Board of Directors

The ESD Alliance Board of Directors oversees the common needs of the electronic system design industry, benefitting not only ESD Alliance member companies but the entire semiconductor and electronics design ecosystem. The Board of Directors is primarily made up of CEOs from ESD Alliance member companies who are elected biennially by the membership to represent them. Other individuals may be appointed as directors by the board.

The members of our board are a significantly valued resource, active participants, who manage the various committees with expertise and devotion to the ESD Alliance mission.

Grant Pierce, President & CEO
Sonics, Inc.

Grant A Pierce 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.

Aart de Geus, Chairman & Co-CEO
Synopsys, Inc.

Since co-founding Synopsys in 1986, Dr. Aart de Geus has expanded Synopsys from a start-up synthesis enterprise to the world leader in electronic design automation. Dr. de Geus has long been considered one of the world's leading experts on logic synthesis and simulation, and frequently keynotes major conferences in Electronics and Design Automation. He is the recipient of numerous industry and community honors, including Electronic Business Magazine’s “CEO of the Year” (2002) and “Top 10 Most Influential Executives” (2005), the IEEE Robert N. Noyce Medal (2007), the Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG) "Spirit of the Valley" Lifetime Achievement Award” (2007), and the GSA “Morris Chang Exemplary Leadership Award” (2009). Dr. de Geus is active in the business community, serving on the Boards of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG), Applied Materials, the Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA), and the Electronic Design Automation Consortium (EDAC). He is also heavily involved in education for the next generation, having created the Synopsys Outreach Foundation in 1999, which promotes project-based science and math learning throughout Silicon Valley.

Dean Drako, President & CEO
IC Manage

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.

Amit Gupta, President and CEO
Solido Design Automation

Amit Gupta is a serial entrepreneur who has co-founded successful venture-backed technology companies.

In 2005, he co-founded and became President & CEO of Solido Design Automation, which is now the leading supplier of variation-aware design software used by the world's top semiconductor companies.  In 1999, he co-founded and became President & CEO of Analog Design Automation, an EDA company providing analog circuit design automation software. Analog Design Automation's product leadership led to a successful acquisition by Synopsys in 2004.  Gupta has served on the boards of Solido Design, Analog Design, Clevor Technologies, Electronic System Design (ESD) Alliance, and have been Advisor to Drill-Tek MWD. He has given many talks on technology entrepreneurship for seminars and workshops, and mentors entrepreneurs starting and building businesses at various stages of growth. 

Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, he was product manager for the wireless group at Nortel Networks and a hardware engineer for the RF Communications group at Harris Corporation.  Gupta graduated with degrees in both Electrical Engineering and Computer Science with great Distinction from the University of Saskatchewan. He was awarded the 2005 outstanding alumni award for significant accomplishments since graduation.

John Kibarian, President & CEO
PDF Solutions

John K. Kibarian, Ph.D., one of our founders, has served as President since November 1991 and has served as our Chief Executive Officer since July 2000. Dr. Kibarian has served as a director since December 1992. Dr. Kibarian received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, an M.S. E.C.E. and a Ph.D. E.C.E. from Carnegie Mellon University.

Lucio Lanza, Managing Director
Lanza techVentures

Lucio Lanza was a recipient of the Phil Kaufman Award for Distinguished Contributions EDA in 2014 for his substantial impact on EDA through his strategic and financial assistance to innovative EDA companies. Since 2008, he has been a general partner of Radnorwood Capital, LLC, an investor in public technology companies, in addition to his role at Lanza techVentures, an early-stage venture capital and investment firm that he founded in 2001. Mr. Lanza joined the venture capital industry in 1990 after executive positions at Olivetti, Intel and Daisy Systems. From 1990-1995, he held an executive position at Cadence Design Systems, while simultaneously serving as a venture capitalist. He holds a doctorate in electronic engineering from Politecnico in Milan, Italy.

Walden C. Rhines, Chairman & CEO
Mentor Graphics Corporation

Wally Rhines is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mentor Graphics, a leader in worldwide electronic design automation with revenue of $1 billion in 2011. During his tenure at Mentor Graphics, revenue has more than tripled and Mentor has grown the industry’s number one market share solutions in four of the ten largest product segments of the EDA industry.

