In 1986, I left Westinghouse Semiconductor after nearly 17 years and joined Siliconix, Santa Clara, CA as Manager of World-wide Applications Engineering. It was a huge change for me, both in adapting to Calfornia and to Silicon Valley. Fortunately, I had a good team of technical experts who were real assets to the Company. In 1988, we gathered all the troops from the UK, Japan, Germany, Hong Kong, and the USA for a week-long meeting at Headquarters.
In 1989, I became the Director of the Power Products business sector, responsible for power MOS transistors and Power Integrated Circuits.
I learned a lot of British terminology from Nigel and Phil, who also taught me to eat McDonald’s burgers with a knife and fork.
The young fellow with pre-maturely gray hair (2nd row right) is Ed Oxner, KB6QJ. Ed is the guru of FET technology having written several books on the topic and even today, still a leading authority on JFETs.
As you can see from my chubby face, I was enjoying too many hamburgers in those days! This photo was taken at the Sankt Wenzel Restaurant in Munich in 1992. We were exhibiting at Electronica. (L - R) David Brown, Bijan Mohandes, Nigel Evans, Wharton McDaniel, Bob Decker, and me. I think Phil Dewsbury must be the photographer, as there is an empty chair with a dark beer waiting
But after a week in Japan, I would generally lose about 6 lbs. At least temporarily. Here I am with Iwamato-san (who was called "Shogun" by his co-workers). I always enjoyed my trips to Osaka and the cultural knowledge passed on by Mitsugu Sasaki. At least I learned how to ask for beer, water, and coffee in Japanese. Perhaps, I might starve, but at least I was hydrated.
What I lost in Japan, I quickly regained in Germany. Once Siliconix was acquired by Temic (Daimler-Benz), I was part of a Strategic Marketing Committee, that usually convened in Germany. The Magnificent Seven (Peter Frey, Peter Weber, Roland Pudelko, Stephan Schmoll, Werner Schelling, David Stout, and Rich B.
Trips to the UK were always enjoyable, thanks to good friends like Nigel Evans. While he was stationed in Newbury, he endeavored to enlighten me on the finer points of British culture. I learned to eat "pub" grub and drink dark beer at a proper temperature. He did not succeed in getting me to enjoy real British cuisine, like curry or bangers and mash.
Sadly, Nigel passed away in June of 2010. Even after I left Siliconix, we continued to keep in contact and enjoyed exchanging e-mail nearly every week. He was a good friend and I miss him greatly.