In Memory of a Fallen CEO and an Overlooked Tech Company

Editor's note: One day before we remember our veterans who have died to protect our freedom, we pay homage to a few business leaders who have recently passed away.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- As the U.S. prepares to honor men and women who died while serving in the military, I want to pay my deepest respect to their memory and to their loved ones.

Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official, very significant federal holiday in 1971.

Speaking of those who have departed, this article remembers a prescient, hard-working, smart man who helped to develop a technology company that today has a market cap of almost $14 billion. He still is an example to me of how working smarter and harder can help transform a business.

Jerry Fishman, the CEO of Analog Devices ( ADI) died on March 28, 2013 after an apparent heart attack. He was 67 years old, and had been the longest tenured executive manager of any semiconductor company in history.

Fishman became president and chief operating officer of ADI in 1991. He was promoted to CEO in 1996 when Ray Stata stepped down. His career was widely heralded, and although I never met the man I too felt the "sting" that followed his passing. No other colleague felt it more deeply than Ray Stata.

"This is a terrible loss for me personally and for all of us here at ADI," said Ray Stata, chairman of ADI, board of directors, in a statement. "Jerry dedicated his entire career to building ADI into a great company -- one of which we all are enormously proud." Stata knew him intimately and had been responsible for choosing and promoting Fishman to lead ADI.

Jerry Fishman was born in 1945 and grew up in Flushing, N.Y. He graduated from the City College of New York with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering and went on to earn a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from Northeastern University. This high achiever also earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Boston University, and a law degree from Suffolk Law School.

With a great enthusiasm to apply all he'd learned Fishman joined ADI in 1971, barely 26 years old. There he worked his way up through the company, learning its goals, products and envisioning how he might help lead ADI to higher levels of success and achievement.

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