Rich Templeton is not your garden-variety Chief Executive Officer. In a time when many IT professionals frequently change employers, Templeton has spent his entire career at Texas Instruments, a company that he's helped make into one of the world's premier semiconductor design and manufacturing companies.
In 1980, Templeton began his long tenure just one week after graduating with a degree in electrical engineering from Union College, where he played linebacker for the varsity football team. After starting with an entry-level engineering position at TI, Templeton subsequently worked his way up to president and CEO in 2004 and chairman in 2008.
Looking at the numbers, Templeton’s success as a business leader cannot be denied. Under his stewardship, the value of TI’s stock has grown by more than 10X, and dividends to shareholders have also increased substantially. As CEO, he has helped reshape the company, namely by focusing resources on growth opportunities in TI's core businesses of embedded systems and digital signal processing. Over the years, his accomplishments include leading such major acquisitions as National Semiconductor while turning the company into a global leader in analog integrated circuits.
Templeton has also positioned the company for future growth by maintaining TI's strategic investments in R&D and manufacturing. He is additionally credited with expanding the size of the sales and applications engineering team to better serve TI customers.
Adding to his TI responsibilities, Templeton is a member of the Business Roundtable, serves on the board of directors of the Semiconductor Industry Association, and is a trustee of both Southern Methodist University and the Southwestern Medical Foundation. For many years, he has personally led the charge for TI's United Way campaign, resulting in tens of millions of dollars of donations to a variety of charitable organizations.
Over the decades, Templeton has been recognized with multiple industry awards, including the 2012 Robert N. Noyce Award for contributions to technology or public policy. In 2019, he was ranked 49th by Forbes Magazine on its annual list of America's Most Innovative Leaders.
In 2020, the successful CEO donated $51 million to his alma mater, Union College. The largest gift in the school's 225-year history, the donation was used to create the Templeton Institute for Engineering and Computer Science, which is intended to promote STEM education and recruit women to the fields of engineering and computer science.