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In Memory of a Fallen CEO and an Overlooked Tech Company

Stocks in this article: ADI

When I visited ADI's historically focused Web site, I was both educated and impressed by its interactive timeline of the company's evolution. It's well worth the time to learn how a great company creates a culture that breeds a positive working environment and outstanding financial results.

By the 30th anniversary of Analog Devices in 1995, ADI rose to be included in Business Week magazines' list of the 500 most valuable companies in America. The next year, 1996 saw ADI's total sales top $1.1 billion and in November 1996, Jerry Fishman was named president and CEO.

From the start, Fishman's leadership helped insure that ADI would make the full transition to being a company that defines innovation and excellence in signal processing. ADI's analog, mixed-signal, and digital signal processing (DSP) integrated circuits (IC) play a fundamental role in converting, conditioning and processing real-world phenomena such as light, sound, temperature, motion and pressure into electrical signals to be used in a wide array of electronic equipment.


With Stata as the Chairman of ADI and Fishman as CEO, ADI emerged as one of the most employee-friendly and customer-centric tech companies on earth. In the company's own words:

"At ADI, we believe that our employees are not only our greatest asset, but also a great asset for our customers.
"Our people relish the opportunity to delve into and solve challenging technical problems, and our customers rely on ADI's exceptional engineering talent as they design and produce their own products. Our engineers continually push the technological edge, adding to and supporting our diverse product portfolio to meet our customers' broad spectrum of high-performance signal processing needs."

From a customers' perspective you've got to be happy with a provider that strives to reduce your overall system costs. The company writes:

"We define innovation as a solution that helps make our customers' products successful. We commit a significant percent of our profits to engineering and customer service, to foster the development of signal processing technology our customers can use to design products that stand out against competitors', with features that enhance the user experience."

The value ADI customers place on its signal-processing innovations is clearly reflected in the growing profits ADI earns. The company's ongoing intentions have been to take those profits and reinvest them into more engineering and customer services, allowing the virtuous cycle of innovation to continue.


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