Silicon Valley public relations and marketing executive legend
Frederick M. Hoar, a prominent, long-time Silicon Valley public relations and marketing executive, died January 2 after a three-year bout with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. He was 77.
Hoar was one of Silicon Valley's most visible public relations executives. Throughout his career, he helped scores of companies develop and promote their brands, many of which subsequently became visible globally. Hoar worked as a public relations and marketing executive at a number of prominent technology companies, including RCA, Fairchild Semiconductor, Apple Computer and Genentech.
Hoar's energy and enthusiasm for his craft lasted virtually right up until his death. In his latest pursuit, he was the dean's executive professor of marketing at Santa Clara University (SCU), and he continued teaching until six weeks before his death.
"Fred was a man of wonderful energy who brought a special spirit to the valley," said Larry Sonsini, chairman and CEO of Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati. "His creativity in building a brand name and placing marketing and communications in the proper perspective in building an enterprise will be greatly missed."
A vibrant, energetic speaker known for his witty insights into high technology, Hoar's speech making was liberally solicited in the business world. "He loved the English language; it was not just happenstance that his address was on Chaucer Street in Palo Alto," commented Mike Markkula, an early investor in Apple Computer and a colleague of Hoar from Apple's embryonic days. Markkula currently is chairman of the board of trustees at SCU.
Hoar spoke at hundreds of occasions in the United States and abroad. Among the organizations he addressed were the Conference Board, the Semiconductor Industry Association, the Software Development Forum, the Commonwealth Club and the Churchill Club. He was also a founding member of the Band of Angels, a Silicon Valley private investment group, and over the years was a director on the board of dozens of Silicon Valley start-ups. He remained a marketing and branding consultant throughout much of 2003. Hoar was also very active with Junior Achievement and was recently named to the Junior Achievement Business Hall of Fame.
Hoar helped shape communications, marketing and financial relations strategies at a number of seminal technology companies. From 1980 to 1984, he was vice president of communications for Apple Computer, where he was involved with the company's initial public offering and the product launches of the Lisa and Macintosh computers.