Top 40 Under 40

Award | May 1, 2009

Co-founder, and vice president of sales and marketing for VIZIO

Irvine businesswoman Laynie Newsome is taking America’s HDTV service by storm. Under Newsome’s direction as co-founder and vice president of sales for VIZIO, the HDTV provider has skyrocketed to the No. 1-selling brand of flat-panel HDTVs in North America and is the first American brand in more than a decade to lead major categories in 2007 U.S. TV sales.

Most important lesson learned:
Building a brand is a marathon event, it is not a series of short hurdles. You must pace yourself to endure time, and you must be consistent.
Next big step:
To be recognized as the world’s best consumer electronics company and to expand and replicate our success overseas
Advice for other young professionals:
Have a passion for what you spend your time on. Believe in something, and you will become infectious! Be patient; don’t get discouraged. Every successful person has had a door shut in their face, you are not alone. Recognize your weaknesses and gravitate toward others who excel in those areas, and you’ll be amazed at how fast you learn.
What you do for fun:
I spend quality time with my husband and my children. We chill out at our cabin in Big Bear, and when we are near home, we take our kids to the beach. We try to see the world through their eyes, and it gives us a better perspective to enjoy the moment.
If you could have dinner with anyone – alive or dead – who would it be and why?
My Uncle Jim Lowney – he was like a father to me and walked me down the aisle. He always believed in me and would light up when I’d walk into a room. I always felt like he could see VIZIO today, even back in the beginning. When I’d visit him, he’d relish all the details of our trials and celebrate our small victories. He passed away in 2003, shortly after we started selling our first TV sets. And now, 8 million HDTVs later, I’d love to see the smile on his face.