Steve Appleton

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Steven R. Appleton (March 31, 1960 – February 3, 2012) was the CEO of Micron Technology, based in Boise, Idaho.[1]

Born and raised in California, Appleton attended Boise State University, where he was on the tennis team. A lifelong aviation enthusiast, he died when his single-engine plane crashed shortly after takeoff in Boise, Idaho, on February 3, 2012.


Appleton started his career at Micron shortly after graduation in 1983, working the night shift in production. He held a variety of positions in the company, including Wafer Fab manager, Production Manager, Director of Manufacturing, and Vice President of Manufacturing before being appointed President and COO in 1991. He was appointed to the position of CEO and Chairman of the Board in 1994 at age 34. In January 1996 he was fired and then rehired 8 days later.[2]

He formerly served on the Board of Directors for SEMATECH, the Idaho State Supreme Court Advisory Council and was appointed by the Clinton Administration to serve on the National Semiconductor Technology Council. At the time of his death, he was serving on the Board of Directors for the Semiconductor Industry Association, and the Board of Directors for National Semiconductor Corporation, The U.S. Technology CEO Council and was a member of the World Semiconductor Council and the Idaho Business Council. After his death, Mark Durcan assumed Appleton's position as CEO of Micron.[3]

Appleton was named as 1 of 5 worst performing bosses on a Forbes web site in 2006.[4]

In 2011 he received the Robert Noyce Award from the Semiconductor Industry Association.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Appleton participated in a number of sports, including professional tennis. His hobbies included scuba diving, surfing, wakeboarding, motorcycling and, more recently, off-road car racing. His aviation background included multiple ratings and professional performances at air shows in both propeller and jet-powered aircraft. He also had a black belt in taekwondo.

On the 43rd edition of the Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 on 2010 Appleton finished 1st on a SCORE Class 1 buggy and 7th overall with a time of 20:32.18.[6]


On February 3, 2012, Appleton was killed while attempting an emergency landing in a Lancair IV-PT experimental-category, four-seat, turboprop airplane at the Boise Airport in Boise, Idaho, moments after taking off. He had aborted a take off a few minutes earlier for unknown reasons.[7][8]

Prior to this, he had a serious plane crash piloting an Extra 300 in 2004 in which he sustained a punctured lung, head injuries, ruptured disk and broken bones.[9]


  1. ^ Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Archived February 26, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Burrows, Peter (May 13, 1996). Written at Idaho. "MICRON'S COMEBACK KID". Boise: Businessweek. Archived from the original on 2018-01-11. Retrieved 2018-01-11.
  3. ^ Savitz, Eric (February 6, 2012). "Micron Names Durcan CEO Following Appleton's Death". Forbes. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  4. ^ "Worst-Performing Bosses". Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  5. ^ Micron Technology CEO Steve Appleton Honored By Industry Peers, PR Newswire, November 3, 2011.
  6. ^ SCORE International. "Official Results" (PDF). SCORE International. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 24, 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-15. Steve Appleton 1st 7th overall
  7. ^ Steve Appleton Obituary,, Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  8. ^ NTSB Probable Cause Report, NTSB, Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  9. ^ Extra Flugzeugrau GMBH EA 300/L, Air Crash in Boise, IDAHO, USA on 7/8/2004, Archived February 7, 2012, at the Wayback Machine

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