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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 »

The Popular CEO Outlook is Back

March 12th, 2018 by Bob Smith, Executive Director

The 2018 CEO Outlook is scheduled for April 5 and you are invited to join us!

This year, we welcome back Arm’s Simon Segars and Wally Rhines from Mentor, a Siemens Business, and thank Dean Drako of IC Manage and Sonics’ Grant Pierce for agreeing to participate in the discussion about the semiconductor design ecosystem. Ed Sperling, editor-in-chief of Semiconductor Engineering, genially accepted our invitation again this year to moderate the panel made up four of our directors.

Wally Rhines

Dean Drako

Grant Pierce

Simon Segars

Much like last year, attendees can expect a wide-ranging discussion about trends, potential opportunities and danger signs. Each CEO will present a brief opening statement about the future of the industry. An interactive and moderated audience discussion will follow.

Again, the date is Thursday, April 5, at Cadence Design Systems’ Building 10 in San Jose, Calif. A private networking reception for ESD Alliance members will be held from 5:30 p.m. until 6:15 p.m. –– and a good reason for your company to join if it isn’t already a member. An open reception including food and drinks will begin at 6:15 p.m. The panel will start at 7 p.m.

Ed Sperling

You may wonder why we switched up this year’s lineup from all big-company executives as we did last year. After much thought and deliberation, we decided to ask Simon Segars and Wally Rhines to participate since their companies were acquired by much larger and more diverse enterprises over the last 18 months. We expect them to have a much different perspective on the semiconductor design ecosystem than smaller, but successful companies run by Dean Drako and Grant Pierce. The dynamics may change but the wealth of information won’t. Expect to leave this year’s CEO Outlook with a trove of anecdotal gems about the industry and new ideas to consider implementing as your company’s business strategies.

The evening is open free of charge to all ESD Alliance member companies. Non-members can attend for a fee of $40. Registration information can be found at:

We hope to see you April 5 at Cadence and bring a few burning questions!

If your company is not a member of the ESD Alliance, please consider becoming one. Visit the ESD Alliance website to read about our ongoing events program, committees doing important technical work and other initiatives. I am always available for a discussion about ROI or other justifications for joining the ESD Alliance. I can be reached at

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