S: Tom Cordner
FC: 45 Years Devoted to the Semiconductor Industry
1: Remember Your Yesterday's Dream Your Tomorrow's Live Your Today's
2: 1966 | Tom Cordner joins Texas Instruments February 2, 1966 Tom joins the Semiconductor Group, in the Hermetic Seals Department as a process engineer responsible for ceramic package design and fabrication. He directed engineering efforts in several areas in the Semiconductor Group including liquid-crystal displays and bipolar power products.
3: In The News Reagan is Elected Governor of California Miniskirts and bell bottoms are in fashion United States President Lyndon B. Johnson US Population exceeds 195 million Miranda Rights implemented | Technology and Inventions Artificial heart (left ventricle) Michael Ellis DeBake Pampers create the first disposable Diaper Hand-held calculator was invented at Texas Instruments Color Television Sets become popular
4: Bonanza The Red Skelton Hour The Andy Griffith Show The Lucy Show The Jackie Gleason Show | The Mamas and the Papas The Beatles The Monkees The Beach Boys The Rolling Stones Simon and Garfunkel | TV Shows & Music
5: Sports World Series Champions: Baltimore Orioles NFL Champions: Green Bay Packers AFL Champions: Kansas City Chiefs | Cost of Living 1966 Yearly Inflation Rate 3.01% Dozen Eggs: .60 Gallon Milk: .99 New house: $23,300 Average Income per year $6,900.00 Gas per Gallon: 32 cents Average Cost of a new car $2,650.00
6: The Early Days When GaAs was just getting started from a research effort to a limited production capability we were lucky to start our expansion when other parts of TI were shutting down. We often had to “make do” with surplus or cast off equipment. We had a technician named Al Clair who always wore a tie to work and in addition had an air of authority about him. And no matter how dirty a job you gave Al, his tie was always clean. Al was usually a good resource for learning about surplus equipment. Tom had a small pickup at that time and I don’t remember whether it was a Chevy, Ford or a Toyota but Al called it Tonka. He would call for it when he needed help with obtaining equipment. We were in need of a safe to store our gold at the time and Al found out about an available safe over in the South Building so Tom, Al and I got in Tonka and rode over. (We were in the North Building at the time.) At this time TI had security guards dressed like Texas Rangers at the docks and they were carrying heat. We parked Tonka at the loading dock and walked into the building showing our badges to the guard and retrieved the safe. We had no paper work or any thing else to show that we had legal right to walk out of the building with a locked safe. (We at this time had not yet obtained the combination.) Tom and I were a little apprehensive about shoving a safe past a guard with a 38 special on his hip. Al said, “I will take care of it,” so he walked over to the guard with his air of authority and fresh necktie while Tom and I nervously stood on one foot then the other. After a short conversation the guard said “Take good care of the safe Mr. Clair.” We loaded the safe into Tonka and headed to the North Building. Jim Latham
7: IBM begins using integrated circuits in all of its computers The single-chip microprocessor is developed TI introduces an electronic digital watch retails for $19.95 Semiconductors had become a multi-billion-dollar industry | TI posts its first-ever loss of $145 million The hand-held calculator was invented at Texas Instruments First Forward-Looking Infrared Radar (FLIR) units produced Won the Harpoon (missile) Seeker contract (1st defense system applying Gallium Arsenide | TI 1966-1981
8: 1981 | Dave McQuiddy hires Tom Cordner Tom was hired to research the fabrication process used by Central Research, and come up with the process needed to set up a new Gallium Arsenide fabrication facility. He was the manager of the Engineering Service Branch within the Microwave Laboratory which included the GaAs Prototype Facility, the surface acoustic wave process development area, and a mechanical design and fabrication section. Tom was an employee of Texas Instrument for 32 years, and was Operations Manager for its GaAs Operations Group from January 1991 to July 1997 From July 1997 to January 1998, he served as Operations Manager for Raytheon, heading its GaAs MMIC operations.
