Oct. 5, 2018 marks Micron’s 40th anniversary. In honor of this event, which we’re calling “40 Years Strong, Getting Stronger,” we thought it might be fun and interesting to share some stories from employees who have been with Micron for nearly the entire existence of the company: Men and women who are pioneers in the semiconductor industry. Let’s call them, Pioneers of Micron. In this series, you’ll see Micron’s five core values of people, innovation, tenacity, collaboration and customer focus come alive through the words of these pioneers. Here’s a sneak peek:
Meet James Baugh. James is a reticle engineer in Micron’s Central Mask shop in Boise, Idaho. He’s employee number 208, meaning he was the 208th employee hired out of the 34,000+ employees we have today at our global sites. We had a chance to talk to James about his experiences at Micron over the years, including how he’s seen our core values evolve.
Corporate Communication (CC): When did you join Micron?
James: I joined Micron 37 years ago. My employee number is 208 — the local [Idaho] area code — so everyone says it’s the number to have in Boise.
CC: Which of Micron’s values of today were also relevant back when you started nearly four decades ago?
James: Innovation. Every day we had to try to do something better so we could survive. Everything had to happen right here. We weren’t in California; we were in Idaho. Everything was built here, from our information systems to our tracking systems. Our biggest value then was that if we were going to keep the company rolling, we had to innovate and find solutions to problems. We were inventing the technology all the time, and it was what we had to do to keep the doors open.”
CC: How do you think the company has changed in these 37 years?
James: The company is so much more dynamic now. We have a much broader technology base. The talent that’s coming in is just amazing. There are still just as many things that need to be solved, but we didn’t have the same resources back then.
CC: What do you see as a standout value of the company today?
James: People. We now have the benefit of all these diverse people coming from places like Japan and Singapore and Taiwan. Around the world, the sky’s the limit for people who are motivated to take on responsibility and new challenges if they want to get experience and further their career And I think Micron wants to see that. They want to develop these people, and that’s a great benefit.
CC: What’s your favorite story from Micron?
James: One of my first favorite stories was that I was working as that aligner — I was saying on the old Fab 1 — and we had an employee, his name was Dong Ngo (employee No. 240). God rest his soul, he’s no longer with us. And I was down there working and I ran the aligner; he ran the coat and develop tracks. We had not the fanciest smocks and booties back then, you know. You always wanted to look good at work. You were young, and those things mattered. So I was sitting at my station and Dong is down there, and I’m looking at him, and he’s got the coolest booties I’ve ever seen. I mean, I‘m like, “I haven’t seen any like that. I want to get a pair of those booties. I’m gonna dig through the bootie bin and I’m gonna find a pair.”
Well, I sat down there in my envy for quite a while, and it dawned on me: Dong was down there with a brand-new pair of Nikes with the red swoosh on them, and he wasn’t wearing booties.
CC: Any parting thoughts as Micron approaches its 40-year anniversary?
James: I think it’s been amazing the way we’ve grown as a company. There’s still a lot to do, but I think now’s the time to grow this company and make it even stronger. It seems like we have this foundation built already that’s going to get us there.
We hope you enjoy this series as much as we have putting it together. Stay tuned for our next post, Pioneers of Micron: People Have Always Been Our Greatest Asset.