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Gilbert Frank Amelio (born 1 March 1943 in New York Citymarker) is an Americanmarker technology executive. He grew up in Miami, Floridamarker and received a bachelors, masters, and PhD in physics from the Georgia Institute of Technologymarker. Amelio worked at Bell Labsmarker, Fairchild Semiconductor, and the semiconductor division of Rockwell International but is best remembered as a former CEO of National Semiconductor and Applemarker. Amelio was CEO of National Semiconductor from 27 May 1991 to 2 February 1996. During his tenure at National Semiconductor, Amelio cut costs and returned the company to profitability.

Career

1970–1979: CCDs at Bell Labs and Faircild

At Bell Labsmarker in 1970, Amelio was on the team that demonstrated the first working charge-coupled device (CCD).He moved went to Fairchild Semiconductor in 1971, where he led the development of the first commercial CCD image sensors in the early 1970s, and in 1977 became head of the MOS division.

1979–1991: Rockwell

1991–1995: National Semiconductor

Amelio was CEO of National Semiconductor from 1991 to 1995.

1994–1997: Apple Computer

In 1994 Amelio joined the Board of Directors of Applemarker. After his resignation from National Semiconductor Amelio became Apple CEO on 2 February 1996, succeeding Michael Spindler. His salary was a reported $990,000 plus bonuses and a $5 million loan. He also received approximately $100,000 for the use of his business jet by Apple the previous year according to the section "Certain Transactions" in the Apple Proxy Statement for 1996.

Amelio cited several problems at Apple including a shortage of cash and liquidity, low quality products, lack of a viable operating system strategy, undisciplined corporate culture, and fragmentation in trying to do too much and in too many directions. To address these problems Amelio cut costs, reduced Apple's work force by one third, discontinued the Copland operating system project, and oversaw the development of Mac OS 8.

To replace Copland and fulfill the need for a next generation operating system Amelio started negotiations to buy BeOS from Be Inc. but negotiations stalled when Be CEO Jean-Louis Gassée demanded $200 million; Apple was unwilling to offer more than $125 million. In November 1996 Amelio started discussions with Steve Jobs' NeXT, and bought the company on 4 February 1997 for $429 million. NeXT's operating system became the basis for Mac OS X. Amelio later stated he felt he'd overpaid for NeXT.

During Amelio's tenure Apple's stock continued to slump and hit a 12 year low in Q2 1997 that was at least partially caused by a single sale of 1.5 million shares of Apple stock on 26 June by an anonymous party.. Apple lost another $708 million. However, Apple did report a $25 million dollar profit prior to Amelio leaving. Apple had a multi-billion dollar loss the year before. On the 4 July 1997 weekend Jobs convinced the directors to oust Amelio in a boardroom coup; Amelio submitted his resignation less than a week later; and Jobs then became interim CEO on 16 September. In 2007, Jobs summed up his predecessor's tenure with a quote that he attributed to Amelio:

"Apple is like a ship with a hole in the bottom, and my job is to point the ship in the right direction"[38360]


1998–present: after Apple

Since 1998 Amelio has been a venture capitalist focusing on early-stage startups. He is currently Senior Partner at Sienna Ventures in Sausalito, Californiamarker, and CEO of Acquicor, a company he co-founded with Ellen Hancock and Steve Wozniak. Acquicor completed the acquisition of Jazz Semiconductor in Newport Beach, CA in early 2007 and has since been granted SEC approval.

In February 2001 Amelio became CEO of Advanced Communications Technologies (ADC). ADC is the United Statesmarker arm of an Australian firm that has developed a product for the wireless communications industry called SpectruCell. SpectruCell supports multiple protocols and is software upgradeable, which has been characterised as a big boon to the cell phone market.

Amelio is a former director and chairman of the Semiconductor Industry Association and since 1996 has been an advisor to the Malaysia Multimedia Super Corridor and to Malaysia's Prime Minister. He is a current or past director of AT&T Inc., Pacific Telesis, Chiron, Sematech, the Georgia Tech Advisory Board (as chairman) and the American Film Institute. In June 2003 he was named Chairman of the Board of Ripcord Networks; where he joined Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, ex-CTO Ellen Hancock, and other Apple alumni. In Oct 2005 he joined the Board of Advisors to Vanguard PAC, now TheVanguard.Org.

Amelio is an IEEE Fellow, has been awarded 16 patents, and is the author of three books, An American Imperative (1993), Profit from Experience (1995) and On the Firing Line: My 500 Days at Apple (1998), the latter two of which were business best sellers.

Bibliography

  • "Profit from Experience" by Gil Amelio, ISBN 0684837021
  • "On the Firing Line: My 500 Days at Apple" by Gil Amelio, ISBN 0887309194


Notes

  1. MacObserver, Former Apple CEO Gil Amelio Lands A New CEO Job, February 6 2001
  2. The Vanguard.org - Board of Advisors - Dr. Gil Amelio


References

  • Amelio, Gil, On the Firing Line: My 500 Days at Apple, ISBN 0-88730-918-6 (1998, excerpt)


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