At the young age of 17, Ra’ed Elmurib left Lebanon and moved to the US by himself to pursue a career in Engineering. For six months, he slept on a couch at a friend’s place until he secured a couple of jobs to sustain himself and his education.
With extensive experience in building startups, corporate M&A, and Strategic Venture, he held the CEO position of Shoof Technologies in 2016, developing the Wireless technology that aims to change the world of Industrial IoT connectivity. He previously served as Executive Vice President of Corporate and Business Development for PMC-Sierra, leading the company’s non-organic growth, venture investment and strategic partnership. Elmurib led the $2.5 billion Dollar sale transaction of PMC to MicroSemi and executed over $4 billion in transaction value. He also served as the GM of the Microprocessor Division and VP of WW Sales. Ra’ed was the CEO and founder of Unitec Sale, a Manufacturer Representative of STMicroelectronics, Microchip, and other component suppliers.
1- If you had a rewind button, what would you change about your journey?
I would make sure I start my career working for a startup with a vision of changing the world by innovating a leading edge technology. New innovations are the most powerful initiatives that human can create to impact our quality of life.
2- What are your 3 biggest accomplishments?
1. Raising three healthy and happy kids, with “work hard, play hard” instilled in them. Having grown up away from family since I was 17 years old, it was a challenge to raise kids in a foreign land without the support system we are accustomed to in Lebanon. Striking a balance between the two cultures requires an open mind and a vision for the future generation challenges as they become model contributing citizens.
2. Starting my first company, Unitec Sales, at the age of 30 years old. It was a goal I set for myself when I graduated from College. It was an awesome way to learn and grow both financially and mentally.
3. Leading the exit of PMC-Sierra, as we struggled to reinvent ourselves after the bubble bursting in 2000. It took us many years to rebuild the company and change the direction and it was almost like coming back from the dead.
3- What’s the best lesson you learned?
Resilience is the key to success. For us first generation Lebanese-American, we endured many difficult obstacles on our way to accomplish what we set out to do. New language, new culture, no network to speak of, and lacking all the necessary tools to make it happen. But with resilience and commitment to succeed, we plowed ahead and reached our goals.
4- Who is your role model?
Every successful immigrant is my role model. I learn so much from their stories.
5- How did surrounding yourself with a good support system help you advance in your career?
One thing I missed out on is having a mentor. It is so critical to maneuver your way through the different situations you run into during your career. My support system was my wife, Kim, as I was traveling and working 80-90 hours a week. She sacrificed her career to take care of all of us.
6- What is one habit you worked hard on breaking to improve your life or career?
I had the bad habit of assuming that everybody had the same drive, intelligence, and ambitions as I do. Learning that we are all different at an early stage would have saved me lots of anger and lots of unnecessary disappointments.
7- What characteristics do you look for in people you choose to work with?
I like self-driven people, because I hate to micro manage, its a waste of time and inefficient. To succeed in life you need to surround yourself with a team that shares your vision and compliment your weaknesses.
8- What skills did you work so hard on acquiring?
Being patient and it is still a work in progress. I expect people to move fast, break things, learn from mistakes. I am getting a little better but I still have lots to go.
9- What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?
Ask for help, get a mentor that you respect and leave our world better than you inherited it.
10- What excites you and what worries you about the impact of technology on the future?
Lots to be excited about. What technology has accomplished in the past 100 years is nothing short of an amazing miracle. I just wish we use it to always benefit humankind and improve lifestyles by lifting everybody up.