• 1937
    (b.) - ?


One of five founders of National Semiconductor in 1967 and he's had extensive international dealings (especially in Asia) ever since. Born and raised in northern California, he was the first person from his hardworking Norwegian immigrant family to go to college. He wanted to study his favorite subject, math, but chose engineering on the advice of his high school English teacher, who said that engineering was mostly applied mathematics. To pay his tuition, he worked his way through college in construction jobs. He studied Electrical Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley from 1955 to 1959. He continued on to Syracuse University where he graduated with a Master’s degree in Semiconductor Materials Science and Engineering in 1962. During this time he also worked full time for General Electric. After receiving his Master’s degree, he worked as a Product Marketing Manager for semiconductor firm, Space Technology Labs (STL), southern California. It was there he met a group of men who became his business partners. The team re-launched the bankrupt firm National Semiconductor, which subsequently became a billion dollar business. National Semiconductor was the first company to hold conferences to promote its products. He traveled the world educating people about how semiconductors work and what could be done with them. In 1982 he joined Apple as Executive Vice President of Marketing, Sales, and Distribution. He later became a venture capitalist with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB). He was appointed by President Bush to co-chair the President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) as a cap to an illustrious career as a semiconductor magnate and successful venture capitalist. He has served on the Boards of Harmonic Inc., National Semiconductor, Photon Dynamics, Power Integrations, as well as Gemfire Corporation and Silicon Genesis.
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  • Noted For:

    Worked at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and for his work in science and technology policy on behalf of the entire country
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