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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended August 13, 2000
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Sent on Mormon-News: 16Aug00

Summarized by Rosemary Pollock

An LDS Entrepreneur's Work Ethic

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA -- Raymond Zinn, President and Chief Executive of Micrel Inc. of San Jose, California, spells success "WORK." Zinn learned a valuable lesson from his father, Milton in 1958. Midway through his junior year at Brigham Young University, he returned home to tell his father that he was quitting school and going to work. Zinn's father, a devout Mormon, father of 11 and a cattle rancher, was about to give his son a lesson in tough love.

"First, my father took my car keys and told me to take off my shirt and socks. Then he marched me into the (ranch) office restroom and told me to hand my pants through the door," said Zinn. After sitting for six hours, Zinn was waiting for his father to give him his clothes back. Zinn learned what his father meant about taking a short cut in his education.

"He was saying, 'Well, if you're going to quit school, you're going out in the world the way you came in.' He wanted me to think about living with decisions," Zinn said. Zinn shortly changed his mind and returned to school, determined not to take shortcuts and with a renewed focus on completing projects.

Today, Micrel, Inc., established by Zinn in 1978, is one of the industry's most profitable makers of analog chips for cell phones and personal computers. Zinn's quick action style allows him to spot a need and act on it. "What's hugely helpful is Ray's ability to jump on a problem immediately," said Warren Muller, a Micrel board member who co-founded the company with Zinn 22 years ago.

Zinn's hard-boiled individualism enabled him to launch Micrel without the help of venture capitalists. All he needed was a partner and $600,000 in personal cash and loans. "I wanted control of my destiny and to do it my way," Zinn said.

Zinn is known to watch three televisions at the same time and uses that ability to evaluate what his next move will be. "Ray's always many moves ahead, like a chess game," Whelton said. In managing his company, Zinn said, "I'm a believer in unlimited bandwidth." "The company will remove all barriers to what you want to do, so that the only limitations are the ones you place on yourself."

In order to make Micrel a better work place, Zinn relies on his Mormon faith to set the standards he expects at work. He does not condone swearing or the use of any kind of condescending language. He urges he workers to be honest, show integrity and respect for others.

Each year Zinn coins a new motto for the company. This year's motto is "Whatever It Takes." Zinn's goal for Micrel is to make a $1 billion company by 2003. His motto has personal meaning for himself. About five years ago Zinn developed a serious eye problem and can't see well enough to write anymore. But that's no problem for Ray, "I memorize everything now," he said.

Leaders &Success: Entrepreneur Raymond Zinn
Investor's Business Daily 9Aug00 B2
By Doug Tsuruoka: Investor's Business Daily
His Hard Work And Independence Built Chip Empire


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