Steve Sanghi, executive chairman, Microchip Technology Inc.
By Bolaji Ojo
Guest: Steve Sanghi, Executive chairman, Microchip Technology Inc.
As executive chairman of Microchip Technology Inc., Steve Sanghi still has a firm hand in shaping the direction of the chipmaker he began leading as CEO 32 years ago.
Nowadays, though, Sanghi goes into the office only three days a week. The rest of his time is spent mentoring folks inside and outside Microchip and assisting in charting the future of two technology companies where he currently serves as chairman of the board of directors.
Sanghi certainly has earned the right to retire permanently from the hustle and bustle of the rapidly evolving semiconductor world, but he apparently still has a lot of ammo in his arsenal to assist the industry – and Microchip – clear a path forward for the next-generation of technology innovations, entrepreneurs, and market leaders. What Sanghi did while at Microchip – and how – have been chronicled in his recently published book titled, Up and to the Right: My Personal and Business Journey Building the Microchip Technology Juggernaut.
There is little hyperbole in Sanghi’s description of his tenure at Microchip. Under him, the company went from being comatose to becoming an $8 billion revenue enterprise valued by investors at more than $42 billion. In the early years, Sanghi guided Microchip through numerous acquisitions to fill gaps in its portfolio, moves that helped to push the stock price to a recent high of $87.76 from the stock-split adjusted IPO price of $0.57 in 1993.
The Ojo-Yoshida Report caught up with Sanghi recently on our podcast Chat with Junko and Bola. It was both a historical excursion laden with facts about the management strategies that drove Microchip’s turnaround and a dive into the unknown. Whenever he finally walks away from Microchip, however, Sanghi would be leaving a permanent imprint upon the company in terms of its financial performance and corporate culture.
Take the company’s succession planning, for example. Sanghi instituted a rigorous human resource development program that elevates managers and executives from within rather than recruiting successors from outside Microchip. That tradition remains strong today. It led to the appointment two years ago of Ganesh Moorthy, as CEO. Moorthy, who joined Microchip in 2001, had been president and chief operating office of the company since 2016. Appointments like this are typical at the company.
Call it the HR version of Sanghi’s “elbow out” strategy, which he applies primarily to the company’s product competition efforts. For Sanghi, the phrase sums up the strategy of systematically eliminating components from rivals that were adjacent to his company’s products on a PCB. By acquiring rivals to gain their technologies or developing such products internally, Sanghi was able to expand Microchip’s portfolio and turn the scrawny company he took over as CEO in 1991 into the MCU giant it is today.
But the final chapters in Sanghi’s American and Microchip odyssey have not been written yet. Sanghi arrived in the US from India in 1976 with $150 to his name. Today, he is widely recognized in the industry as a market leader who still has a lot to contribute to the semiconductor world. What will he do next? Sanghi talked about his plans in the podcast.
In addition to continuing to help guide Microchip and mentoring entrepreneurs in the chip world, Sanghi may write another book. The semiconductor industry veteran said he had so much fun solo-writing his latest book – the first book he wrote was a joint effort – that he might just write another one soon. What might go into that book? Perhaps, a bit more of Sanghi, the next chapters in Microchip’s journey, and more about what it takes to remain competitive in the semiconductor market.
Listen to our podcast:
Bolaji Ojo is the publisher and managing editor of The Ojo-Yoshida Report. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Copyright permission/reprint service of a full Ojo-Yoshida Report story is available for promotional use on your website, marketing materials and social media promotions. Please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.