Analog Devices' Jerry Fishman dies at 67

Jerry Fishman was the Analog Devices' CEO since 1996

Jerald Fishman, a well-respected semiconductor industry executive and CEO of Analog Devices, died last week of a heart attack at age 67.

Fishman was born in Flushing, New York, and became CEO of Analog Devices (ADI) in 1996. He joined the company in 1971 as a marketing executive and took the company's top job after Ray Stata, who founded the company in 1965 and was CEO since 1973, became chairman.

ADI, which is based in Norwood, Massachusetts, makes integrated circuits for TVs, cars, smartphones, medical gear and other equipment. During Fishman's tenure as CEO, ADI's revenue more than doubled, and in the most recent fiscal quarter the company reported a net profit of US$131 million.

Fishman effectively maneuvered the company through a fast growing but highly volatile semiconductor market, said Rob Lineback, senior market research analyst at IC Insights.

One of Fishman's achievements was expanding ADI's operations in MEMS (microelectromechanical systems), a category of circuits that includes sensors, accelerometers and actuators. Today, ADI is one of the leaders in MEMS sector, and the company's top competitors are Texas Instruments, STMicroelectronics, and NXP Semiconductors.

While driving growth in MEMS, Fishman was successful in de-emphasizing the company's digital-signal processor (DSP) business, Lineback said. DSPs were a hot-growth segment in the early 1990s, but are now slowing down as more components are integrated in processors.

"Fishman's been there ever since I remember," Lineback said. "The continuous evolution of Analog Devices and his ability to manage the company is one thing I'd point to as his [achievement]."

ADI has appointed Vincent Roche, who is currently president, as interim CEO. The company did not respond to requests for comment on whether it will look for a new CEO.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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