Analog Devices CEO Jerry Fishman dies

April 03, 2013 // By Dylan McGrath
Jerry Fishman, longtime CEO of chip vendor Analog Devices Inc. died Thursday (March 28) after an apparent heart attack. He was 67 years old.

Fishman, who became president and chief operating officer of ADI in 1991, had been the longest tenured executive manager of any semiconductor company. He was promoted to CEO in 1996 when Ray Stata, now ADI's chairman, stepped down.

"This is a terrible loss for me personally and for all of us here at ADI," said Ray Stata, chairman of ADI, board of directors, in a statement. "Jerry dedicated his entire career to building ADI into a great company—one of which we all are enormously proud."

With Fishman at the helm, ADI had a remarkable record of consistent profitability. Walden Rhines, a veteran of the semiconductor industry and longtime CEO of EDA vendor Mentor Graphics Corp., said he couldn't think of a year when ADI lost money. "ADI has one of the longest consistent records of profitability in the semiconductor industry," Rhines said.

Rhines, who met with Fishman frequently, said Fishman leaves a strong legacy in the chip industry. "I think [Fishman] provided the operational discipline that complimented Ray Stata's strategic insight to create a very successful consistently growing organization."

Jim Feldhan, president of market research firm Semico Inc., said Fishman was a nose to the grindstone leader who preferred managing ADI to seeking a wider, more flamboyant industry role with speaking engagements and appearances. "Clearly, he did a fabulous job of running ADI," Feldhan said. "He's been there so long you have to attribute that to his direction."

In accordance with the ADI's bylaws, Vincent Roche, the company's president, was appointed CEO on an interim basis.

"I think Analog Devices faces a major challenge in filling Jerry's shoes since he had guided the company through a number of changes and shifts in the business, especially DSP and signal processing, as well as linear ICs," said Rob Lineback, a senior research analyst at IC Insights Inc.

Lineback said ADI has most recently been focused on applying more R&D to boost its