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Distinguished Lecture | ECE Alumni Award Seminar

From Bursley to the Board Room – my journey from UM Engineering to becoming a fortune 500 CEO

Rick WallaceCEO and PresidentKLA
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Rick Wallace Headshot

ABSTRACT: While big CEO personalities occasionally emerge as a company’s identity and can be perceived as the recipe for success, the average person and company often has to navigate without breaking all of the rules. In fact, some of the most successful are those you might not have heard of. In this talk, Rick Wallace, UofM College of Engineering Alum and President and CEO of KLA Corporation, will shed light on examples including his personal success journey and KLA’s success through behaviors and operating strategies that can be applied at all levels of an individual’s career.

BIO: Rick Wallace serves as the Chief Executive Officer and President of KLA as well as a member of the company’s Board of Directors. He began as an applications engineer at KLA Instruments in 1988, and has held various general management positions throughout his 30+-year tenure with the company. Earlier in his career, he held positions with Ultratech Stepper and Cypress Semiconductor. Mr. Wallace also serves on the Board of Directors of Splunk Inc. (NASDAQ: SPLK). Mr. Wallace previously served on the Board of Directors of Proofpoint through their acquisition in 2021 by Thoma Bravo, as well as the Board of Directors of SEMI (Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International), including as SEMI’s Chairman of the Board.

Mr. Wallace earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan and his master’s degree in engineering management from Santa Clara University.

He is presenting this talk as the 2023 ECE Alumni Impact Award recipient.