Sunday, February 05, 2012

Steve Appleton, Micron's CEO, Dies in a Plane Crash

Micron announced that Steve Appleton, Micron Chairman and CEO, passed away this morning in a small plane accident in Boise. He was 51.

Steve was the person who decided on Photobit acquisition in 2001, entered image sensor business and, in 2009, spun off this business as Aptina, selling majority stake in it to private equities. Although Micron is not image sensor vendor anymore, its Italian Fab continues to manufacture image sensors for Aptina.

This Youtube video gives more details about the life and death of Steve Appleton:

Reuters: Micron's board named Mark Durcan, the president and COO, as temporary CEO of the company.


  1. Thanks for posting this Vlad. All in all, when it is your time to go, best to go fast and be doing something you love. I spent a fair amount of time with Steve during the Photobit acquistion as well as when raising funding for Siimpel. He was a likeable person and I think he had a major impact on not only the DRAM business, but also the image sensor business. Fly high Steve.

  2. Speaking as an Aptina employee, Steve was instrumental. He was fascinated by CMOS Imaging and was particularly taken with the PillCam, an imager lozenge that can be swallowed for imaging the GI tract. He loved flying and tried to slip images of aircraft into any presentation because it's just not complete without it. When he was originally ousted from Micron as CEO, his alternative plan was to start a flying trek across Australia. He joked that he liked to fly because it was less risky than the semiconductor market. His talks were always plainspoken, but never in a forced way, always with a keen intelligence and a sense of vision. Layoffs at Micron were inevitable, but I honestly believe that he and his staff did everything they could to avoid them and at times when business was not profitable, he did not take pay and did not allow his execs to take pay. I'll miss you, Steve. Godspeed, fly high, fly far.

  3. Not to belabor the obvious, but my post above does not necessarily reflect in any way the views and opinions of Aptina's management. I speak as an individual with modest acquaintance with Steve.

  4. Steve Appleton who was a member of Aptina’s Board of Directors was instrumental in launching Micron Imaging, which became Aptina in 2008. Aptina is indebted to Mr. Appleton and he certainly will be missed.

    Micron recently posted the following page:


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