STORIES

Richard P. Wallace M.S. '89:
Broncos Helping Broncos

Richard P. WallaceOne of the things we love about our successful Bronco engineers is how willing they are to share their experiences and the “secrets” of their success with fellow alums and engineering students.

This is exactly what 2010 Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award recipient Richard P. Wallace M.S. ’89 did in 2011. Wallace shared the story of his journey to becoming President and CEO of KLA-Tencor Corp., the world’s fourth largest semiconductor manufacturer. He also shared the five corporate values his team identified as being imperative to the tech giant’s success:

  1. Perseverance. There are no overnight successes; it may take years to bring a project to fruition; be prepared to persevere.
  2. Drive to be better. Never be comfortable or satisfied with standing still.
  3. High-performing teams. Work globally, across cultures and across disciplines. Having high-performing teams with people who can lead them and people who can serve on them is crucial; management must be prepared to do what it takes to support performance.
  4. Be honest, forthright, and behave consistently. Have the courage of conviction to stand up for what you believe, volunteer additional information when it is needed, and cultivate an environment that consistently makes it acceptable for all to do so.
  5. Be indispensible to the customer. Strive to be unique and different—keep evolving.


Concluding his remarks, Wallace noted that these are not just corporate values, but also those he passes along to his children and strives to inculcate for his own self-improvement. When asked by an audience member why he should bother to be forthright when it is so often met with a punishment of some kind, Wallace responded in a manner befitting his Jesuit education: “Because it’s the right thing to do.”

Read the full story of Rick Wallace’s road to success.

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