On April 5, 2018 ESD Alliance held the 2018 CEO Outlook! At this important event, the CEOs of four leading ESD Alliance member companies discussed their views of where our industry – the semiconductor design ecosystem – is heading.

The distinguished panel discussed major new trends they see, with the potential opportunities they anticipate. Panelists for the evening were Dean Drako (IC Manage), Grant Pierce (Sonics), Wally Rhines (Mentor, A Siemens Company) and Simon Segars (Arm). Ed Sperling (Semiconductor Engineering) moderated the panel. Each CEO presented a brief opening statement about the future of the industry, followed by an interactive, moderated discussion.

This event, hosted by Cadence Design Systems, included a private networking reception with the CEOs for ESD Alliance members from 5:30 PM – 6:15 PM, and an open reception beginning at 6:15 PM.

Video of the 2018 CEO Outlook

Selected photos from the 2018 CEO Outlook

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Ed Sperling, Editor-in-Chief, Semiconductor Engineering.
Ed is the editor in chief of Semiconductor Engineering. He is a technology industry veteran, frequent moderator and speaker in Silicon Valley. Sperling is a former contributing editor at Forbes, where he wrote nearly 200 articles about business and technology issues affecting IT and CIOs. He was previously editor in chief of Electronic News and Electronic Business, and before that he held top editorial positions at Ziff-Davis and CMP Publications. Prior to that he was a daily newspaper investigative reporter covering crime and corruption.


Dean Drako, President and CEO, IC Manage, Inc.

Dean founded IC Manage in 2003, a company that he has helped expand to become the IC/SoC design and IP management technology leader. Dean was also founder, President and CEO of Barracuda Networks from 2003 to 2012, where he built and expanded Barracuda from a spam and virus firewall provider to a broad line enterprise technology company with more than 150,000 customers. Dean currently serves on Barracuda’s Board of Directors.Dean was also the founder of Boldfish, a leading provider of enterprise messaging solutions that was acquired by Siebel Systems in 2003. Dean was also founder, President and CEO of Design Acceleration, Inc (DAI), a maker of superior design analysis and verification tools. Cadence Design Systems acquired DAI in 1998. Dean was also VP of Product Engineering at the 3DO Company and was instrumental in the development of the PowerPC architecture at Apple Computer. Dean received his BSEE from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and MSEE from the University of California, Berkeley.

Grant Pierce, Chairman, President and CEO, Sonics, Inc.
Grant co-founded Sonics in September 1996 and has served as Chief Executive Officer and President since March 1997 and as chairman of the board of directors since February 1997. From 1990 to 1996, Mr. Pierce served as Chief Financial Officer, Vice President and General Manager for MicroUnity Systems Engineering, Inc., a digital media and communications devices company. From 1988 to 1990, Mr. Pierce was Chief Financial Officer at ParcPlace Systems, a company selling object-oriented software development environments. From 1984 to 1988, Mr. Pierce served as corporate controller for MIPS Computer Systems, Inc., a fabless semiconductor company. Mr. Pierce’s extensive experience also includes work at Convergent Technologies, Inc., ITT Qume, and Arthur Andersen and Co. Mr. Pierce received a B.S. in Business Administration-Accounting from California State University, Hayward and is a former certified public accountant.

Walden C. Rhines, President and CEO, Mentor, A Siemens Company.

Wally is President and Chief Executive Officer of Mentor, a Siemens business. He was previously CEO of Mentor Graphics for 23 years and Chairman of the Board for 17 years. During his tenure at Mentor, revenue nearly quadrupled and market value of the company increased 10X.Prior to joining Mentor Graphics, Dr. Rhines was Executive Vice President of Texas Instruments’ Semiconductor Group. During his 21 years at TI, he was President of the Data Systems Group and held numerous other semiconductor executive management positions.

Dr. Rhines has served on the boards of Cirrus Logic, QORVO, TriQuint Semiconductor, Global Logic and as Chairman of the Electronic Design Automation Consortium (five two-year terms) and is currently a director. He is also a board member of the Semiconductor Research Corporation and First Growth Children & Family Charities. He is a Lifetime Fellow of the IEEE and has served on the Board of Trustees of Lewis and Clark College, the National Advisory Board of the University of Michigan and Industrial Committees advising Stanford University and the University of Florida.

Dr. Rhines holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from the University of Michigan, a Master of Science and PhD in materials science and engineering from Stanford University, a master of Business Administration from Southern Methodist University and Honorary Doctor of Technology degrees from the University of Florida and Nottingham Trent University.

Simon Segars, CEO, Arm

Simon Segars, CEO, has been at the heart of transformational change in the technology industry for 25 years. He led the development of early Arm processors for the world’s first digital mobile phones and now spearheads Arm’s vision for smart and connected technologies that create better social, economic, education and health prospects for all. Before being appointed CEO in July 2013, Simon held several leadership positions within Arm’s engineering and business development teams. He lives in California’s Silicon Valley, but spends much of his time meeting leading influencers in the world’s technology hubs in the US, Europe and Asia.Simon helped steer the company through the 2016 acquisition by SoftBank, and, in June 2017, was elected to serve on the SoftBank board. He also sits on the boards of the Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA), the Electronic System Design (ESD) Alliance, Techworks and is a non-executive director at Dolby Laboratories, Inc.

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Simon holds a number of patents in the field of embedded CPU design and earned his BEng in electronic engineering from the University of Sussex as well as an MSc in computer science from the University of Manchester.

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