• ? -
    2012 April 21


Born in San Mateo, California, he spent the first five years of his life in Atwood, Kansas. He had fond memories of the family farm and relatives there who supported him and his mother while his father served in World War II. He graduated from Serra High School and Santa Clara University with a degree in electrical engineering. He began his career while still in high school in 1957 working part time for a passive component startup, Ultronix, serving the instrumentation and aerospace industries, and continued with them until several years out of college. His mother raised him with a strong work ethic. He was a 40-year veteran of the semiconductor industry, working for Motorola, Fairchild Semiconductor, and Signetics Corp.; all of which fostered his spirit of innovation and led him to co-found (with Jason Rhode) Cirrus Logic, Inc., where he served as Chairman of the Board, as well as President and CEO. Cirrus Logic Inc. is a fabless semiconductor supplier specializing in analog, mixed-signal, and audio DSP integrated circuits (ICs). Their audio processors and audio converters are found in many professional audio and consumer entertainment products, including smartphones, tablets, portable media players, automotive entertainment systems, home-theater receivers, TVs and docking stations. Cirrus Logic's analog mixed-signal converter chips are also used in a wide variety of energy-related applications, including its new line of LED controllers for the incandescent light bulb replacement market, as well as energy measurement chips for applications such as digital utility meters. As CEO of Cirrus Logic, he grew the company to over $1billion in annual revenue in 10 years? time. The company?s growth was highlighted in September 1997 when Deloitte & Touche, LLP and Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network announced the winners of the ?Silicon Valley Fast 50.? Special recognition was given to the 14 companies that placed in the ?Fast 50? for three consecutive years. With nearly 600 percent revenue growth over the 1992-96 period, Cirrus Logic ranked tenth in this distinctive group. Ernst & Young recognized his management acumen in 1990 when he was named Semiconductor Entrepreneur of the Year. He was honored again as a nominee for this recognition in 1994. In 2001, he was the recipient of the third annual Dr. Morris Chang Exemplary Leadership Award presented by the Fabless Semiconductor Association (FSA) at their 2001 Awards Dinner for his visionary contributions to the fabless semiconductor industry. He also won the Silicon Valley Lifetime Achievement Award from the Silicon Valley Leadership Group in 2010. He brought his values of hard work and community service, along with an unerring sense of optimism and commitment to ethics, to a number of local non-profits, including the Tech Museum, San Jose Ballet Silicon Valley, the Symphony, Montalvo Arts Center, the Santa Clara County Children?s Shelter, the Second Harvest Food Bank, and the Silicon Valley Charity Ball. He was an important contributor to the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, where he served as chairman of our Advisory Board for 12 years. He and his wife Joan endowed several of the programs that are at the heart of the Center's work at Santa Clara University, where he did his Bachelor's in Electrical Engineering. The Hackworth Endowment also supports grants for students and faculty involved in research on applied ethics. Upon his ?retirement,? he continued to participate actively on several boards, and he loved to consult and provide advice for entrepreneurs. He embraced a leadership role at the Tech Museum in San Jose, CA, as interim President in early 2011. He died in April 2012 at the age of 71.
  • Date of Death:

    2012 April 21
  • Noted For:

    Co-founder of Cirrus Logic, Inc. a fabless semiconductor supplier specializing in analog, mixed-signal, and audio DSP integrated circuits (ICs).
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