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Micron Technology Inc, one of the memory chipmaker in the United States, yet suffered a major blow with the death of its Chairman and Chief Executive Steve Appleton Friday in a small plane crash. The unfortunate event came amidst a turbulent period for the chipmaker, which is already struggling with declining prices and slow computer sales.
Appleton, 51, a thirty-years industry veteran who usually does stunts at airshows, died after his plane crashed at an airport in Boise, Idaho airport where the memory chipmaker is also headquartered.
The tight-knit semiconductor industry was stunned by his death. Appleton was well-known in Boise, a city in the western United States with an estimated population of 200,000. He is also an Idaho Business Council member.
The chipmaker’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Mark Durcan, who is already scheduled to retire in August, will assume the responsibilities of a CEO until the board of directors of the company can select a permanent successor. In a statement, Micron said that the directors are set to meet over the weekend.
Before the announcement of Appleton’s demise was announced, trading of Micron shares halted and only resumed after the regular market closed. The value of company’s shares quickly went down by six percent.
Upon learning of the accident and death of Appleton, Kevin Cassidy, a Stifel Nicolaus analyst, said, “Steve was a high-energy, never-give-up type of inspirational leader of the company. The entire industry will miss Steve’s energy. That said, Micron has a deep bench of managers that shared Steve’s vision.”