Prior to joining Mentor Graphics, Rhines was Executive Vice President of Texas Instruments’ Semiconductor Group, sharing responsibility for TI’s Components Sector, and having direct responsibility for the entire semiconductor business with more than $5 billion of revenue and over 30,000 people.

During his 21 years at TI, Rhines managed TI’s thrust into digital signal processing and supervised that business from inception with the TMS 320 family of DSP’s through growth to become the cornerstone of TI’s semiconductor technology. He also supervised the development of the first TI speech synthesis devices (used in “Speak & Spell”) and is co-inventor of the GaN blue-violet light emitting diode (now important for DVD players and low energy lighting). He was President of TI’s Data Systems Group and held numerous other semiconductor executive management positions.

Rhines has served five terms as Chairman of the Electronic Design Automation Consortium and is currently serving as co-vice chairman. He is also a board member of the Semiconductor Research Corporation and First Growth Family & Children Charities. He has previously served as chairman of the Semiconductor Technical Advisory Committee of the Department of Commerce, as an executive committee member of the board of directors of the Corporation for Open Systems and as a board member of the Computer and Business Equipment Manufacturers' Association (CBEMA), SEMI-Sematech/SISA, Electronic Design Automation Consortium (EDAC), University of Michigan National Advisory Council, Lewis and Clark College and SEMATECH.

Dr. Rhines holds a Bachelor of Science degree in metallurgical engineering from the University of Michigan, a Master of Science and Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from Stanford University, a master of business administration from Southern Methodist University and an Honorary Doctor of Technology degree from Nottingham Trent University.

Simon Segars, CEO

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.  

He is a member of UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s Business Advisory Group, and serves on the Boards of the Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA), the Electronic System Design Alliance (ESD Alliance), and as a non-executive director at Dolby Laboratories, Inc.

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.

Robert Smith, Executive Director
ESD Alliance

Bob is responsible for the management and operations of this industry consortium that provides services, market awareness and a common voice for EDA and IP suppliers to the global semiconductor industry.

Previously, Bob was Senior VP, Marketing and Business Development, Uniquify, Inc. He was responsible for brand development, positioning, strategy and business development activities.

Bob began his career in high tech as an analog design engineer working at Hewlett Packard. Since then he has spent over 30 years in various roles in marketing, business development and executive management primarily working with startup and early stage companies. These companies include IKOS Systems, Synopsys, LogicVision, and Magma Design Automation. He was a member of the IPO teams that took Synopsys public in 1992 and Magma public in 2001. Bob received his BSEE from U.C. Davis and his MSEE from Stanford University.

Lip-Bu Tan, President & CEO
Cadence Design Systems

Lip-Bu Tan has served as President and CEO of Cadence Design Systems, Inc. since January 2009 and has been a member of the Cadence Board of Directors since February 2004. He also serves as chairman of Walden International, a venture capital firm he founded in 1987. Prior to founding Walden, Tan was Vice President at Chappell & Co. and held management positions at EDS Nuclear and ECHO Energy.

He serves on the Board of Directors of both the Electronic Design Automation Consortium (EDAC) and the Global Semiconductor Association (GSA), as well as the boards of Ambarella Inc., SINA, and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. He also serves on the Board of Trustees and the School of Engineering Dean’s Council at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), and the College of Engineering Advisory Board at University of California Berkeley.

Tan received an M.S. in nuclear engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an MBA from the University of San Francisco, and a B.S. from Nanyang University in Singapore.

Mark Cameron White, Partner
White Summers Caffee & James

Mark White is a founding partner of White Summers Caffee & James, LLP and leads the firm’s international practice. Mark represents emerging growth, mid-stage and mezzanine stage companies and investment funds on all matters relating to the formation, financing, growth and liquidity of technology-based enterprises. Over the span of 20 years Mark has represented companies in well over 500+ financings and over 200+ acquisitions. He represents and advises companies on a wide variety of transactional matters, including business and legal issues as they pertain to complex strategic and venture financings, acquisitions, and licensing and distribution arrangements. Mark’s practice principally covers corporate, technology, financing and corporate partnering matters for a wide variety of private and public company clients. He regularly advises companies on strategic positioning, business model and revenue generation issues, the preparation of investment materials and presentations, and the structure of complex corporate reorganizations, joint ventures, divestitures, consolidations and commercial partnerships. Mark also represents investment funds on formation issues and regularly represents investors in making portfolio investments.