• Sep 11, 1940
    (b.) - ?


An American businessman in the computer industry who was the last Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Digital Equipment Corporation. He majored in Math and Physics at Texas Tech University and became interested in solid state electronics while in graduate school. He got married and began his career when in 1967 he was offered a job at Texas Instruments in the Semiconductor Research and Development Labs. In 1969 he, along with former employees of Texas Instruments founded Mostek Corporation, where he pioneered the use of ion implantation technology for the manufacture of MOS circuits. Mostek made logic, memory, and microprocessor chips. In 1980, United Technologies Corporation (UTC) acquired Mostek Corporation, and he became Executive Vice President of Semiconductor Operations. In 1985, he joined Digital Equipment Corporation where he served in various executive positions until being appointed as Chief Executive Officer and President in October 1992, replacing founder Ken Olsen. Prior to his appointment, Digital had reported its first quarterly loss ever in 1990 and a net loss for fiscal year 1991. At the time the company had 35 plants around the world which were underutilized. He undertook numerous restructurings, massive layoffs (more than 60,000 people), and plant closings in an effort to remain competitive. In addition to his duties as CEO, he became Board Chairman in 1995. In 1993 Mitsubishi agreed to manufacture Digital's new Alpha 21066. In 1994 Digital sold its Rdb database software operations to Oracle Corporation. Oracle Rdb is a relational database management system (RDBMS) for the Hewlett-Packard OpenVMS operating system. It was originally created by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) in 1984 as part of the VMS Information Architecture, intended to be used for data storage and retrieval by high-level languages and/or other DEC products such as DATATRIEVE, RALLY, and TEAMDATA. The original name was Rdb/VMS. The following year Digital and Raytheon formed a multiyear, multimillion-dollar agreement to upgrade the onboard computer of the US Navy's E-2C Hawkeye aircraft. In 1997, Digital sold its printing systems business to Virginia-based GENICOM. That year Digital sued Intel, accusing it of using some of Digital's patented technology to develop the Pentium microprocessor. Intel countersued, accusing Digital of violating 14 Intel patents. To settle the litigation, Digital sold its semiconductor production operations to Intel in 1998. Digital also sold its networking business to Cabletron. After divesting of several businesses, restructurings, and strengthening the Digital's financial position, he announced that the corporate strategy would focus on the Internet in enterprise computing. By the mid-1990s, he had recognized that the consolidation of the computer industry, as the proprietary architectures that Digital previously did well with were now giving way to the standardization of the personal computer (PC), and in terms of scale Digital's annual production of PCs was 1 million units which was one twelfth of the volume of market leader Compaq. In June 1998, Compaq paid approximately $9 billion to acquire Digital. As expected, he stepped down after negotiating the merger. In April 1999, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) held its annual general meeting and announced that they had decided to elect him to its Board of Directors. He has served on the Boards of a number of other companies as well, such as SEMATECH, the Semiconductor Industry Association, the Semiconductor Research Corporation, Cicada Semiconductor Inc. and NLine Corporation. He is also on the Board of Trustees of the Cooper Institute for Aerobic Research, a non-profit preventative medicine research and education organization.
  • Date of Birth:

    Sep 11, 1940
  • Noted For:

    Member of the founding team at Mostek, where he pioneered the use of ion implantation technology for the manufacture of MOS circuits
  • Category of Achievement:

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