Jerry Fishman’s Lasting Legacy at Analog Devices

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Brian Fuller
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Nice perspective
Brian Fuller   4/3/2013 6:37:51 PM

@Barrie, that's a wonderful comment and thank you for taking time to craft it. 

Jerry was a great executive but a lousy interview. He never gave me much I could sink my teeth into, which, if you're not a reporter but a man running a business, is another sign of a great executive. But he at least took the time. 

A famous EE Times story from the 1990s goes like this (I was not a party to the story, the editing or the call, at the time):

We published a story about some problem with Sharc (I think it was Sharc) and in the headline used the word "SNAFU."

It was a one-column story, so the copy desk needed to find punchy short words. Well, that word choice did not sit well with Jerry. He hit the roof. Our bigwigs had a call with him and his team and he read our guys the riot act:

"Do you blankety-blankety know what SNAFU means?!?  I'll tell ya what it means! It means Situation Normal All Effed Up. Do you think that's how we run things here? That our products are normally effed up?!?"

You know Jerry, so you know the language was far more pungent than this! Anyhow, he peeled paint off the walls over the phone and needless to say I don't think we ever used the word SNAFU again. 

A colorful guy, passing too soon. 






Katie OQ
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Stock Keeper
Jerry Fishman
Katie OQ   4/3/2013 3:22:21 PM

Tam - Excellent precis of Jerry's life. Much appreciated. He will be sorely missed in a score of ways, but his vision for Analog Devices will continue to shine. As a personal reminder of this friend and debater, I am going to make a large print of the photo you included in your piece, frame it nively, and place it in the entrance to the NW Labs of Analog Devices, here in Beaverton, Oregon. His smile will be a 're-freshing' gulp of caffiene every morning, and stand as a cachet and grinning 'favorite uncle' reminder that, as he declared, "Every day, you need to recognize that your competitors are ever out to eat your lunch!"

And you're right - though I never gave it a lot of thought - that he didn't play the Big Shot or do the lecture circuit. He was always approachable and open; and indeed, remarkably modest for someone in his position. But then, that is something we can say of all of our Senior Management Team. We have yet to suffer under a flamboyant and egotistical Head of State.

Next week we have our annual General Technical Conference at the North Shore Westin in Boston, and I am sure there will be a huge outpouring of recollections of this great guy's style and his achievements in welding together the girders of this Company's tower of greatness, as originally envisioned by Ray Stata, another outstanding leader whom we are pleased to see still deeply involved in ensuring its enduring success, now with Vince Roche at the helm.

This is a Company of technologists who understand very well that analog devices are never going to become obsolete; and that has always been our mantra, even as the wonders of digital have overwhelmed the consumers. Few of them have any idea of how much of their digital toys are dependent on the hard stuff - like the several analog radios in their cell-phones and so much more.

Vive Analog! Vive Jerry!


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