Eric Lidow, International Rectifier founder, dies at 100
1/22/2013 1:45 AM EST
Power electronics innovation
Throught the 1950s and '60s, Lidow and IR were not only at the
forefront of power electronics innovation, but were leaders in the
global expansion of the semiconductor market. The company set up
semiconductor joint ventures throughout Europe and Japan in the
1950s, often as the first semiconductor company in the country. He
went into India in the 1960s, and China in the early 1980s.
late 1950s, fascinated about the potential utility of electric
vehicles but more keen for some publicity, he built a solar-powered car, based on the 1912 Baker
Electric (pictured nearby), with a 10,000-cell panel on the car's roof. At one point,
Vice President Richard Nixon rode around in the vehicle for
"I felt that the company required some recognition, because it was
totally unknown," Lidow said. "No one knew what International
Rectifier was. In the early days, I mentioned to one lady that I was
a rectifier engineer, and she asked me if that was legal."
Oleg Khaykin, IR's president and CEO, said, "The development and
growth of International Rectifier was a great source of pride to him
and as we continue to grow as a company, the legacy of Eric's
leadership during his 60 years at IR will remain."
Indeed that legacy includes two of his sons, Derek and Alex,
enjoying long semiconductor-industry careers--Alex for many years as
IR's CEO and Derek as IR CEO and later founder and CEO of iSuppli,
now IHS iSuppli. In addition, he is also survived by a third son,
Alan, a daughter, Melodie and nine grandchildren. In 1952, he
married the woman he called the love of his life, Elizabeth, who is
an award-winning painter.
During that Italian lunch in seaside Southern California--where Eric
Lidow always ordered a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne to
celebrate life--he said "I don't know why me, but I'm greatly
honored (by the lifetime achievement award). Moments like these also
offer great opportunities to look ahead. We all must find ways to
continue to innovate."
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