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From our Founder | Cypress Semiconductor

Date Title
Sep 22, 2015 Cypress Progress Report: Strong Traction with Cross-Selling Initiatives
Apr 01, 2015 New Cypress: A Commitment to High-Performance Embedded Systems
Jan 07, 2014 T. J. Rodgers - Stanford Radio Interview
Jul 19, 2013 Cypress CEO: Working With Tesla
Jan 08, 2013 T.J. Rodgers completes world's first wireless wine fermentation network for UC Davis winery
Sep 05, 2012 Second Harvest Food Bank opens new facility
Jun 21, 2012 People Are the Economy
Apr 27, 2012 CY CEO Talks Earnings Results
Jun 20, 2011 Building donated to Second Harvest Food Bank
Feb 03, 2011 Executive Decision: Cypress Semiconductor
Aug 24, 2010 New, Subtle Signs Of Strength?
Sep 19, 2008 Cypress Goes Back to the Future With Programmable Chips
Aug 05, 2008 Electronic Business Interview: T.J. Rodgers: Programmability, Politics and Profitability
Jun 30, 2008 Reuters interview: Cypress CEO sees big gains in programmable chips
Mar 06, 2008 CNET Interview: Cypress' T.J. Rodgers on solar, politics, and capitalism
Mar 04, 2008 Forbes Magazine Interview: Silicon Valley Can't Be Beat
Dec 03, 2007 BusinessWeek Interview: T.J. Rodgers' Startup Strategy
Jun 27, 2007 EDN Magazine Interview: 2007 Movers and Shakers
Jun 22, 2007 Interview with The American: Blue Skies, High Anxiety
Jun 01, 2007 Business 2.0 Interview: Ripping up the rules of management
Jul 18, 2006 CNET Newsmaker: Cypress CEO: Time to take a different tack on energy
Nov 11, 2005 LA Times Interview: This Chief Executive Is Blunt With a Capital B
Nov 11, 2005 Reason Magazine Interview: Rethinking the Social Responsibility of Business
Jan 01, 2005 T.J. Rodgers in Chief Executive Magazine
Apr 28, 2003 Interview with, part four: T.J. Rodgers on Perpetual Entrepeneurship
Apr 21, 2003 Interview with, part three: T.J. Rodgers on Capital Allocation
Apr 18, 2003 Fox News: T.J. Rodgers' interview with Brenda Buttner, April 18, 2003
Apr 17, 2003 Interview with, part two: T.J. Rodgers on Compensation and Goal Setting
Apr 14, 2003 Interview with T.J. Rodgers' 20 years of No Excuses Management
Jan 30, 2003 Fox News: T.J. Rodgers in the State of the Union Reaction CEO Roundtable
Sep 13, 2001 Fox News: Cypress CEO T.J. Rodgers talks with Fox News
Sep 01, 2000 Corporate Board Member Magazine: Inside the Board at Cypress Semiconductor, Spring 2000
Sep 09, 1999 Investor's Business Daily: On High Tech and Gov't
Dec 09, 1991 T.J. Rodgers in BusinessWeek: The Bad Boy of Silicon Valley
Dec 01, 1990 Upside Magazine: T.J. Rodgers in an exclusive interview
Feb 01, 1984 INC Magazine article: The Third Wave; U.S. entrepreneurs are filling new niches in the semiconductor industry
Date Title
Aug 20, 2013 CEO: Targeting the wealthy kills jobs
Aug 18, 2013 Targeting the Wealthy Kills Jobs
Jun 07, 2013 Government's 'Economy of Envy' Hurts Jobs: CEO
Jun 06, 2013 Economic Threat of Government Spending
May 11, 2012 T.J. Rodgers to Warren Buffett: Wise Up on Taxes
May 04, 2012 Jobs Numbers a Result of Socialist Policies
Feb 03, 2012 Battle of the Economic Plans
Nov 01, 2011 Will Super Committee Grow the U.S. Economy?
Feb 09, 2011 Just Say No to Subsidies and Global Warming
May 11, 2009 Cypress Startups: History, Theory of Funding, Lessons
Oct 23, 2008 SJ Mercury News Opinion: BART tax would throw good money after bad
Aug 19, 2008 CATO Institute Briefing: FASB: Making Financial Statements Mysterious
