple—we create a better experience acting as the client’s advocate when companies look to adopt a new technology. Sometimes we educate them on great solutions they didn’t know were out there, or at least didn’t know how to tap into with the path of least resistance.
I have been an owner-operator in many businesses and I know firsthand the value of a great company. STAXOS takes the chaos out of managing, maintaining, and growing your technology stack. We strive to eliminate all the noise and get right to the root of what technology a company needs, why they need it, and then look to educate and expose them to best-in-class/best-in-breed solutions. We know where the skeletons are buried in the industry. We do this all at zero cost to the client. We are the advocate for the client.
How did you come up with the name STAXOS?
STAXOS is a play on a company’s “technology stack.” We immediately loved it and bought the rights to the name and brand. We have received a lot of positive feedback on the name as it is original and stands out. I’m very proud to be a part of the brand.
How has it been working with one of your best friends?
We are like family; it’s been great and a ton of fun. We have the perfect frontline team, everyone plays their role. Nick, Robbie, and I bring the human element to an industry that doesn’t always have that human touch. We are real people that engage on a daily basis with an organic, grassroots approach. Simply put, we leave all corporate politics and noise at the door. We surround ourselves with the best of the best, employing the best people and giving them the tools, resources, and freedom to execute on behalf of our clients.
Favorite sports quote:
“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been.” –Wayne Gretzky, hockey legend
Favorite entrepreneurial quote:
“I’m convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.” –Steve Jobs, Co-Founder and CEO, Apple
Copyright © Richard D. Harroch. All Rights Reserved.
March 2, 2019 at 12:14PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs