Jack Watts in 1981 became a founding partner of the Portola Co., which over the past 19 years has made acquisitions in packaging, industrial minerals, subcontract manufacturing, medical imaging and real estate.
In its first year, Portola Co. purchased Flextronics Inc., a subcontract manufacturer for the electronics industry, from its founder. Watts ran Flextronics´ operations during its growth from $3 million in sales to more than $100 million, after which it went public.
In 1982, Watts co-founded Faraday Electronics, an original-equipment manufacturer of computers, software, and intelligent terminals, that eventually was sold to Western Digital.
In 1986, Portola Co. acquired Portola Packaging Inc. (then Cap Snap Co.) from the founder´s heirs and Watts became chief executive officer. Through acquisitions and internal growth, the San Jose, Calif.-based Portola Packaging has grown from $20 million to more than $190 million in sales, and now claims to have more than 70 percent market share in its major product lines.
The publicly traded firm designs, injection molds and markets a full line of tamper-evident plastic closures for the dairy, bottled-water, juice and food industries. It also blow molds bottles and makes filling and capping equipment for bottling lines.
The 1,100-employee company operates 14 plants in the United States, Canada, Mexico, England, Austria and China.
Last April, Watts founded Sand Hill Systems in San Jose and became its chairman. SHS is an e-commerce software firm that has developed a suite of low-cost, Web-hosted tools designed to assist small and medium-sized manufacturers with sales management, catalog display, and order entry and reporting.
Watts has a bachelor of science degree in industrial engineering from Oklahoma State University and an MBA from Stanford University.