Jan 05, 2006 San Jose Mercury News Opinion: British, U.S. spying draws us closer to Orwell's Big Brother
Sep 24, 2003 Investor's Business Daily Viewpoint: Modest Recovery Setting Up Next Semiconductor Boom
Aug 25, 2003 The Wall Street Journal Letter to the Editor: Arnold Shouldn't Align With Omaha
Apr 22, 2003 T.J. Rodgers' Letter to Forbes Editor Larry Light
Mar 04, 2003 The Wall Street Journal: 'Goodwill' Is Not an Option
Oct 25, 2002 Corporate Accounting Congress and FASB Ignore Business Realities
Oct 08, 2002 Cypress President T.J. Rodgers Communicates to Shareholders and Employees Regarding Cypress Share Price
Sep 27, 2002 Download T.J. Rodgers' CDC 2002 Keynote Presentation
Jul 18, 2002 When Accountants Attack Profits: The GAAP Accounting Exodus
Mar 04, 2002 The Wall Street Journal Op-Ed: Options Aren't Optional in Silicon Valley
Dec 01, 2000 T.J. Rodgers' testimony, Derail Measure A, It's a Loser
Nov 04, 2000 The New York Times: Yes, Even the Rich Deserve a Tax Cut
Jul 25, 2000 Cypress's Rodgers, 'Why Cypress Acquired Silicon Light Machines'
Mar 14, 1999 San Jose Mercury News: Valley Should Stand Up To Jackson's Divisive Tactics, March 14, 1999
Mar 09, 1999 The Wall Street Journal: Give Us Your Tired, Your Poor - and Your Engineers
Nov 19, 1998 The Cato Institute: Why Silicon Valley Should Not Normalize Relations With Washington, DC
Oct 20, 1998 The New York Times Op-Ed: What's Good for Microsoft
Apr 27, 1998 Electronic Engineering Times: T. J. Rodgers questions IEEE's opposition to raising visa caps
Feb 25, 1998 Dr. Rodgers' Testimony: Immigration: The View From Silicon Valley
Jun 03, 1997 Dr. Rodgers' testimony: Declaration of Independence: End Corporate Welfare
Apr 29, 1997 The New York Times: Holding Up the Shareholder
Mar 07, 1997 The New York Times: Ebonics: Empty Theories and Empty Promises, March 7, 1997
Jan 30, 1997 The Wall Street Journal: Why Europe's Silicon Valley Is In a Rut, January 30, 1997
Jan 19, 1997 The San Jose Mercury News: Immigration: The View from Silicon Valley
Sep 30, 1996 EE Times Op-Ed: New Social Contract Governs Business
Sep 23, 1996 The Wall Street Journal: The Initiative That Would Kill Silicon Valley
Jun 01, 1996 Cypress CEO Responds to Nun's Urging a 'Politically Correct' Board Make-up
Mar 12, 1996 The Wall Street Journal: Downsizing Crisis? Not in Silicon Valley
Mar 01, 1996 Thinking About Cypress Stock
Dec 24, 1995 The San Jose Mercury News: Litigation reform: Did Congress do the right thing?, December 24, 1995
Mar 25, 1994 Dr. Rodgers' in a Speech to Silicon Valley Rally Supporting Employee Equity: Let Our Options Go
Oct 01, 1993 Across the Board Magazine: How To Keep Top Notch Employees written by T.J. Rodgers, William Taylor and Rick Foreman
Mar 25, 1993 Dr. Rodgers' Testimony: High Technology Innovation: Free Markets or Government Subsidies?
Jul 23, 1991 Dr. Rodgers' Testimony: Some Concrete Proposals to Make the Semiconductor Industry More Competitive, July 23, 1991
May 21, 1990 Dr. Rodgers' Speech to the American Electronics Association: The American Semiconductor Industry: Winners or Whiners?, May 21, 1990
Nov 14, 1989 Dr. Rodgers' Speech: An Argument Against Antiturst Exemption for the U.S. Memories Cartel, November 14, 1989
Jun 10, 1989 Dr. Rodgers' Keynote to the Graduating Class of the Dartmouth College Thayer School of Engineering: An Entrepreneur's View of American Competitiveness, June 10, 1989

T.J. Rodgers founded Cypress in 1982 and took it public in 1986. He is a former chairman of the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) and SunPower Corp. (solar energy systems) and currently sits on the boards of directors of high-technology companies, including Agiga Tech (nvRAMs), and Bloom Energy (fuel cells).

Rodgers was a Sloan scholar at Dartmouth, where he graduated in 1970 as Salutatorian with a double major in physics and chemistry and won the Townsend Prize as the top physics and chemistry student in his class. He was a Rufus Choate scholar between 1966-1970, and was awarded the Francis L. Town Scientific Prize (1st Prize) for the 1967-68 school year. He also achieved Phi Beta Kappa distinction in 1969, and earned the Haseltine Chemistry-Physics prize at graduation. He attended Stanford University on a Hertz fellowship, earning a master's degree (1973) and a Ph.D. (1975) in electrical engineering. At Stanford, Rodgers invented, developed, and patented VMOS technology, which he sold for cash and royalties to American Microsystems Inc. (AMI). He managed the MOS memory design group at AMI from 1975 to 1980 before moving to Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), where he ran AMD's static RAM product group until 1982.

Dr. Rodgers’ 14 U.S. patents include: US7045387 - Method of performing back-end manufacturing of an integrated circuit (2006); US6903002 - Low-k dielectric layer with air gaps (2005); US6847218 - Probe card with an adapter layer for testing integrated circuits (2005); US6835616 - Method of forming a floating metal structure in an integrated circuit (2004); US6730545 - Method of performing back-end manufacturing of an integrated circuit device (2004); US6185126B1 - Self-initializing RAM-based programmable device (2001); US6131140 - Integrated cache memory with system control logic and adaptation of RAM bus to a cache pinout (2000); US5977638 - Edge metal for interconnect layers (1999); US5835401- DRAM with hidden refresh (1998); US4764248 - Rapid thermal nitridized oxide locos process (1988); US4222063 - VMOS Floating gate memory with breakdown voltage lowering region (1980); US4222062 - VMOS Floating gate memory device (1980); US3975221 - Low capacitance V groove MOS NOR gate and method of manufacture (1976); US3924265 - Low capacitance V groove MOS NOR gate and method of manufacture (1975) and US3878552 - Bipolar Integrated Circuit and Method (1975).

Rodgers was the founding CEO of Cypress in 1982 and has since built it into an international supplier of high-performance, mixed-signal, programmable solutions with nearly 3,600 employees. Called "a quintessential entrepreneurial company" by The Wall Street Journal, Cypress and its management team have received many awards for excellence in financial management. These include an Encore Award from the Stanford University Business School as entrepreneurial company of the year in 1988; an Entrepreneur of the Year award from the global consulting company, Ernst & Young, in 1991; three Bronze Awards and two Silver Awards from The Wall Street Transcript for outstanding management; and a Kachina Award from market-research company In-Stat Inc. for excellence in financial management. In 2005, Cypress was named one of the “100 Best Corporate Citizens” in the U.S. by Business Ethics magazine.

In its October 2001 issue, Upside Magazine cited Rodgers as one of the “100 People Who Changed Our World.” Financial World magazine named Rodgers CEO of the Year in 1996. In 2002, Rodgers was named to a list of the year’s “Top 100 Chief Executives” by Chief Executive magazine. In 2005, Rodgers was inducted into the Silicon Valley Engineering Council Hall of Fame, joining Silicon Valley icons Gordon Moore and Steve Wosniak. In 2006, he was honored with a Fellow Award from the International Engineering Consortium. In 2011, Rodgers received a "Visionary Award" from the SVForum—a Silicon Valley technology leadership organization—in recognition of his role driving global innovation. Past award winners include Bill Gates, and Gordon Moore.

Rodgers has testified before Congress five times. A proponent of free markets, he twice advocated the elimination of corporate subsidies (including subsidies for his own company) in testimony before the House Committee Ruling on Science, Space, and Technology, presenting to the committee in 1993 and 1991. Rodgers again condemned corporate subsidies in 1997 at hearings by a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs. In a similar vein, in 1990, he argued against antitrust exemption for the U.S. Memories cartel in testimony before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Economic and Commercial Law. In a presentation to the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1998, Rodgers supported a proposal to raise the ceiling on the number of electronics engineers permitted to enter the U.S. on special visas, maintaining that the influx of talent increased the competitive advantage of U.S. high-technology companies.

Rodgers’ testimony—along with his contributions to a broad spectrum of national and international business and news publications—are available on the Cypress website at under the “From the CEO” category.

Rodgers has been cited for his achievements in supporting the philosophy of capitalism and freedom, and for his contributions to philanthropic and other nonbusiness groups. In 2001, Rodgers received the Silicon Valley Capitalism Award for “exemplifying the virtues of capitalism and defending capitalism with ethical principles in the media.” Also that year, Rodgers was presented with an Angel Award by the International Angel Investors organization for his venture-capital activities supporting the semiconductor industry, and the inaugural Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the Smith Center for Private Enterprise Studies at California State University at Hayward. He joined a short list of scholars, including Milton Friedman, in receiving an Honorary Degree in Social Sciences from the University of Guatemala for his numerous essays on the topics of capitalism and freedom. He received an Outstanding Individual Entrepreneurship Award from the U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship in 1997, and the City of Santa Clara, California named him Entrepreneur of the Year in 1986.

Inside Cypress, Rodgers has perpetuated a spirit of entrepreneurship by launching a series of autonomous businesses that have relied on the parent company for funding in much the same way as startup companies rely on venture capital. This “federation of autonomous subsidiaries” has delivered multiple successes for Cypress and its shareholders, including Cypress Microsystems, which developed Cypress’s flagship PSoC programmable system-on-chip technology, and SunPower, which was spun out of Cypress in 2008 in a $2.6 billion tax-free shareholder distribution.

Rodgers first described the tenets of his “internal startup” concept in his 1992 book “No Excuses Management” ( The book also set forth Rodgers’ philosophy of how to hire, manage and retain the best people; set and meet aggressive strategic and financial goals; and manage capital efficiently in a hypercompetitive marketplace.

Rodgers has been a passionate defender of shareholder rights, addressing the subject repeatedly in his speeches and writings. In 1996, Rodgers took a Catholic nun to task for suggesting that the Cypress Board of Directors lacked ethnic and gender diversity. In a far-ranging letter to the nun (, which later became the focus of a page one story in The Wall Street Journal, Rodgers argued that attempts to make corporations more “socially responsible” put shareholder money—intended to fund retirement and college tuition—at risk of being partially controlled by activist groups that have no right to usurp control of the wealth earned by others. He returned to the theme in a 1997 opinion piece for The New York Times, criticizing the Clinton administration for a proposal to mandate corporate contributions to philanthropic causes. In the article, “Holding Up the Shareholder” (, Rodgers argued that subordinating shareholder value to so-called social responsibility cheats both shareholders and society at large.

Rodgers has encouraged Cypress to play an active role in the development of alternative energy solutions, with the goal of increasing shareholder value by serving a societal need. In 2003, Cypress made its initial investment in SunPower, which later became a fully owned Cypress subsidiary. In 2007, Cypress launched internal startup Cypress Envirosystems to develop energy-efficient solutions for legacy energy control systems in existing plants and buildings, including wireless thermostats, gauge readers and steam heating system monitors. In 2010, Rodgers declared “energy independence” from the local power grid for Cypress’s San Jose, Calif., headquarters, announcing a five-year plan to make it 100% independent. Self-generated renewable electricity from fuel cells and solar power currently supplies 75 percent of the energy requirements of Cypress’s headquarters campus.

