The semiconductor industry is on a rapid growth trajectory, with a goal of becoming a $1 trillion industry by 2030 – that’s only 8 years away! Getting there will require a tremendous amount of innovation, investment, and risk-taking – all characteristics that define an entrepreneur. But what does it really mean to be an entrepreneur in the semiconductor industry?
To find out, Françoise visited our 3D inCites community member, CyberOptics Corpation. The company’s president and CEO, Dr. Subodh Kulkarni, was recently named a finalist for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of The Year® 2022 Heartland Award. This is one of the preeminent competitive business awards for entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies who think big to succeed.
During the interview, Dr. Kulkarni talks about the importance of resiliency and never giving up. He also explained his leadership approach at CyberOptics, and the importance of creating a family culture that fosters diversity and inclusivity.
Dr. Subodh Kulkarni
Kulkarni has been a director of CyberOptics Corporation since 2009 and has been the President and Chief Executive Officer since February 2014. He was the Executive Chairman from September 2013 to February 2014 and was the lead director from December 2012 until his election as Executive Chairman. From January 2013 to February 2014, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Prism Computational Sciences, a developer of software tools for scientific and commercial applications in the simulation of hot gases and plasmas used in the semiconductor industry. Prior to his work at Prism, he held various positions with Imation Corporation, including Chief Technology Officer; Senior Vice President, OEM/Emerging Business; and Vice President, Global Commercial Business, R&D, and Manufacturing. Prior to his employment with Imation, he held various research management positions with 3M Corporation and IBM. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Key Tronic. He has won awards for commercializing technologies he and others have developed in the electronics industry. He holds a Master's Degree and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He wrote his thesis on the surface decomposition of disilane, a chemical used to manufacture semiconductors.
He received a B.S. in chemical engineering from IIT—Bombay, India (where he was first in his class).