Micron Appoints Mark Durcan CEO to Succeed Former Chief Killed in a Plane Crash

Paul Lilly

Micron on Friday appointed President and COO Mark Durcan as interim CEO of the company until a successor is named by the Board of the Directors, and it didn't take them long to find their leader. On Saturday, Micron made the promotion permanent. Mr. Durcan, 51, held his previous roles with the company since 2007, and was the logical choice to succeed Steve Appleton, also 51, who perished in a plane crash last week.

Mr. Durcan will also serve as a Director on Micron's Board, a position formerly held by Robert E. Switz since 2006, who was appointed Chairman of the Board. Mark W. Adams was named President.

"We are fortunate to be able to appoint someone with Mark's operations and technical leadership experience to serve as the company's CEO," said Mr. Switz . "Mark has been instrumental in Micron's success in his role as President and COO and has garnered the respect of the company, his team members, and the industry at large."

Mr. Durcan joined Micron in 1984 and had planned on retiring at the end of August, a decision he announced less than two weeks ago. But on Friday, tragedy struck Micron when Appleton's Lancair single-engine experimental propeller plane he was piloting crashed in a Boise, Idaho airport and killed the former CEO. Appleton wasn't afraid to take risks and was also a professional stunt plane pilot and former motocross racer.

"The older you get, the more risk you should take," Appleton told USA Today during an interview in 2006. "When George Bush Sr. went skydiving at 80, they made a big deal. What if his parachute didn't open? So what? It's not like the guy hasn't done anything with his life. Kids who are 18 think they will live forever and take huge risk. They have their entire lives ahead of them. If I were to die tomorrow, I have no complaints. I've experienced more than anybody should expect in a lifetime."

Image Credit: Micron

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