Cypress technology is also helping to drive innovation in one of the world’s oldest businesses—winemaking. Rodgers recently donated 152 state-of-the-art fermentors—valued at $1 million—to the school of oenology and viticulture at the University of California, Davis. The fermentors monitor the temperature and sugar level of their contents using Cypress PSoC and WirelessUSB chips in a system designed by Rodgers. The UC Davis installation will comprise the wine industry’s first-ever Internet-based network of radio-linked fermentors.

Outside business, Rodgers was the first Silicon Valley CEO to lead Santa Clara County’s Second Harvest Food Bank Corporate Challenge event. In 2005, Rodgers chaired the event for a second time, garnering the Food Drive Chair Recognition Award. Cypress won its 20th consecutive victory in 2010 for the most pounds of food donated per employee, with a total of more than one million pounds of food, or 3,710 pounds averaged per employee.

In 2007, Rodgers received the Star Award for Extraordinary Support of the Green Scholars Program. The program is an initiative of the California Alliance of African American Educators and focuses on advancing educational opportunities for African American students pursuing careers related to math, science or technology. The alliance also recognized Rodgers as a Special Corporate Honoree for 2007. Rodgers received awards from the Healing Institute for his support of the [George Washington] Carver Scholars Program in 2000, 2001 and 2002. Between 1998-2001, he was honored with annual appreciation awards from the Westside Kickers Track Club, a team of inner-city athletes from Oakland, Calif., whose training and travel to regional and national competitions was underwritten by Cypress. The Kickers club won the USA Junior Olympic Championship in 2000.

In 1999, Rodgers’ support of a team of underprivileged students from San Jose-based Broadway High School helped the group to capture the Silicon Valley Regional Championship in a national robotics competition. The competition was sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and NASA’s Ames Research facility. The Broadway team went on to win the Silicon Valley Regional Champion Award in 2000 and 2001, capturing the Lonestar Regional Champions Award in 2000; a Southern California Regional Champions Award in 2001; and second place in the National Championship in 2001.

In 2000, Rodgers set up computer facilities with Internet access for economically disadvantaged Northern California student groups, donating equipment and money to the East Palo Alto Computer Lab and the Girls Club of the Mid-Peninsula.

In 2004, Cypress inaugurated the Cypress Semiconductor Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Gymnasium at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in California. A year later, the company donated funds to help the medical center establish a mobile prenatal clinic.

Rodgers’ public presentations include a 2002 speech criticizing accounting practices mandated by the Federal Accounting Standards Board; it was delivered to the Stanford Directors’ College and published by the libertarian Cato Institute under the title “Corporate Accounting: Congress and FASB Ignore Business Realities” (see His November 1998 speech, “Why Silicon Valley Should Not Normalize Relations with Washington DC,” was the keynote address at an event cosponsored by Cato and the Economist magazine.

Rodgers’ speech, “Let Our Options Go!” was delivered in 1994 to a grassroots rally in Silicon Valley supporting broad-based employee-equity programs. At that time, it helped to kill FASB’s attempt to force companies to expense stock options on their income statement. His 1990 speech, “The American Semiconductor Industry: Winner or Whiners?” was delivered to a meeting of the American Electronics Association in Seattle, Washington, and took his own industry to task for competitive losses to Japan during the late 1980s. Speaking to the June 1989 graduating class at Dartmouth College, Rodgers’ “An Entrepreneur’s View of American Competitiveness” extolled the virtues of entrepreneurial initiative.

Rodgers' personal interests include movies; cooking, especially Italian, French, and Chinese cuisine; collecting wines, notably French burgundies; and tending his three Pinot Noir vineyards, with which his mission is to produce “the best Pinot Noir in the New World.” He is a member of the Board of Visitors and Fellows at the Department of Viticulture and Enology, University of California, Davis. In addition, Rodgers is an avid jogger, having logged 10-20 miles per week since 1963, when he watched then President John F. Kennedy’s speech launching the President’s Council on Physical Fitness.