Applied Materials, the world’s largest maker of chip manufacturing equipment, has named Gary Dickerson as president and chief executive of the company. He replaces Mike Splinter, who will remain on the board and retain the title of executive chairman.
Santa Clara, Calif.-based Applied makes the multi-million-dollar equipment that is used to manufacture semiconductor chips in multi-billion-dollar factories. So the job of leading Applied Materials is a critical one for the future of Moore’s Law, the foundation of modern electronics. (Gordon Moore, chairman emeritus of Intel, predicted in 1965 that the number of transistors on a chip will double every couple of years). Moore’s Law has held up for decades and Applied’s advances are one reason that it has.
The appointment is effective on Sept. 1. Dickerson was previously president of Applied Materials, while Splinter served as CEO since 2003.
“As president, Gary has proved to be an outstanding leader and partner, focusing Applied on new strategies for profitable growth through our unmatched strength in precision materials engineering,” said Splinter, who is 62, in a statement. “I welcome him to the Board and have every confidence that his vision and personal drive will translate into remarkable success in leading Applied Materials as our next CEO.”
Dickerson, 56, has worked for many years in the chip equipment industry. He served as CEO of Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates for seven years until Applied bought it in 2011. He also spent 18 years at KLA-Tencor, another equipment maker.
“Today, Applied Materials enjoys a stronger foundation than ever before on which to build momentum for growth,” said Dickerson in a statement. “We have better and broader technology, very deep talent, and the passion to drive the materials innovation that will provide the device performance and yield solutions our customers need to advance and win. Our opportunities have never been greater, and I am grateful to Mike and the board for the privilege to lead Applied into a new era of growth and success.”
Splinter has worked in chips for 40 years. This fall, he will receive the Semiconductor Industry Association’s 2013 Robert N. Noyce award for his outstanding achievements in the business.