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C.N. Reddy
Friday, November 21, 2008

Age 43
Place of Birth Hyderabad

Residence Los Altos Hills, CA

Family Wife and son

Came to the U.S. 1977

Education MSEE

First job Texas Instruments

Company started Alliance Semiconductors

Year did an IPO 1993

Year became millionaire 1988

Favorite charity

Lifetime goals Be kind

Net worth Over $200 million

Philosophy of life Being smart is not enough

Most inspired by Self

Most excited by Golf

Most expensive thing ever bought Land

Last year, Forbes magazine ranked the brothers Damodar and C.N. Reddy in its Technology 100 richest listing. According to the magazine, each had assets of over $100 million. In 1995, Fortune magazine called the company they founded, Alliance Semiconductors, the eighth fastest growing company in the United States. The same year, Damodar won the Entrepreneur of the Year award in Northern California.

Nevertheless, the two have preferred to stay out of media spotlight and not much is known about them.

The Reddys came to the United States in the 1970s and both earned Masters degrees in electrical engineering; Damodar studied at North Dakota University and C.N. at Utah State. Later Damodar also received a M.B.A. degree from Santa Clara University. Damodar worked at the nation’s leading semiconductor firms including Fairchild Semiconductor, Four Phase Systems, a subsidiary of Motorola, RCA Technology Center, and Advanced CMOS Technology Development at Synertek, Inc., a subsidiary of Honeywell, Inc. Just prior to starting Alliance, he was president and chief executive officer of Modular Semiconductor. C.N. Reddy has worked at Texas Instruments, National Semiconductor, Modular Semiconductor and Cypress Semiconductor Corp.

In 1985, the brothers started Alliance with Damodar serving as its CEO and C.N. as the company’s vice president of engineering. According to a former executive at Alliance, the Reddy brothers managed to bring the company back from the dead – from bankruptcy to an initial public offering. For years, the company had remained private and also slipped into bankruptcy. But the Reddys recouped, making full use of the demand for memory products. Alliance’s first product was a high-speed cache memory that capitalized on the opportunities arising from the introduction of the new 386 microprocessors, a case of being “at the right place at the right time,” recalls the former associate.

Alliance fared well on Wall Street as well, perhaps because investors didn’t really care about the company’s past. At its peak, Alliance had a market cap of over $2 billion, but its stock had precipitous declines too. It hit a high of $46.25 in September 1995, and slid to a mere $1.93 in October 1998.

According to industry insiders, the Reddys simply failed to consolidate on the early gains of the company. Because Alliance had never received venture funding, the company’s management never became truly professional. Besides, the bulk of the ownership remained in the hands of the two brothers. The company failed to make strategic acquisitions when its stock price was a big strength; nor did it fight to retain top-flight talent as competition mounted in Silicon Valley, according to insiders.

However, Alliance has made a strong comeback since the end of 1998. Its stock price has gained and is currently trading in the range of $25. Former employees said the Reddys made a sizable part of their fortunes from strategic investments made in other semiconductor companies with fabrication facilities. These include United Semiconductor Corporation, a Taiwanese company that owns and operates an 8-inch wafer manufacturing facility using advanced process technologies; FED Corporation, a privately-held flat panel display company in the formative stage; and Maverick, which was acquired by Broadcom. Damodar Reddy sits on the board of United and FED Corp. They are also said to have considerable investments in US real estate and in recent startups in India.

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