Micron CEO Dies in Plane Wreck
Micron named Mark Durcan CEO Saturday
By: Maureen O'Gara
Feb. 11, 2012 05:00 PM
The last American DRAM maker Micron Technology named Mark Durcan CEO Saturday after long-time incumbent Steven Appleton, 51, was killed Friday morning when the small single-engine Lancair plane he was flying - one of those build-it-yourself kit things - crashed near company headquarters in Boise, Idaho.
It was his second takeoff - the first only getting a five or 10 feet off the ground - and was up only a few minutes before requesting permission to land again indicating there was a problem.
Durcan, 50, who was due to retire at the end of summer, was the company's president and COO. He now intends to stay.
Robert Switz, a director since '06 and former CEO of ADC Telecommunications, succeeds Appleton as chairman, and Mark Adams, the company's sales chief, replaces Durcan as president.
Appleton, a daredevil, was a skydiving triathlete who flew stunt planes, raced motorcycles, drove fast cars and went skydiving and kite-boarding. He crashed once before because he flew to close to the ground doing stunts. He started at Micron at 22 working the graveyard shift in the factory.
According to Bloomberg a study done last year found that a CEO with a pilot's license is more prone to take risks in business and companies led by pilot CEOs were 40% more likely to make an acquisition in any given year than other companies. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, Google chairman Eric Schmidt and Zynga CEO Mark Pincus fly.
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