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2016-08-27T00:00:00.000Z

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Wrong Raymond Zinn?

Mr. Raymond D. Zinn

President and Chief Executive Officer

Micrel , Inc.

HQ Phone: (408) 944-0800

Email: r***@***.com

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Micrel , Inc.

1849 Fortune Dr

San Jose, California 95131

United States

Company Description

Micrel, Inc. is a leading global manufacturer of IC solutions for the worldwide high-performance linear and power, LAN, and timing and communications markets. The Company's products include advanced mixed-signal, analog and power semiconductors; high perf ... more

Find other employees at this company (465)

Background Information

Employment History

Region Sales Manager

Electromask

Affiliations

Board Member
Sacramento Business Journal

Chairman of The International Advisory Committee
College of Business at San Jose State University

Education

B.S.

Industrial Management

Brigham Young University

Bachelor

BYU

M.S.

Business Administration

San Jose State University

Master

San Jose State

Web References (200 Total References)


leadership profiles series | Sandhill

sandhill.com [cached]

Q&A with Micrel CEO Ray Zinn on Leadership and Doing the Tough Things

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Ray Zinn, President and CEO - Micrel
This interview in SandHill’s leadership series profiles Ray Zinn, who founded Micrel in 1978 and led it from startup days to a company with almost a quarter billion dollars annual revenue.


If there were ever a pair ...

www.anupartha.com [cached]

If there were ever a pair of outliers in the hallowed portals of Silicon Valley, the legendary Ray Zinn, and the story of Micrel would be it.