9: 1981 High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) production begins 1983 Posts first-ever loss of $145 million 1985 First single-chip gallium arsenide radar module developed | 1986 Won the Army FGM-148 Javelin fire-and-forget missile in a joint venture with Martin Marietta 1991 Microwave/Millimeter Wave Monolithic Integrated Circuit (MIMIC) program was initiated – a joint effort with Raytheon 1997 TI Defense business sold to Raytheon Company | 1981-1996
10: Lap Sit Tom has traveled extensively doing the business of GaAs. On one rather long flight Tom had an isle seat very close to the restroom. One older lady was standing in the isle waiting for the occupant to leave so she could have her turn. Anyway, the occupant was taking a very long time to vacate and the lady said, “I’ve got to sit down.” I guess Tom must have smiled at her and she proceeded to sit in Tom’s lap. Now I’m not sure this story was told to Elaine but there may have been some interesting commentary at home. Jim Latham | EBeam We were working on a new Ebeam process, and I believed we could finish the project in a shorter time than Tom did. We had a bet that I would shave my head if I lost - which I did. My scalp ended up on the wall in his office for several months as proof and he gleefully showed all visitors how he kept his engineers in line! | Bryan Smith
11: When I think of the one statement from Tom that had the greatest impact on my career it would be a mail message I have kept with me since April 20, 1994 regarding a discrepancy with the visual data involving the GPR program. I knew from the early day’s our process problems have to be handled internally before a customer is ever made aware of it. Please read below a email from Tom, setting the tone for all of us: | From: FLOPN3::Cordner 20-APR-1994 18:39:58 To: aMGMT2.DIS:3 Subj: Final Visual We need to go to one inspect only. No 50 piece except in abnormal circumstances. Sher take the lead in getting this going. I would like to start as soon as possible to avoid more "egg on face". We need to learn to solve our own problems. Tom | Brenda Skinner
13: Samples of GaAs wafers that were used for fabrication of microwave devices in research labs and production starting in the late 1960s and moving to the present are shown in the photograph to the left. Tom Cordner, during his career at TI, had worked on the manufacturing of electronic products using a wide range of materials like ceramics, metals, and silicon. It was not until the mid-1980s, however, that he accepted the responsibility (or privilege in my opinion) for manufacturing GaAs wafers. When he first assessed the state of GaAs wafer fab, I’m sure he was horrified to see us in R&D processing irregular shaped wafers like those on the left. Soon thereafter, he established a round-wafer manufacturing line and pushed wafer size and yield ever upward. These mounted specimens illustrate only one of the kinds of manufacturing challenges that Tom addressed during his career, but he survived them all and thrived! All the best, Gailon Brehm
14: 1996 | TI made the decision to sell the Defense Group and focus on semiconductors. Interesting in that this decision came within 3 months of the new CEO for TI. Prospectus was presented and the top 4 companies bidding were Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, McDonnell Douglas and Hughes. Raytheon had the wining bid, but due to concerns raised by Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman there was an anti-trust review. At the time of the sale, TI was #1 and Raytheon was #2 in the Gallium Arsenide arena and LM and NG felt there was an unfair advantage. While the Dept. of Justice was not convinced of any issues, Lockheed Martin convinced the DoD there was.
15: Raytheon was forced to divest the MIMIC business. They put out a new proposal, with the focus to sell to a company that would provide no competition, basically destroying the company. That plan did not work well as Steve Sharp with TriQuint Semiconductor placed a competitive bid and won. We stayed in the North Building on TI property for five years before moving to the current facility. The building we moved to was owned by TI, and required major work to add Engineering Rooms, Conference Rooms, Offices and workspace as the original building was only set up for Fab/Manufacturing. Dave McQuiddy
16: As the defense industry consolidated, TI sold its defense business to Raytheon in 1997 for $2.95 billion. The Department of Justice required that Raytheon divest the TI Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit (MMIC) operations after closing the transaction. The TI MMIC business accounted for less than $40 million in 1996 revenues, or roughly two percent of the $1.8 billion in total TI defense revenues was sold to TriQuint Semiconductor
17: Thomas V. Cordner joined TriQuint in January 1998 as Vice President and General Manager, Millimeter Wave Communications as a result of TriQuint's acquisition of Raytheon's MMIC operations and was promoted to Vice President, TriQuint Texas in May 2002. As part of the organizational restructuring in 2006, Mr. Cordner was named Vice President, Defense and Aerospace.
