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Former CEO of Multi-national Company Will Receive Herff College’s Highest Alumni Award

For release: April 3, 2013
For press information, contact Curt Guenther, 901-678-2843

Arif Shakeel
Arif Shakeel

Arif Shakeel will be honored as this year’s Outstanding Alumnus of the University of Memphis’ Herff College of Engineering.  Honorees receiving the College’s Service Award are Tommy Carls, E. Hunter Harrison, John Ray Jr., and International Paper.

The awards banquet will be Tuesday, April 16, at the Holiday Inn at the University of Memphis, 3700 Central Ave.  The event will begin with a reception at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $35 for Alumni Association members, $40 for non-members.  Persons who want to sponsor a student at the dinner can purchase a student ticket for $25.  A silent auction at the event will raise funds for alumni chapter book scholarships for deserving engineering students.

 Reservations for the dinner are requested by April 10.  They may be made by calling Debi Scott at 901-678-4306.

Shakeel is a director of Western Digital Corporation and its former CEO.  He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the U of M in 1977 and his Master of Business Administration degree from Pepperdine University in 1981.  He began his career with Western Digital in 1985.  Before being named chief executive officer in 2005, he had served the company as product manager, vice president for materials-Asia, senior vice president for worldwide operations, executive vice president, and chief operating officer.

Located in Lake Forest, Calif., Western Digital is one of the world’s largest computer information storage manufacturers.  Employing 96,000 workers across the globe, it posted almost $12.5 billion in revenue in 2012.  It provides storage solutions for all the leading personal computer manufacturers and is involved in network attached storage and cloud computing.

Under Shakeel’s leadership, the company improved its manufacturing efficiency by increasing its capacity and reducing its operating expenses nearly 50 percent.  From 2004 to 2005, production increased and revenue doubled, from $2 billion to almost $4 billion.  At the same time, Western Digital posted the most consistent profits and the highest revenue on invested capital in the hard-drive industry.

For more information, contact Debi Scott at 901-678-4306.

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