In an industry teeming with twenty-something CEOs, Raymond D. Zinn has the unique distinction of being Silicon Valley's longest serving CEO, after 37 years as captain of the highly successful semiconductor enterprise, Micrel, Inc. In the ruthless tech startup environment, where 'Fail Fast, Fail Often' is the all too often heard refrain, he has maintained Micrel successful and profitable for 36 of the 37 years he has been its CEO, successfully steering the company through eight major downturns. In an atmosphere where approaching venture capitalists to fund a product company is the norm, Ray Zinn bootstrapped his company, brick-by-brick, with a mutually-drafted bank loan. In the Silicon Valley work culture that is characterized by intense burnout and job changes, Micrel enjoyed the lowest employee turnover in Silicon Valley history. In the times of chasing the big bucks, Micrel consistently and successfully lured top-notch talent by promising to make them better human beings! Whichever way you choose to look at it, the conclusion remains the same - there is no company like Micrel ... and no leader like Ray Zinn!
All his life, Ray Zinn has swum against the current to do things differently. We, at AnuPartha, were fascinated by his unique and inspiring story, so we asked the veteran leader about his beginnings as an entrepreneur, about his style of leadership, how he attracted and retained good people in a high-growth industry; and most importantly, how he steadfastly adhered to his guiding principles and values to leave behind a legacy that others can only strive to emulate.
A Company That Fosters Innovation
There was a time when Ray Zinn wasn't an entrepreneur. After holding several management positions at Electronic Arrays, Teledyne, Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation and Nortek, he was appointed as a Regional sales manager at the relatively unknown Electromask in 1973. He recalls an incident where his boss insisted that he get industry-heavyweight Texas Instruments as a customer. In a way that only someone like Ray Zinn could, he actually conceptualized a new product, the wafer stepper, (which would go on to become a standard piece of equipment in every chip manufacturing facility around the world) as a way to gain a foot into TI's door, winning a $3.2 million deal for a product that didn't even exist. In 1974 though, it was an idea that the world wasn't ready for yet. His boss later received a letter from the Head of research at IBM at the time (IBM were working with TI), saying "it is the stupidest idea anybody has ever had", and decided to scrap the product, much against Ray's advice.
A hurt, and disappointed, Ray Zinn then vowed he would never work for anybody else ever again. With no product, no funding and no infrastructure, he decided that he wanted to build a company that would be different, that would foster innovation and care for people. Micrel Semiconductors was born in 1976, and there has been no looking back till he retired 37 years later in 2015.
I Built My Company Around Our People
Ray Zinn's vision for his company was, quite simply, to build a company! It stemmed from his belief that people are an organisation's most valuable, and truly differentiating resource, and so it was only natural that he built his company around the life of the people.
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Armed with the confidence of a first time entrepreneur, Ray approached a bank for starting capital, which was flatly refused since it was unheard of for a bank to support a startup venture those days. He couldn't go to a VC because a VC needed him to have a product first. Nothing if not determined, Ray cajoled and negotiated with his bank to lend him the initial capital of $300,000, with a key covenant, though, that he be profitable every quarter! It was a bold move to accept that covenant - one that would go on to make Micrel the consistently profitable enterprise it became reputed for. The Bank's covenant meant that Ray had no choice but to be profitable because failure wasn't an option.
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A throwback to Ray Zinn's early years and modest upbringing might hold the key to why he was successful in his early days as an entrepreneur. The oldest of 11 children, he lived with his family in a small home, where they had to take care of each other. He learnt tough lessons early, and his survival depended upon learning to love the difficult things. Perhaps knowingly, or unknowingly, he ended up recreating the 'no failure as an option' environment and turned his biggest weakness into his greatest strength.
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When good people are being tempted by hefty pay checks from VC funded companies, Ray says that he always told employees that he would help them become better people.
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Ray Zinn saw his company as an extension of his family and therefore placed an extremely high value on creating a positive, secure, work environment to help employees become better people. This meant they had to embody the values of honesty and integrity. "We didn't allow any swearing or condescending language in the company". He added that a critical part of making these values work was to create an ecosystem where people carried home the culture and behavior to their families.
Being a company with the lowest employee turnover in Silicon Valley history (7% vs an industry average of 15%), how did Ray Zinn guard against complacency of his employees, and how did he maintain his commitment to quality and entrepreneurial thinking? "Just because people haven't been fired, it didn't mean we compromised on quality", says Ray. "It all boils down to wanting to do better. When all you focus on is making more money, you are not going to enjoy your job. Ray feels that by nurturing people, they find it in themselves not to be complacent and do better for the company.
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While hiring from other companies for experienced people, Ray looked for people whose values match that of his own company. A good way to do that was to see if they'd held the same values in their previous company too, through references and interviews. For example, he would ask a person, "How did you like your other company? If they bad mouthed their company, he didn't want them. But if they said they loved the boss, the company and the environment, then he'd be more inclined to hire them.
"If you loved the company you were with, you are going to love mine even more!"tweet
Ray Zinn's style of leadership is a natural flow from his philosophy and his values, and his guiding mission. And he chose to encode his values in the company by remaining its CEO and Chairman of the Board till the end.
...
Ray Zinn strongly believes that he will.
Ray believes there are still lots of big advantages to operating in the Silicon Valley. Without taking anything away from outsourcing hubs like India or China or the Philippines, he says the Valley still has the best entrepreneurial ecosystem - there are better schools, better technology; and much better people. He counters,
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In the exciting world where Micrel and Ray Zinn have thrived, he says his experiences have changed him by making him a more caring person. It's an almost spiritual approach to doing business, where his overriding desire has been, first and foremost, to help people.
As another step in that direction, Ray has distilled his life's experiences into a book to guide young entrepreneurs and leaders to lead a better life. Called 'Tough Things First', it talks about how choosing to do the difficult things first makes you more efficient and helps you run your life with far more success, and far less stress.
"Anything I don't want to do, I do first! tweet
As with everything about Ray Zinn, this book has a specific purpose: "I'm trying to see if the concepts in my book can be validated by other companies who agree to follow the same principles.
...
When Ray Zinn was a young man, on the threshold of his entrepreneurial journey, he recalls a former boss had told him that he shouldn't work for another company, he should just work for himself. "You don't fit in," he had told him, and Ray remembers being taken aback, because he was never trying to fit in. He wanted to change things. As he looks back today on a fulfilling career with pride and humility, his most enduring legacy would undoubtedly be that he didn't fit in. He stood out. In his desire to be genuine, and in his steadfast belief that he wanted to help people and enrich their lives. And how extraordinarily has he proved his younger self right!


