Outstanding Industrial Engineer (2015)
Rich is a General Partner with Silicon Valley venture capital firm Foundation Capital. Since joining the firm in 2004, his investments have focused in semiconductors, networking, and security. Rich is an entrepreneur at heart. Prior to Foundation, he spent more than twenty years in mobile, networking and communications, both at startups companies and start-up business units within larger firms. Before his venture investing career, Rich was a pioneer in Wi-Fi. At 3Com Corporation, were he ran the start-up Mobile and Home Networking Business Units, he and his team founded what became the Wi-Fi Alliance after they led the creation of the now ubiquitous brand name that had previously been known as IEEE802.11. Shortly thereafter, Rich left 3Com to join a start-up group of engineers, including Stanford Professor Teresa Meng and John Hennessy, Stanford's Dean of Engineering at the time who later became its President. Rich redirected the engineers' chip developments toward the new emerging wireless standard and grew Atheros Communication into the Wi-Fi powerhouse that went public in 2004 and was eventually acquired by Qualcomm in 2011 for more than $3 billion. Prior to his Wi-Fi work, Rich held numerous other sales and marketing executive positions during his ten years at 3Com. Prior to 3Com, Rich was COO at Polygon, a communications software start-up, and also held various sales and marketing positions at TeleVideo Systems. Rich is currently on the board of trustees at The Computer History Museum, and is chairman of ACCO Semiconductor. In addition to his BSIE from Purdue, he holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.