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CEO Hassane El-Khoury Outlines Cypress’ New Philanthropy Initiative | Cypress Semiconductor

CEO Hassane El-Khoury Outlines Cypress’ New Philanthropy Initiative

Cypress CEO, Hassane El-Khoury, isn’t afraid of a challenge. He took over the reins from the founder CEO, led a major rebranding effort (Cypress 3.0) and sought to build and empower a more robust philanthropy program to better serve the communities where employees live.

We sat down with El-Khoury for a short Q&A to find out why he’s so passionate about philanthropy, and what Cypress’ new program will look like.

Q: First let’s start off with some background. What would be the short version of the mission of Cypress’ philanthropy program?

El-Khoury: It really comes down to enabling our employees, partners and customers to be contributors in their communities, innovators in the educational arena, and leaders in green technology and living. As a company, we believe that when we are involved in our communities, our company benefits.

Q: Are there specific areas of focus for the program?

El-Khoury: Absolutely. We’ve developed three pillars that define our corporate social responsibility initiative: community development, education and the environment.

From a community development perspective, we have a global footprint with offices in more than 10 countries around the world. We actively give back to society and strive to respond to the local community’s needs and challenges – whether that’s helping care for the homeless or helping to restore homes – both from a financial donation as well as volunteer support.

Education is important and close to me personally (to read more about that check out Hassane’s letter to his daughter). Every student deserves the opportunity to reach his or her full potential, regardless of social or economic status. These are the leaders of tomorrow and we strive to provide learning opportunities for underserved groups. And of course, being in technology, we have a sub-focus on stimulating interest in engineering and technology by improving the quality of STEM education in K-12.

The third pillar focuses on the environment. The technology and innovation we’ve witnessed over the last 40+ years is mind-boggling. But it’s also led to some serious concerns about the environment. At Cypress we continually work towards a sustainable society by balancing operations with environment to improve the quality of life for all. We’re investing in groups that raise environmental awareness, education and conservation to help preserve natural resources and create a better future for generations to come.

Q: Which organizations do you work with?

El-Khoury: Here, at our San Jose headquarters, we work with the Second Harvest Food Bank, Cristo Rey High School, Green Scholars, CAAAE, Stanford Blood Bank, and My New Red Shoes. In the Philippines, we work with two local schools on upkeep and providing school supplies. We are also actively involved in planting trees, beach clean-up efforts, and maintenance activities at under-served schools in Bangkok. Our Austin office participates in street clean-up initiatives, volunteers at the local animal shelter, and supports the meals-on-wheels program. The Colorado office is an active participant in various programs through the “care-and-share” organization of Southern Colorado. This includes backpack drives and running a mobile pantry. The Cypress Penang office works with a local blood bank and supports the Penang Cheshire Home for Disabled People. The Bangalore office in India donates to the Sankara Eye Hospital that provides treatment to underprivileged people and provides supplies to local schools. Our Israel office works with Beit Issie Shapiro to support multiple charitable activities in the region.

Q: Why is this something Cypress, and you, are passionate about?

El-Khoury: The short answer is that it’s the right thing to do. We’re a bunch of passionate people – just look at the message we live and breathe every day: “We see a world of problems and it’s AWESOME!” We want to support and nurture that passion and enable our employees to give back because they enjoy it.

As a side note, I want to just say that I am extremely proud of our Cypress community and the ongoing efforts to strengthen our philanthropy program and create a positive, lasting impact. For the past two years, Cypress has received the Silicon Valley Corporate Philanthropy Award and for the past three years, our Cypress India location has been listed in the "Top 100 Best Companies for Women in India". These awards are a true testament to our team’s passion for doing what is right for our larger community.

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