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 Bridging the Frontier
Bob Smith, Executive Director
Bob Smith, Executive Director
Bob Smith is Executive Director of the ESD Alliance responsible for its management and operations. Previously, Bob was senior vice president of Marketing and Business Development at Uniquify, responsible for brand development, positioning, strategy and business development activities. Bob began his … More »

Grant Pierce to Chair ESD Alliance Board of Directors

February 9th, 2017 by Bob Smith, Executive Director

I’m pleased to be able to announce that Grant Pierce, CEO of Sonics, Inc., was elected by the ESD Alliance Board of Directors to serve as chairman. Grant and I have had the opportunity to work together on several Alliance projects and I welcome the chance to work more closely with him. He is an active board member, whose varied industry experience and well-honed skillset will help us forge ahead.

Grant Pierce

Grant is quoted in our news release as saying: “It is an honor and a privilege to be named chairman of the ESD Alliance by my peers on the board. This is a great opportunity to help guide the organization through the transformation it began in 2016 to broaden its focus to system issues encompassing hardware, software, and design. My experience at Sonics straddling both the system-on-chip IP hardware and design software businesses should serve as a strong unifying asset in this leadership role on the board.”

In a related move, the Alliance bylaws were updated to reflect the broader mission of the organization and I joined the board of directors as part of a new amendment.

Other board members are:

  • Aart de Geus, chairman and CEO of Synopsys, Inc.
  • Dean Drako, president and CEO at IC Manage
  • Amit Gupta, president and CEO from Solido Design Automation
  • John Kibarian, president, CEO and co-founder of PDF Solutions, Inc.
  • Lucio Lanza, managing director at Lanza techVentures
  • Walden C. Rhines, chairman and CEO from Mentor Graphics Corporation
  • Simon Segars, ARM’s CEO
  • Lip-Bu Tan, president and CEO of Cadence Design Systems

A bit more about Grant, a co-founder of Sonics, Inc., supplier of on-chip network (NoC) and power management technologies and services in San Jose. He was elected to the ESD Alliance (then the EDA Consortium) Board of Directors in 2014 and will serve as chairman until the next board elections in 2018. Grant has served as Sonics’ CEO and president and as chairman of the board of directors since 1997.

Over the earlier part of his more than 30-year career in high technology, Pierce served in senior management roles in a wide range of companies that built digital media and communications devices, object-oriented software development environments, fabless semiconductors, mini-computer systems, and peripherals. Grant is a former certified public accountant and began his career with Arthur Andersen and Co.

Watch this space for a special blog post on the Phil Kaufman Award Ceremony and Dinner honoring Andrzej Strojwas, chief technologist at PDF Solutions and Keithley professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. We have a wealth of great photos highlighting a special evening for a well-regarded and popular individual, including the one below.

From left to right: Lucio Lanza (2014 Kaufman Award recipient), Andrzej Strojwas holding his Kaufman Award statuette and John Kibrarian of PDF Solutions.

A reminder: If your company is thinking of joining the ESD Alliance: I’m available to answer any questions about the Alliance and why your company show join. Please contact me at, or check out our website at:

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