Business Executive


Rodney Adkins (Rod) is Chairman of Avnet, Inc., a position he has held since 2018. Avnet is one of the world’s largest electronic components and technology solutions distributors. In addition, he is a Partner of 3RAM Group LLC, a privately held company specializing in capital investments, business consulting services, and property management. Formerly, Mr. Adkins was Senior Vice President of IBM, having served in that position from 2007 until 2014. He is the company’s first African American Senior Vice President and corporate officer. In his over 33 years of career with IBM, Mr. Adkins has held several operational and executive management roles spanning strategy, technology, systems, and supply chain.

Mr. Adkins' work has spanned the world of technology and computing. He has been a leading innovator in solutions ranging from mobile devices to the world's largest supercomputers. His significant contributions include helping to advance the Personal Computer industry, leading IBM's POWER business to become the market leader in the UNIX market, and pioneering what became IBM's portfolio of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions.

Mr. Adkins was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 2005, one of the highest national recognitions for the engineering profession. His life story is archived in The History Makers, and Wikipedia. He is a lifetime member of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), and in 2001, NSBE recognized Mr. Adkins with the Golden Torch Award for Lifetime Achievement in Industry. In 2002, Fortune magazine named Mr. Adkins one of America's 50 Most Powerful Black Executives. He was recognized as the 2007 Black Engineer of the Year by US Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine. Black Enterprise magazine chose Mr. Adkins as its 2011 Corporate Executive of the Year and 2016 Trailblazer of the Year. In 2017, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. recognized Mr. Adkins as the 73rd recipient of the Laurel Wreath. He was inducted into the Miami Jackson High School Hall of Fame in 2018, the Miami Dade County Public Schools Alumni Hall of Fame in 2022, and the Georgia Tech Engineering Hall of Fame in 2024. Mr. Adkins has been awarded honorary doctoral degrees from Georgia Tech and the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC).

Mr. Adkins serves on the board of directors for United Parcel Service (UPS), PayPal, Grainger, and Avnet. He is a member of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC) and a trustee of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) and Rollins College. Mr. Adkins also serves on the UMBC Board of Visitors, the Adrienne Arsht Center Trust Board, the Overtown Youth Center (OYC) Board, and the Community-Police Relations Foundation Board. He served on PPL Corporation, Pitney Bowes, PeopleClick Inc. boards, the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME), the Kappa Alpha Psi Foundation, the Harlem School of the Arts, and the Smithsonian National Board.

Mr. Adkins holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech and a Bachelor of Arts with an emphasis in physics from Rollins College.