T. J. Rodgers

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Thurman John "T. J." Rodgers is the founder and chief executive officer of Cypress Semiconductor. He is known for his public relations acumen, brash personality, and strong advocacy of laissez-faire capitalism.

Early life[edit]

Rodgers received his bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College in 1970, graduating as salutatorian with majors in chemistry and physics. He received his master's degree (1973) and Ph.D. (1975) in electrical engineering from Stanford University. While pursuing his Ph.D. degree, Rodgers invented the VMOS process technology, which he later licensed to American Microsystems, Inc. He founded Cypress Semiconductor in 1982. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from the Universidad Francisco Marroquín in Guatemala City.

Rodgers on quotas[edit]

In 1996, Rodgers made headlines when Sister Doris Gormley, the Director of Corporate Social Responsibility for The Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, sent him a form letter encouraging him to hire women and minorities on the Cypress board. He replied with a long letter defending a pure meritocracy in terms of hiring practices.[1] In 1999, he wrote an editorial in the San Jose Mercury News denouncing Jesse Jackson's attack on Cypress Semiconductor on what Jackson claimed was discriminatory hiring practices.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Rodgers is an avid jogger and wine enthusiast. He is a supporter of several charities, including Second Harvest Food Bank, and served as an alumni trustee on the Dartmouth College Board of Trustees from 2004 to 2012.[3]

Awards and recognition[edit]

1986:

  • Entrepreneur of the Year by City of Santa Clara, California

1996:

1997

  • Outstanding Individual Entrepreneurship Award from the U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship

2000:

  • Award from the Healing Institute for his support of the Carver Scholars Program

2001:

  • Cited as one of the "100 People Who Changed Our World." by Upside
  • Silicon Valley Capitalism Award for "exemplifying the virtues of capitalism and defending capitalism with ethical principles in the media."
  • Angel Award by the International Angel Investors organization for his venture-capital activities supporting the semiconductor industry
  • Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the Smith Center for Private Enterprise Studies at California State University, Hayward

2002:

2005 :

  • Inducted into the Silicon Valley Engineering Council Hall of Fame.

2006:

  • Honored with a Fellow Award from the International Engineering Consortium.

2009:

  • Spirit of Ireland Award

Patents[edit]

1975[4]
US3878552 - Bipolar Integrated Circuit and Method.
US3924265 - Low capacitance V groove MOS NOR gate and method of manufacture

1976
US3975221 - Low capacitance V groove MOS NOR gate and method of manufacture

1980
US4222063 - VMOS Floating gate memory with breakdown voltage lowering region
US4222062 - VMOS Floating gate memory device

1988
US5835401- DRAM with hidden refresh
US4764248 - Rapid thermal nitridized oxide locos process

1999
US5977638 - Edge metal for interconnect layers.

2000
US6131140 - Integrated cache memory with system control logic and adaptation of RAM bus to a cache pinout

2001
US6185126 - Self-initializing RAM-based programmable device.

2004
US6835616 - Method of forming a floating metal structure in an integrated circuit
US6730545 - Method of performing back-end manufacturing of an integrated circuit device

2005
US6903002 - Low-k dielectric layer with air gaps.
US6847218 - Probe card with an adapter layer for testing integrated circuits.

2006
US7045387 - Method of performing back-end manufacturing of an integrated circuit.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Rodgers, T. J. (1996-05-23). "Profits vs. PC - A Silicon Valley CEO says no to boardroom quotas — on moral grounds". Reason. "… Thank you for your letter criticizing the lack of racial and gender diversity of Cypress's Board of Directors. I received the same letter from you last year. I will reiterate the management arguments opposing your position. Then I will provide the philosophical basis behind our rejection of the operating principles espoused in your letter, which we believe to be not only unsound, but even immoral, by a definition of that term I will present." 
  2. ^ "Valley Should Stand Up To Jackson's Divisive Tactics". San Jose Mercury News. March 14, 1999. 
  3. ^ "Trustees Emeriti". Dartmouth College. Archived from the original on 2013-10-30. Retrieved April 12, 2014. 
  4. ^ Information on Patents Archived February 22, 2012 at the Wayback Machine

References[edit]

  • T. J. Rodgers; William Taylor; Rick Foreman (1993). No-Excuses Management: Proven Systems for Starting Fast, Growing Quickly, and Surviving Hard Times. Bantam Dell. ISBN 978-0-385-42604-6. 

External links[edit]