Thierry Valet is the most prominent and influential industry-based physicist in the field of spintronics. He has combined a very deep insight and broad understanding of theoretical physics and materials science with an enormous entrepreneurial spirit and real life applications throughout his career. Valet’s principal focus, both in industry and academia, has been spintronics and its applications to magnetic recording and memories. His major achievements include the Valet-Fert theory of Current Perpendicular to the Plane Giant Magneto Resistance (CPP GMR). It introduced a now ubiquitous semi-classical framework to model spin transport and is expected to become key in modeling next generation HDD readers.