Micron CEO dies in plane crash

Micron CEO dies in plane crash
51-year-old Appleton, for three decades, the industry veteran who performed stunts in the air show, has died after a small plane that he piloted crashed at the airport in Boise, Idaho, where the chips with headquarters.

His death shook the close-knit semiconductor industry. Appleton was a prominent figure in Boise, the city of 200,000 in the western United States, as well as a member of the Idaho Business Council.

President and Chief Operating Officer Mark Durcan, who was to retire in August, will take the responsibility of the CEO to the board of directors may appoint a permanent successor. Directors will meet at the weekend, Micron said in a statement.

Shares of Micron, stopped before the announcement, resumed trading after the regular market close and quickly slid 6 percent.

"Steve was a great energy, never give up the type of inspiration. Entire industry will miss the energy of Steve," said an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus Kevin Cassidy. "However, Micron has a deep bench of managers who share the vision of Steve."

The accident occurred while the pilot flew Appleton Lancair single engine aircraft, airport spokeswoman Patti Miller, Boise told Reuters. Lancair sells kits to build high-end aircraft.

After take-off and reach a height of about 200 feet, Appleton radio that he had problems and needed to turn around, Boise police spokeswoman Lynn Hightower told reporters.

The aircraft rolled left, then fell to the ground where he fell, leading to a high heat and leave the twisted, black debris.

Appleton, a native of California, joined Micron to work the night shift immediately after the University of Idaho in 1983. His subsequent meteoric rise led to his becoming the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company, at age 34 in 1994.

He resigned in 1996 amid rumors of power struggles meeting room, only to return nine days after the council asked him to reconsider his decision.

Appleton, a well-known sports enthusiast, who also scuba, dive, surf, and raced off-road vehicles and motorcycles, has received the prestigious Robert Noyce - the highest award of the industry - from the Semiconductor Industry Association in 2011.

The award, named in honor of the founders of Intel Corp, Robert Noyce is granted to those who have contributed greatly to the production of microchips.

Headquarters staff a vast Micron and plant, where several flags flew at half mast, were obviously upset, while others adhered to the procedure.

"I was at the meeting, which was normal, but in the end, when she broke up was nothing but a sad talk about Steve." said Officer Mike Peterson. "I know he loved airplanes, so if it will go, I think it was a setup."

Officer Melanie Wood said: "Someone told me at my cabin, and then I read the letter, and we do not believe that at first he was so young, you do not expect something like this.".

Heavy losses:

"Steve was a visionary and a true leader in our industry. He will be sorely missed by the entire community of semiconductors and our prayers and thoughts are with his family," Brian Toohey, president of the Semiconductor Industry Association, said in a statement.

Micron makes memory chips used in personal computers, smart phones and tablets and compete with Asian competitors Hynix Semiconductor Inc, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Toshiba Corp.

Manufacturers of memory chips are struggling as falling prices and a huge investment to remain competitive saddle them huge losses. Micron is the last remaining U.S. producer of memory chips.

Boise Mayor Dave Bieter said Appleton was sensitive, as job cuts at Micron in recent years, the effect on the community.

"He called me and told me to come up with layoffs and explained how the business end of the chip technology and Micron will develop a strong will on the other end. And it happened exactly as he said he would," said Bieter told reporters.

The company announced last week that Durcan will retire in August, but the death of Appleton raised questions about whether he can stay.

Seen as a more-keeled Micron top technologist, Durcan took the major role of the chips every day for the past few years, and larger than life Appleton focused more on strategy.

The loss of the conclusion of transactions Micron could waylay the possible acquisition of troubled Japanese rival Elpida Memory. Saddled with millions of dollars of operating losses and major upcoming debt payments, Elpida may be in talks to be bought by Micron or reach some kind of partnership, the media in recent assumptions.

Risky lifestyles:

Appleton's death raises questions about what some of the leaders' brave life is too risky for shareholders.

British tycoon Richard Branson is trying to circle the world in a balloon in 1985 were rescued after the capsizing boat. Oracle founder Larry Ellison, sailing races, as well as flying aircraft.

Micron recent regulations make no mention of a "key person" life insurance policy on the Appleton, and they are not particularly noted directors and officers' insurance that will cover it.

One of the leaders in the national insurance broker said it is possible to obtain directors and officers insurance for the person as CEO, who flew their planes, but added that the death of Appleton could still cause headaches for legal advice.

"D & O is really about, in essence, a public company, whether the company is subject to court shareholders," said the broker, on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

The broker said the board would be required to Micron have a backup plan, especially given the risky behaviors Appleton, and that the degree to which the company may face legal issues depends a lot on what makes the Micron shares on Monday.

"If trade is opened much lower, it may be that the plaintiffs' lawyer, two or three will conduct an investigation," says the broker.

Trading in shares Micron was stopped Friday morning in anticipation of a statement. Shares fell $ 7.48 in extended trade from last quote $ 7.95 on the Nasdaq, before it stopped.

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