Dr. T. J. Rodgers 2005

Thurman J. Rodgers is founder, president, CEO and a director of Cypress Semiconductor Corp., a company that he has built into an international integrated circuits supplier. Dr. Rodgers was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by the global consulting company, Ernst & Young, in 1991 and “CEO of the Year” in 1996 by Financial World magazine. He also earned a Kachina Award from market research company In-Stat Inc. In addition, the October 2001 issue of Upside magazine cited Dr. Rodgers as one of the “100 People Who Changed Our World” and in 2002 he was named on the list of “Top 100 Chief Executives” by Chief Executive magazine.

A Sloan Scholar as an undergraduate at Dartmouth College, Dr. Rodgers graduated as Salutatorian with a double major in Physics and Chemistry. He was a Rufus Choate Scholar, and was awarded the Francis L. Town Scientific Prize, Phi Beta Kappa, and the Haseltine Chemstry-Physics Prize. Dr. Rodgers was awarded a Hertz Fellowship from Stanford University where he earned a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 1975. As a graduate student at Stanford, he invented, developed and patented VMOS technology which he sold to American Microsystems Inc. Following that, he managed the MOS memory group at AMI (1975-80). He then moved to Advanced Micro Devices where he ran their static RAM product group (1980-82).

Dr. Rodgers has been a particularly articulate advocate of the Silicon Valley entrepreneurial economy, representing the interests of Silicon Valley in hearings by the U.S. House Committee Ruling on Science, Space and Technology, the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Economic and Commercial Law.

His record of community service is also exemplary. Dr. Rodgers was the first Silicon Valley CEO to lead Second Harvest Food Bank Corporate Challenge Event, and since then, Cypress has donated the most pounds of food per employee in each of the past 12 years. He has received awards from the Healing Institute for support of the Carver Scholars Program. In 2000, he donated money and equipment to set up computer facilities at the East Palo Alto Computer Lab and the Girls Club of the Mid-Peninsula in Northern California. In 2004, his company inaugurated the Cypress Semiconductor Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Gymnasium at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.

Dr. Rodgers holds many U.S. patents in semiconductor design and manufacturing.