Richard K. Templeton, Union Class of ’80, is the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI), a global Fortune 500 company with nearly $13 billion in revenue and about 32,000 employees. TI has a long-standing tradition of bringing innovative technologies to market. In the 1950s, TI engineers developed the first commercial silicon transistor and invented the integrated circuit. Today, its engineers continue to innovate with a portfolio of 100,000 semiconductors that are used in a myriad of electronics, from toothbrushes to tablets and from automobiles to appliances. TI is among the top semiconductor producers in the world. Templeton entered Union College in 1976 and graduated cum laude in 1980 with a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering while also playing linebacker for the varsity football team. At Union, he met his future wife Mary (Haanen) Templeton who graduated in 1980 with a B.S. in Computer Science and is currently serving as a trustee of the college. Mary and Rich have three children: Stephanie (25), John (23) and Jim (22).
In an era when many professionals frequently change fields and employers, Templeton has spent his entire career at TI, beginning a week after graduation in an entry-level engineering position and working his way up to president and CEO in 2004 and chairman in 2008.
Understanding that analog semiconductors are essential in our increasingly digital world, Templeton has led TI to become the global leader in analog integrated circuits, while still maintaining the company’s strengths in embedded systems and digital signal processing. Under his direction, the value of TI’s stock has grown 70 percent and dividends to shareholders have increased by a factor of 14. He has been singled out as the semiconductor world’s best CEO multiple times by financial analysts and portfolio managers who follow the industry. But Templeton’s leadership has not only benefited investors: TI has been ranked as one of the top companies in employee happiness, showing that business success and employee satisfaction can grow together.
Through his actions, Templeton has shown he also understands that success is measured by more than a profit statement and he has set the tone at TI by personally leading its United Way campaign for many years, resulting in tens of millions of dollars of donations to a variety of charitable organizations. Reaching out beyond the walls of TI, he has also chaired the Metropolitan Dallas United Way campaign, leading it to a record fund-raising year in 2012. Together with his wife, Mary, Templeton has established a charitable foundation that has donated millions of dollars to educational and arts organizations.
Templeton has also given his time and energy to the advancement of technological innovation and education, particularly STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education. He personally led North Texas CEOs in a “STEM in the Schoolyard” project with fifth graders at a Dallas elementary school. Under Templeton’s leadership, the company and the TI Foundation have invested $150 million over the last five years to strengthen global education programs including K-12 STEM teaching and student achievement. In the U.S., these efforts are especially directed toward increasing skills among under-resourced communities and under-represented minority students and girls. The industry has taken note of Templeton’s commitment and passion in this area. In 2012, he received the Semiconductor Industry Association’s highest award, citing his service as a “vigorous advocate for STEM education and longtime champion of research and innovation.”
Through his business success, his leadership by example and his giving of his time and resources to the community, Richard Templeton has lived the creed of a Union College Liberal Arts education: Think, Connect, Act.