OBIT/Robert F. Graham, Semiconductor Industry Pioneer and Former Novellus CEO and Chairman, Dies.
Graham was 69 years old. One of the founders of Intel Corp., Graham was among the visionaries who transformed Santa Clara Valley from a farming community to its current status as the center of the high-technology industry.
His trailblazing accomplishments include: helping to persuade the computer industry to switch from vacuum tubes to integrated circuits; marketing the first commercial semiconductors; developing the marketing concepts for the microprocessor and the single-chip, fully decoded random access memory (RAM); as well as the requirements for bipolar drivers and metal oxide semiconductor (MOS) memories and the industry-standard dual in-line package (DIP).
In addition, he was instrumental in helping both Intel and Applied Materials Inc. penetrate the Japanese market, directing the establishment first of Intel Japan and later of Applied Materials Japan.
According to Richard S. Hill, Novellus' chairman and CEO, Novellus' success is rooted in the disciplines established by Graham during his tenure as CEO. "Bob established the company's sound financial model, which has allowed us drive technological innovation and increase shareholder value," noted Hill.
"Without Graham, the semiconductor capital equipment industry wouldn't know what productivity is. Novellus' reputation for delivering production-worthy tools based on leading-edge technology is built on the discipline and culture Bob instilled in the company and is a part of his lasting legacy. He will be sorely missed by all of us."
Dave Toole, GaSonics International's chairman, was a former associate and Graham's long-time friend. "Bob Graham was the best marketer and sales force trainer our industry has ever seen, as well as one helluva businessman," remembered Toole.
"He heard things no one else heard, saw things no one else saw and then was able to inspire others to pursue and successfully execute on the opportunities he had envisioned. He was a great mentor to whom many of us here in the valley owe a profound debt. He left a legacy that will endure for a long time."
Graham joined Novellus as CEO and president in 1986. He was elected to the board of directors that same year. In 1992, he was elected chairman of the board, serving in this post until his retirement in 1996. During his ten-year leadership tenure, he grew Novellus from a $3.5 million to a $500 million company.
Prior to joining Novellus, Graham held a number of executive management positions at Applied Materials, including: senior vice president, mergers and acquisitions; senior vice president, worldwide research and development, strategic marketing and Japanese operations; and senior vice president, sales, marketing and business planning. During his tenure at Applied Materials, he helped the company grow from $16 million to $500 million in revenues.
Additional executive management positions he held include: vice president and general manager, Electronic Arrays Inc. and founding vice president and director of marketing at Intel. Graham also held various sales, marketing and general management positions with ITT, Fairchild Camera and Instrument Co., Raytheon Corp. and RCA.
Graham earned a bachelor's degree with honors in electrical engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1995, he was awarded the UCLA School of Engineering Alumnus of the Year Award in recognition of the many contributions he made to the semiconductor industry. The award is given annually to a graduate who has made distinguished contributions in their chosen field.
Graham is survived by Nancy, his wife of almost 49 years; a son, Todd; a daughter, Lisa; and a grandson, Robert. A long time resident of Saratoga, Calif., Graham was living in Elk, Calif., at the time of his death.
No funeral service is planned. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, well-wishers make donations to the Yosemite Fund, a fund-raising project for Yosemite Park, with which Graham had a long-time involvement.
About Novellus Systems
Novellus Systems Inc. manufactures, markets and services advanced automated wafer fabrication systems for the deposition of thin films. Novellus deposition systems are designed for high-volume production of advanced, leading-edge semiconductors at the lowest overall cost. Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., with subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands, China, Japan, Korea, Singapore and Taiwan, Novellus is a publicly traded company on the Nasdaq stock exchange (NASDAQ:NVLS). Additional information about the company is available on Novellus' home page on the World Wide Web, located at http://www.novellus.com
CONTACT: Novellus Systems Inc. Bob Climo, 408/973-9700 email@example.com or MCA Inc. Chris Castillo, 650/968-8900 firstname.lastname@example.org
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|Date:||Sep 8, 1998|
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