18: The original sale of the MIMIC business was slated to go to another company that intended to maintain the IP and equipment but eliminate the existing workforce. Tom played a key role in the negotations that eventually led to the sale of the GaAs business to TriQuint. If it weren’t for Tom Cordner’s vision and tenacity, the Texas operation would unlikely be a part of TriQuint today. There is also a very real chance that most of the 300 people in the original group would have been laid off in 1998 had he not put his career on the line for the team. Under his leadership, wide spread layoffs were avoided by instead adopting a four-day workweek. While it was difficult on everyone, the team pulled through with lower costs while supporting demand. This showed the Texas workforce that they worked for a manger that truly cared about the people working in his organization. Under Tom’s guidance, TriQuint Texas operations maintained profitability during another market downturn. From the TriQuint 25 Year History Story on Tom
21: In September 2001, we had a meeting at Lockheed Martin in Syracuse. Attending the meeting was Tom Cordner, Tony Balisteri, Randy Lehmann, and myself. Typical of the time, we worked all day at TI and had a 5:30 flight. Due to many different delays, we did not arrive until 2 AM, got to to our hotel where there were problems, and finally got to sleep in the second hotel around 3: 30 AM. During our meeting with Lockheed, Tom received a call about the 9-11 attacks. We finished our meeting, and Tom and I agreed not to return our rental cars and instead drive back to Texas. There was much chaos and not much of a chance of getting a flight. There were two rental cars; Tony and Randy in one; Tom and I in the other. During our drive back, we were in contact with our secretary and would tell her what time we would be at the next major city and she would schedule flights for us. Each time they would be cancelled and we would keep going. By 10 PM we were between Columbus and Dayton Ohio and Tony/Randy wanted to stop for the night, but Tom and I wanted to keep driving. I finally told Tom we should stop, because if there was some kind of accident or problem it would our fault for not stopping. We stopped at 1 AM in Indianapolis, got up at 6:30 AM and got home about 8:30 PM after 24 hours of driving and over 1,500 miles.. Dave McQuiddy , United States President Lyndon B. Johnson US Population exceeds 195 million Miranda Rights implemented | 2001
23: 2005 | September Kick-off team building for the Strat Plan Process
25: Holiday Parties
26: Customer Recognition | Northrop Grumman | Raytheon
28: Corporate Challenge
34: Horseshoe Champ!
37: Shortly after I joined TriQuint there was a CEO Review, and Tom advised me that I was on the presenters list. I had never presented to this level of management, was in a panic and I told him that we did not discuss this in our interview. And with a straight face he said "Oh, did I forget to tell you about that part in your interview?" Nancy Rollins
39: When I very first started reporting to Tom, back in 1994, my father passed away. I recall going into Tom's office and apologizing for taking a full week off from work at a particularly busy time. Tom said "Have you ever heard the story of the old man on his deathbed? There was no one around that he worked with, only his family." He always emphasized important family events over work. He always supported the time I spent away from work coaching my children's sports teams. He set a culture of respecting employees that his direct managers proliferated throughout the organization making TriQuint a great place to work. John Zipko
40: Leadership | Good leaders make people feel that they're at the very heart of things, not at the periphery. Everyone feels that he or she makes a difference to the success of the organization. When that happens people feel centered and that gives their work meaning.
41: 2008 | 2006
42: I’ve worked in association with Tom for 28 years over the course of our careers at TI and TQS. Just like the picture on the previous page illustrates, Tom has always been one to give credit and share group success. Tom really cares about people, and all those of us that have worked with him all these years have been very fortunate to be part of his organization. I know I feel especially fortunate and thankful as Tom had a huge impact on my career and future years ago. He may not realize the impact, but it was profound. As the GaAs MMIC group was being divested as part of Raytheon purchasing the TI defense group, there was much uncertainty about our future, who would buy us, what would happen to our jobs etc. Many of us were seeking other opportunities to remove that uncertainty and I was one of those people. Tom took a personal interest in keeping me with the group and worked on my behalf to find me a good position in the new company, which turned out to be TQS.
43: Even though I didn’t know ultimately what would happen or how things would turn out, my confidence in Tom as a leader was the determining factor in my decision. His influence and personal interest kept me here and that absolutely changed my life in many ways, all for the better. All of us that came over to TQS in 1998 owe Tom a great deal for all his hard work and personal effort that it took to keep our group and business together. Those that weren’t with us during that transition have no idea how important is was to Tom and how much he cared to make sure it ended up well for all of us. I don’t think I’ve ever personally thanked him specifically for that, so here goes – Tom thank you so much for your leadership and personal involvement all of these years. I’m sure going to miss being able to walk in your office at any time and get some good advice on just about any subject. Best wishes for a long and happy retirement. You deserve it ! Sincerely, Dan Green
46: Best Place to Work 2010 | Texas Rocks! Based on results of the employee survey, TriQuint Texas was named one of the Dallas Business Journal’s 2010 Best Places to Work in Dallas-Fort Worth. TriQuint’s emphasis on employee engagement, job satisfaction, community service and mission were key factors ranking in the “Large Companies” category. We partied like rock stars, arriving to the event in a stretch Hummer limo. Equipped with flat screen TVs playing country western music, the limo had them rolling in style. We had a great mix of TriQuint employees represented from Quality, Engineering, Sales, Manufacturing, Purchasing, HR and Operations.
