Breaking the Silicon Ceiling
Breaking the Silicon Ceiling

Christine (“Chris”) King is an accomplished leader in the semiconductor industry who currently serves on Skyworks’ Board of Directors as the lead independent director and chair of its Compensation Committee. Skyworks is $18B market cap semiconductor player empowering the wireless networking revolution. Ms. King also serves as the co-chair of the Board of Directors for Henry Schein One, where she leads the company’s software and technology strategy and initiatives. She also established and serves as chair of Henry Schein’s Technology Advisory Board.

Chris King’s career is a remarkable “rags to riches” story within the technology industry. She was a 20-year-old single mother with a high school diploma in the 1970s, who would become the semiconductor industry’s first female CEO. Leveraging her innate capabilities, passion, and grit, Ms. King earned associate and bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and began a career at IBM where she rose through the ranks and built multiple billion-dollar businesses before leaving IBM to be appointed President and CEO at AMI Semiconductor in 2001. Following AMI Semiconductor’s successful sale to ON Semiconductor in 2008, Ms. King was appointed President and CEO of Standard Microsystems and subsequently Executive Chair of the Board of QLogic Corporation in 2015. Over the course of her career, Ms. King has served on multiple Boards of Directors within and outside of the technology sector, including Allegro Micro, Analog Devices, Atheros, Cirrus Logic, Idaho Power, ON Semiconductor, and SMSC.

In addition to her corporate governance work, Chris keeps herself busy as a champion equestrian in the sport of cow cutting. And we’re also very excited to hear that she has a forthcoming personal memoir slated for release later this year, tentatively entitled “Breaking the Silicon Ceiling” documenting her amazing journey.

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Discussion Points

  • The Skyworks technology connects “everyone everywhere” and is empowering the wireless network revolution of “always on” connectivity.
  • The semiconductor industry has demonstrated remarkable resiliency through significant global upheavals, through the pandemic and its after-effects.
  • While the industry has diligently tracked Moore’s Law in terms of technology development, today the most important ingredient for success is having the right people – leading winning teams has always meant fostering great personal relationships built on trust.
  • The transformation of Standard Microsystems was driven by transparency in challenge recognition, rapid change to align to strategic priorities (e.g., consumer markets) and opportunistic M&A to add talent and capabilities.
  • Blazing a new trail in a male-dominated field often necessitated healthy “competition” with male counterparts, but ultimately results and value for customers and shareholders speak for themselves.
  • Advice for upcoming leaders in the industry – don’t be too quick to get into leadership, develop your technical skills first and be persistent – if you can’t go through, go around!
Christine King LinkedInBook: The Titanium EconomyAyna.AI WebsiteFernweh Group Website

Disclaimer: The views, information, and opinions presented in this Podcast are solely those of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent those of Ayna.AI or Fernweh Group LLC or its affiliates. This Podcast should not be considered financial or investment advice. Ayna.AI does not verify for accuracy any of the information contained in this podcast.

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