LONDON – Steve Appleton, chairman and CEO of memory chip vendor Micron Technology Inc., died in plane crash Friday (Feb. 3) in Boise, Idaho.
Appleton, 51, led Micron as CEO since 1994, having joined the company in 1983.
He was the only passenger in an experimental fixed-wing plane when it crashed at Boise airport, according to an Associated Press report.
Micron's board of directors said in a statement: "Steve's passion and energy left an indelible mark on Micron, the Idaho community and the technology industry at large."
Mark Durcan, Micron's president and chief operating officer, will assume the responsibilities of CEO until a successor to Appleton is named, Micron said. The company's board will meet over the weekend to discuss the situation.
Micron announced last month that Durcan plans to retire in August, at the end of the company's current fiscal year.
"Steve was a true friend who will be dearly missed by all of us," Durcan said through a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and our team members as we all grieve this tragic loss."
Appleton, an avid experimental pilot, had walked away from a plane crash in 2004. On that incident, he was injured when his stunt plane crashed in the desert east of Boise.
Born and raised in California, Appleton attended Boise State University and joined Micron shortly after graduation in 1983. He rose through the organization to become president and COO in 1991 before taking the position of CEO in 1994.
As well as serving on Micron's board, Appleton served on the boards of Sematech and the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). In November 2011 Appleton was awarded the 2011 Robert N. Noyce Award by the SIA in recognition of his significant contribution to the U.S. semiconductor industry.
-- Dylan McGrath contributed to this report from San Francisco.
Related links and articles:
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