Sharp served as CEO of the now-defunct Circuit City chain from 1986 to 2000. During his tenure, he turned the regional consumer electronics chain into a powerhouse as one of the nation’s largest retailers.
He oversaw a team at CarMax as its chief executive that changed the way used cars are sold in the U.S.; Goochland County-based CarMax now has 120 used-car superstores in 60 markets.
As a founding investor and chairman in Crocs Inc., the manufacturer of those popular cloglike, rubberlike shoes, Sharp helped lead the company from obscurity in 2005 to worldwide fame.
Sharp, who celebrated his 66th birthday last month, suffers from early-onset Alzheimer’s.
He was diagnosed in October 2010 but knew for a couple of years before then that he had the symptoms.Since 1999, they have donated more than $5 million to Alzheimer’s and neurological research, most of it at Johns Hopkins Medicine, the medical school and hospital complex in Baltimore where he served on the advisory board.
The couple is in the process of creating a national foundation to promote the collaboration and development of Alzheimer’s research. The goal is to raise in excess of $100 million — and be a major player in finding a cure for the disease.
They hope the foundation — likely to be called the Stay Sharp Foundation — will launch this year. In the meantime, his two daughters created the Stay Sharp Fund at the Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia to begin raising funds.
Corporate Boards - Circuit City Stores, 1983-2002; Flextronics International Ltd., 1993-2008; S&K Famous Brands Inc., 1986-96; Dominion Resources Inc., 1994-95; CarMax Inc., 1997-2007; Crocs Inc., 2005-2011; Star Scientific Inc., March 17, 2011, to Dec. 16, 2011
Organizations: Former board member of Boys & Girls Clubs of Richmond; University of Richmond; National Retail Federation; International Mass Retailers Association; Science Museum of Virginia Foundation; Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Virginia chapter; Virginia Commonwealth University's School of Engineering Foundation; Virginia Business Council; Children First America; Johns Hopkins Medicine advisory board; the University of Virginia Health Foundation.
Family: wife, Sherry; daughters, Donna Suro and April Garnett; four grandchildren