Rick Wallace currently serves as the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of KLA-Tencor where he creates and implements the strategic goals and objectives of the company. He is responsible for formulating policies and fiscal planning, fulfilling the mission, strategy and annual goals, driving day-to-day change, accountability and excellence, and balancing the needs of investors, customers and employees.
He began his career as an applications engineer when the company was operating as KLA Instruments in 1988 and has held various general and executive management positions throughout his 25-year tenure, until he became the CEO in January 2006. During his career at KLA-Tencor, Wallace served as president and chief operating officer, and executive vice president of the Reticle and Photomask Inspection Division, Films and Surface Technology Division, Software and Customer Group, and Wafer Inspection Group. He had profit and loss responsibility for seven production divisions, which collectively generated more than 50 percent of the company’s revenue and profit. Wallace also served as group vice president for KLA-Tencor’s Lithography Control Group, as well as vice president and general manager and vice president of marketing for the Wafer Inspection Division.
Early in his career, Wallace built his expertise in lithography and yield management through engineering positions with Ultratech Stepper and Cypress Semiconductor.
Wallace currently serves on the board of directors for NetApp, a creator of storage and data management solutions that is headquartered in Silicon Valley. He previously served as chairman of the board of directors for Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International (SEMI), an industry trade association.
Wallace earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan and his master’s degree in engineering management from Santa Clara University, where he also taught strategic marketing and global competitiveness courses upon graduation.