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Analog Angle

Watching Analog Devices' Jerald Fishman Up Close

Bill Schweber
Brad Albing
Brad Albing
4/8/2013 8:12:58 PM
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Re: Well said Bill
Slogan - you've surely mentioned some of the good guys we've lost. While it's small solace, we do have some pretty talented folks right here on Planet Analog (Barrie, Bill, and Paul come to mind off the top of my head).

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Slogan
Slogan
4/5/2013 5:38:33 PM
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Newbie
Well said Bill
Bill,

Nice article on Jerry Fishman. I enjoyed getting a glimpse at his personality. It sounds as though he had a different style from a guy like Jack Gifford, but they will both be missed. Between Jerry, Jack, Bob Pease and Jim Williams, the analog industry has lost some heavyweights the last few years that truly shaped the industry. Each man had his own unique style. They'll all be missed.

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Brad Albing
Brad Albing
4/4/2013 9:44:12 AM
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Re: Follow-up
Hmm... seemed like Barrie spoke well of Jerry and meant what he said as serious commentary. I thought Barrie only brought himself into the story as needed to explain a greater point that he was making.

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Brad Albing
Brad Albing
4/4/2013 9:33:46 AM
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Re: Follow-up
Barrie - very nice comments on Jerry Fishman. I'm sad that I never worked with him.

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Katie OQ
Katie OQ
4/3/2013 5:41:22 PM
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Newbie
Re: Follow-up
No tongue is cheek here, anonymous, nor any intention to be self-serving. Mine was an honest tribute and a couple of vignettes from one who worked closely with Jerry, especially in the early years when the Company was just getting in its stride. Only such recollections from other peoples' lives can fill in the gaps that were left in the story by his extremely saddening and sudden departure. At least you will find me, for one, wearing a dark suit and black tie at the coming plenary session.

As a matter of interest, who are you?

Barrie

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Bill_Jaffa
Bill_Jaffa
4/3/2013 5:15:44 PM
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Re: Follow-up
Great story--and that's the key: although Jerry was a EE, he didn't try to second-guess IC processes and any IC design itself, but to focus insteasd on understanding what the designer team was thinking, what the reality was, and the market/customer situation. In other words, he didn't presume to be the smartest IC designer in the room, but instead came at it from a different perspective.

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Eng1956
Eng1956
4/3/2013 5:10:33 PM
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Re: Follow-up
Barrie,

you could have (and should have) found it in yourself to write a much nicer, much less tongue in cheek and much less self serving eulogy about Jerry, who made you and many others at ADI a millionaire many times over.

One of Jerry's many strength was to keep analog designers, like you, with great talent and even greater egos, in line and productive for ADI for years and decades. Anyone who has ever managed talented analog designers knows who difficult this is.

Rest in peace Jerry, you will be missed by the whole industry not only by the people who worked for you and learned from you.

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Katie OQ
Katie OQ
4/3/2013 1:23:09 PM
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Follow-up

Bill:

Your commentary on Jerry is appreciated. He and I were contemporaries: I first worked for ADI in 1972, then came state-side as ADI's first Fellow, to join in the fun. At that time we were pushing ICs into the deep, dark caverns of nonlinear functions, working (playing) in our first remote design center, the NW Labs, in Oregon.

He and I have had many a spirited conversation (and altercation!) over the years, usually in his Norwood office, during the time I reported to him in his capacity as the head guy of Analog Devices Semiconductor, before that part of the company became the driving force for its future life as Analog Devices. That was during the time our true outstanding engineer, leader and entrepreneur Ray Stata was still the Presi. I'd say "How much time do you have today, Jerry?", and characteristically, he would swing his feet up on his desk, while taking a quick glance at his new-fangled stock-quote readout gizmo on his window ledge, and say "As much as you need". The talks that followed were often littered with his exquisite expletives. More than once, he said "What are we going to do with Mr. x?" where x = a senior technologist; and while I had opinions about the value of x (where x < 100%) I felt it inappropriate to voice all of my concerns. I wanted to steer the conversation back to technical matters. But Jerry was always more interested in people and the overarching objective of doing the best possible job of meeting the customers' present and future needs, even if that meant bending a few egos along the way.

I will tell one insider tale. During the early 70's I had designed a high-precision analog multiplier (the AD534 – remarkably still in the catalog, and helping to pay for the electricity we drink by the carload). It was being used largely by the military, in its expensive 14-pin ceramic package. We were charging a punishing amount for this part. Nevertheless, when plastic packaging became possible I wanted to take the 534, put it into an 8-pin DIP, slightly de-tune the specs and make this function more readily available at a moderate price. But over a few years of several different marketing managers, he told them –in so many choice words - that their heads would roll if they dared to jeopardize the health of this precious Cash Cow.... In the end, he let the matter descend into the realms of the less important, as the Company moved forward into serving such delicacies as data converters; and the little AD633 was allowed to visit the loading dock.

You could be sure that Jerry was always available, as his stature and responsibilities rose. And he always had a quick and pithy response to the latest proposal. He will be sorely missed, in a score of different ways. Indeed, it's still very hard to accept what we read as to his passing, and funeral yesterday.

Analog Devices is strong, and his vision for will continue to shine.

Barrie

 

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Bill_Jaffa
Bill_Jaffa
4/3/2013 10:50:11 AM
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Anecdotes and what you've seen
Fellow EEs out there--I am sure may of you have "stories" (whether good, bad, happy, sad, smart, dumb) about upper management that you could tell! Go ahead, tell them. Use their names if you want to, or not, doesn't matter. And remember: you can be anonymous here.

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