Distinguished Alumni Awards

W. J. Sanders III

W. J.  Sanders III
To W. J. Sanders III, engineer, entrepreneur, industrial executive, for his leadership in the semiconductor industry.

President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the Board, Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., Sunnyvale, California

BS, Electrical Engineering, 1958

After employment with Douglas Aircraft Co. and Motorola Semiconductor (where he switched from engineering to sales), Mr. Sanders joined the semiconductor division of Fairchild Camera and Instrument Corp. in 1961, then the premier company in its field, and progressed through the ranks to become group director of marketing worldwide in 1967. While at Fairchild he was responsible for conceiving and implementing its “Product of the Month” campaign and establishing the systems and application engineering approach to product planning which resulted in the family of medium-scale integrated circuits.

Mr. Sanders founded Advanced Micro Devices in 1969. His strategy for the company was that by becoming a broadline supplier of standard industry products AMD would ultimately become a world leader in integrated circuit production. To do this his company did not concentrate on proprietary products, but “second sourced’; by reengineering parts that were already available, AMD redesigned them with higher levels of performance and reliability. In 1975 AMD brought out its first major proprietary device, a large-scale integrated computer logic circuit for which it received industry-wide recognition. Later the company concentrated on microprocessor peripheral equipment. Today AMD has entered the field of microcomputers.

Current as of 1982.