As a second-generation TIer, I’ve seen our company re-engineer itself time and time again as our innovators’ creations have literally transformed the world we live in.
But one thing has remained constant from the beginning: the core values on which our company was founded. Integrity, innovation and commitment lie at the very heart of who we are as a business.
In fact, our devotion to innovation is the very reason our company has evolved from an oil exploration business in 1930 to the analog and embedded processing enterprise we see today. It was just five years after my father began work here – in 1958 – that TIer Jack Kilby invented the integrated circuit, which became the very foundation of modern electronics.
Growing up, I heard about TI at the dinner table almost every night. To be honest, there were times as a young man when I was ready to hear about something else. But looking back, I still remember the sense of pride with which my dad spoke about this place.
I was right out of college in 1979 when I was hired to work in the Training and Development team making technical training videotapes. My next role was college recruiter in Staffing. My boss in Staffing had worked for Cecil Green, one of the founders of our company. Cecil has become known at TI through the years for the way he spoke about the importance of ethics and integrity in our business. His firm belief in doing business the right way – and that of our other founders – has been passed down through generations of TIers.
Today, as ethics director, I have a responsibility to honor this legacy and pass it on to the next generation of TIers. I take this obligation seriously and often think of the legacy I will one day leave.
Of our core values, integrity is the one I most identify with our company. Time and time again over the years, I have heard retiring TIers – from administrative assistants all the way to senior leaders – say similar things as they leave. They appreciate the way people treat one another here. The first-name basis. The open-door policy. The commitment to doing business the right way. These are simple, but profound statements about our company and are the reasons people stay.
Between my father and I, Solomons have worked at TI for 62 years of its 85-year history. Over the years, my dad has kept and preserved key pieces of our company’s history and handed them down to me. Among them is the original Ethics in the Business of TI booklet that we published in 1961. For some reason, all those years ago, my dad kept that booklet. It meant something to him. And at the time, he could never have envisioned that I would one day lead our Ethics Office.
Today, as I look back over my career, TI has given me the opportunity to learn and grow, and experience so many different aspects of our company – from training, to staffing, to compensation and benefits, to working as an HR business partner for our defense group – to becoming an HR leader for our wireless and manufacturing businesses. So even though I’ve never worked anywhere else, TI has given me a truly rich and diverse career that has enabled me to grow as a leader and learn many things.
And to this day, my dad and I still talk about TI at the dinner table. Except now, having worked here for more than 35 years, I have my own sense of pride – not only in the place I work, but in the people I call co-workers and the core values that define our company.