SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Alexander Vladimir d'Arbeloff, who co-founded Teradyne Inc. before becoming the eighth chairman of the MIT Corp., died after an undisclosed illness on Tuesday (July 8). He was 80.
As chairman of the MIT Corp., d'Arbeloff ''provided crucial leadership'' for the organization, the Institute's board of trustees, according to a statement from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
"All of us privileged to know Alex are deeply saddened by his loss," said MIT President Susan Hockfield, in a statement. "MIT has lost an extraordinary friend who paired his passionate devotion to the Institute with a brilliantly dispassionate, clear-eyed view of how it could grow even stronger.''
According to MIT, d'Arbeloff was born in 1927 in Paris to parents who had fled the Russian Revolution a decade earlier. The d'Arbeloffs moved to South America in 1936, to New York two years later and to Los Angeles the following year, before returning to New York in 1940.
After graduating from MIT with a bachelor's in management in 1949, d'Arbeloff ''found that his can-do attitude didn't always sit well with superiors,'' according to MIT. ''In later years he was proud to note that he was fired from three jobs during a 10-year period, and that while serving in the U.S. Army reserves, his commanding officer berated him for having 'antagonized every officer' at their post.''
"I didn't feel I had," d'Arbeloff told an interviewer in 1997, recalling the episode. "I didn't do it on purpose. I just wanted to do more than they were willing to do."
In 1960, d'Arbeloff co-founded ATE vendor Teradyne with Nick DeWolf--a former MIT classmate. During his tenure as president and CEO of Teradyne, the company's annual sales rose from $13 million to more than $1 billion.
In 1997, he was named chairman of the MIT Corp., having served as a member since 1989. D'Arbeloff became honorary chairman of the organization after stepping down as chairman in 2003.
As a professor of the practice, he taught at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Department of Mechanical Engineering. D'Arbeloff also served on the board of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research.
D'Arbeloff was the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and a director of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. He also served on the boards of several corporations and on the board of the Whitehead Institute, which he chaired from 2004 to 2006.
Funeral services and burial will be private. The family has said that in lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to MIT for the d'Arbeloff Fund for Excellence in Education. Checks should be mailed to the Office of Memorial Gifts, 600 Memorial Drive, W98, Cambridge, MA 02139-4307. For more information, please contact Bonny Kellermann, director of memorial gifts, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-253-9722.
He is survived by his wife, Brit; daughters, Katherine and Alexandra; sons, Eric and Matthew; and six grandchildren.