Clay did his part to help drive the technological innovation that defines Silicon Valley, and in that respect he’s a pioneer whose achievements should be widely celebrated.
Roy L. Clay, Sr. was a key figure in the development of Silicon Valley and was inducted into the Silicon Valley Engineering Council’s Hall of Fame in 2003. As a Hall of Fame inductee, Mr. Clay joins such notables as Bill Hewlett and David Packard, founders of Hewlett-Packard Company; Robert Noyce, inventor of the 8080 microchip and founder of Intel Corporation; and John L. Hennessy, President of Stanford University.
In the early 1970’s, at the outset of Silicon Valley as we know it today, the premier venture capital firm of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers selected Mr. Clay as the computer consultant for prospective investments in start up companies such as Tandem Computers, Compaq and Intel Corporation.
Mr. Clay was a key figure in the development of Hewlett-Packard’s computer divisions and led the team that engineered HP’s entrance into the computer market with the development of the 2116A computer in 1966. Not only was Mr. Clay the Director for the first HP Research and Development Computer Group, he also developed the software for the 2116A computer. Mr. Clay was General Manager of the computer divisions following Tom Perkins, co-founder of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
Most recently Mr. Clay was CEO of ROD-L Electronics, a world leader in electrical safety testing equipment, which he founded in 1977. ROD-L set the industry standard in electrical product safety testing by producing the world’s first Safety Certified (i.e. Underwriters Laboratories Listed) Dielectric Withstand (Hipot) and Ground Continuity Testers. ROD-L has received the Consumer Product Safety Award for developing the safest product of its kind and its products are used by the leading manufacturers of electrical and electronics equipment worldwide.
ROD-L is based in Menlo Park, California, and is a community leader in youth development. Mr. Clay has worked tirelessly for over 35 years in Silicon Valley in leadership positions and in numerous community organizations to promote the improvement in quality of life.
In the 1970s Mr. Clay became the first African American to serve as Councilman and as Vice Mayor of the City of Palo Alto, CA.