Micron CEO dies in experimental airplane crash

Micron Chairman and CEO Steve Appleton died from a small airplane crash this morning. Appleton has long been a stunt plane pilot and was flying a single-engine experimental aircraft solo before it crashed at the Boise airport. This wasn't the first time Appleton had crashed but it is his last. He was 51 years old.

Appleton is attributed with building semiconductor company Micron into one of the world's largest makers of DRAM memory chips. He has a long history with the company, starting out as a production worker and eventually working his way up. He became an advocate for fair trade against Japanese rivals, which dominated the memory chip market back in the 80s by selling chips below cost, a practice known as dumping.

"We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Appleton, Micron Chairman and CEO, passed away this morning in a small plane accident in Boise. He was 51. Our hearts go out to his wife, Dalynn, his children and his family during this tragic time. Steve's passion and energy left an indelible mark on Micron, the Idaho community and the technology industry at large," read a statement issued by Micron's board.

Appleton had survived a plane crash back in 2004, where he sustained head injuries, a punctured lung, ruptured disk, and broken bones. However, he had not revealed the severity of his crash until 2006.

[via VentureBeat]