47: Texas Justice One time, I think it was Elaine who bought a purse in a store at a mall and upon examination found a defect or some other issue. Tom decided that they should get a refund by returning the merchandise which was refused. Tom proceeded to stand in front of the store with the purse and tell passersby not to shop in that store. Either Elaine or mall security persuaded Tom to move on. Another incident involved Elaine and Tom walking along a city street and observed a Middle Eastern man loudly berating his spouse. Tom grabbed the man and said, “We don’t treat women like that in America!” After walking along in silence for a few minutes, Tom asked Elaine if he did the right thing. Elaine said, “No, you should have slugged him!” Jim Latham
48: There's a $5 fine for whining! | This is only a fraction of what I owe you John Zipko
50: TriQuint Recognized for Excellence by Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems Raytheon Has Honored TriQuint for Two Consecutive Years With a 4-Star Supplier Excellence Award (SEA) November 2009 | TriQuint Receives Raytheon 4-Star Supplier Excellence Award: TriQuint Recognized by Raytheon Company's Space and Airborne Systems for Performance, Quality, Excellence in Customer Satisfaction November 2008 | TriQuint was honored by Raytheon for the third consecutive year at the company’s 2010 SAS Supplier Excellence Award (SEA) recognition event. Winning suppliers represent less than one percent of the SAS supply base. Only 34 companies that supply Raytheon SAS received awards. December 2010
52: 2008: Northrop Grumman Recognizes TriQuint with Strategic Supplier, Innovation Awards : TriQuint was Only NGES 2008 Supplier Recognized with Two Awards | Nov. 2001: TRIQUINT SEMICONDUCTOR ANNOUNCES PLANNED PARTICIPATION IN THE JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER (JSF) PROGRAM | TriQuint GaN Leadership Leads to New $17.5M Title III Manufacturing Development Contract New 100mm Gallium Nitride Award Focuses on Maximized Yield, Lower Cost in High Power, High Frequency Device Manufacturing | TriQuint Supports Northrop Grumman in Developing Phased Array Radar for F-35 Aircraft | TriQuint GaAs & BAW Devices Support F-35/JSF Radar March 9, 2009 | TriQuint Wins DARPA Gallium Nitride Research Contract March 14, 2005 | TriQuint Supports Northrop Grumman in Multi-Nation F-35 / JSF Program
54: I first met Tom when interviewing for the Texas Customer Service Manager position. I interviewed with 3 Vice Presidents, multiple managers and the CS team, but my manager, Gregg Leitz, was most concerned about my interview with Tom. I would be replacing Caroline West, a long time employee with a great working relationship with Tom - his opinion was important. He was warm, honest, direct, and easy to talk to and I knew that if given the opportunity to work for TriQuint that we would work well together. Tom is a great mentor and manager. He expects you to do your job, have integrity, focus on the customer, the company, the quality of work, and if you make a mistake, own up to it, and fix it. It has truly been a pleasure to support Tom for these last three years - I only wish we have many more years! Candy Bernal
57: In The News Bell bottoms are back in fashion US Population exceeds 300 million United States President Barack Obama US Debt Crisis | 2011 | Tom Cordner retires from TriQuint Semiconductor
58: Primetime America's Got Talent NCIS 60 Minutes CSI Wheel of Fortune | Beyonce Lady Gaga Brad Paisley Katy Perry Jennifer Lopez | TV Shows & Music & Sports | Football: Green Bay Packers Baseball: Los Angeles Angels Basketball: San Antonio Spurs
59: Cost of Living 2011 Yearly Inflation Rate 3.6% Dozen Eggs: $1.19 Gallon Milk: $2.99 New house: $268,700 Average Income per year $49,777 Gas per Gallon: $3.29 Average Cost of a new car $28,400 | Technology and Inventions Camera's that shoot in 3D PrintBush; weighs less than a pound, fits in laptop bag and prints on any flat surface Vaccine for prostate cancer
60: A special thank you to the following people for their pictures, stories, and memories: | Gailon Brehm Terri Evans Jim Latham Dave McQuiddy Brett Ragsdale Nancy Rollins Brenda Skinner Bryan Smith John Zipko