The Schwartz file Featured

8:00pm EDT April 25, 2007
Born: I grew up in Indiana, but I was born in Boston.

Education: Bachelor of science degree, master of science degree and Ph.D., electrical engineering Purdue; MBA, University of Chicago

Greatest business challenge: It seems every job I’ve had, I wasn’t quite ready for it. You don’t always know it at the time.

I can remember my days at Applied Materials, and I always wanted more, and I was ready and I’d do it. I look back and I say, ‘What were those guys thinking?’ Being able to do that with people here at Asyst is one of the greatest lessons. I continue to learn how to stretch people to allow them to do what they’re capable to do, even if they’re not quite ready.

Whom do you admire most in business and why?

I had a chance to work at Applied Materials with Jim Morgan. He was always a steady hand who managed a complicated business out far enough in front of it that he always had the company going the right kind of place. I remember a conversation asking about his challenges. Applied Materials was suddenly out in front of everybody, him describing the challenges now were that nobody had ever been where they were before. The decisions they made were going to impact not just Applied Materials but the rest of the industry. He took those challenges like he did any other — just a really strong leader with great vision and really good balance in life, work and everything.

Favorite board game: I like Scrabble. It’s really humbling, and I can never win, you never know what you’re going to get, and you have to deal with it in seconds.