Security Archive - Embedded Computing Design

embedded-computing.com [cached]

Ray Zinn: Lessons from a Leader

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That's a good question, and one that I asked of someone who made that technology available, Ray Zinn, the former CEO of Micrel, in his weekly spot. [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Q1JwZDx_1Q&w=529&h=472]


Blog - Embedded Computing Design

embedded-computing.com [cached]

Ray Zinn: Lessons from a Leader

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Ray Zinn, as the former longtime CEO of Micrel, is a big believer in owning a fab as a semiconductor company, as opposed to being fabless, which is the new trend. Part of the reason has to do with security, but Ray, as he addresses in his weekly spot, has lots of other reasons, too. [...]
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My question for Ray Zinn, the former longtime CEO of Micrel, in his weekly spot was whether he saw value in sending his folks to these events. Frankly, his response caught [...]
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I discussed this topic with Ray Zinn, the former [...]
...
That's the key question I posed to Ray Zinn, the former CEO of Micrel, in his weekly spot. Ray had dealings on a global basis in his 37 years [...]


People Archive - Embedded Computing Design

embedded-computing.com [cached]

Ray Zinn: Lessons from a Leader

...
Ray Zinn, as the former longtime CEO of Micrel, is a big believer in owning a fab as a semiconductor company, as opposed to being fabless, which is the new trend. Part of the reason has to do with security, but Ray, as he addresses in his weekly spot, has lots of other reasons, too. [...]
...
My question for Ray Zinn, the former longtime CEO of Micrel, in his weekly spot was whether he saw value in sending his folks to these events. Frankly, his response caught [...]
...
I discussed this topic with Ray Zinn, the former [...]
...
That's the key question I posed to Ray Zinn, the former CEO of Micrel, in his weekly spot. Ray had dealings on a global basis in his 37 years [...]
...
That's a good question, and one that I asked of someone who made that technology available, Ray Zinn, the former CEO of Micrel, in his weekly spot. [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Q1JwZDx_1Q&w=529&h=472]
...
In this week's interview with Ray Zinn, longtime CEO of Micrel, [...]
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Since retiring from Micrel, after 37 years at the helm, Ray Zinn is now an investor. In his bird's eye view, he gets more than his share of folks approaching him looking for funds.
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As Micrel's long-time CEO, Ray Zinn sold hardware. And when [...]
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I asked Ray Zinn, Micrel's Founder and former CEO [...]
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In my weekly discussion with Ray Zinn, Micrel's Founder and former CEO, we discussed what the company did, and [...]
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Ray Zinn, former Founder and CEO of Micrel, has been around for a while and has seem=n more than his share of game-changing inventions. So I asked him what he thought was actually the greatest invention(s) of his lifetime. See if you agree. [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqVC5rUIWMU&w=529&h=472]
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Ray Zinn, former Founder and CEO of Micrel, and I discussed the Internet of Things (IoT) in this week's segment.
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Ray Zinn: Must a successful CEO have a big ego
In my experience, just about every CEO has a large ego. But is it necessary? In fact, is it helpful? Those are the questions I asked Ray Zinn, the former longtime CEO of Micrel. He claimed to not have a big ego, and from what I know about him, that's an accurate description. Hear his [...]
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Ray Zinn: Promoting from within vs. looking outside the company
Over 37 years, Ray Zinn, author of Tough Things First and former Micrel Founder and CEO, had more than his share of experience promoting people.
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Ray Zinn: What's it like when the suitors come calling?
I would think that when somebody calls you to say that they want to buy your company, that would be reason to celebrate. But that's not necessarily case, according to Ray Zinn, author of Tough Things First and former Micrel Founder and CEO. And he should know, as he was in that exact position on [...]
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In this week's weekly spot with Ray Zinn, former Founder and CEO of Micrel, we talked about one of the biggest names and certainly most respected people in our industry, Andy Grove.
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Ray Zinn: Build a company because it's your passion and not for the money
Many people want to start their own company for one reason-to get rich. But according to Ray Zinn, author of Tough Things First and former Micrel Founder and CEO, that's clearly the wrong reason.

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