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Micron throws itself a birthday party

photo of dave bieter, jim risch, and butch otter

Boise Mayor Dave Bieter, Sen. Jim Risch and Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter preparing to give speeches at Micron’s 40th anniversary in Boise. Photo by Sharon Fisher.

“Boise is our headquarters,” Micron CEO Sanjay Mehrotra said on Thursday. “It is the center of our research and development,” which in turn is the foundation of the company’s global presence.

Mehrotra was in Boise to take part in the company’s 40th anniversary, which it celebrated in Idaho by taking over Cecil Andrus Park, in front of the Statehouse, and busing in employees from the company’s facility in southeast Boise. The event – which was replicated at the company’s other worldwide locations – included food, music, performances and speeches from local leaders, including Gov. C. L. “Butch” Otter, Sen. Jim Risch and Boise Mayor Dave Bieter. Both Bieter and Otter made proclamations – Bieter for Boise and Otter, as he emphasized, for the whole state.

Otter, wearing a cast due to a broken ankle, reminisced about the day he drove his then father-in-law, J.R. Simplot, and two brothers-in-law to a nondescript dentist’s office near Fairview and Cole, wondering, “What in the hell is he doing now?” In the basement of that dentist’s office were Ward and Joe Parkinson, the two founders of Micron, which Simplot funded.

photo of sanjay mehrotra, politicians, and former micron executives

Micron CEO Sanjay Mehrotra led attendees, including politicians and past Micron executives in a “Go Micron” cheer. Photo by Sharon Fisher.

The two Parkinson brothers, as well as members of former CEO Steve Appleton’s family and former CEO Mark Durcan, were also in attendance at the event.

Mehrotra, who had co-founded the storage company SanDisk and left after it was sold to Western Digital in 2016, said his emphasis at Micron was improving the company’s speed of execution and improving the translation of its technology into benefits for its stakeholders and stockholders.

Mehtotra also presented four Boise charities with $10,000 each – the Idaho Food Bank’s backpack program, Charitable Assistance to Community’s Homeless (CATCH), the Discovery Center and the Foothills restoration project – representing food, shelter, education and the environment, he said.

Micron also announced today that it was spending $1.5 billion to buy out Intel’s share of the IM Flash Technologies joint venture for 3D XPoint technology, which is manufactured in Lehi, Utah. The two companies have created and ended a number of partnerships over the years.

“It has a tremendous manufacturing capability,” Mehrotra said. There is a growing need for memory and storage for artificial intelligence, he said. “It is at the heart of the intelligence evolution.”

About Sharon Fisher