An Interview with Ralph Greenburg

 Historic Semiconductor Devices and Applications


Oral History – Ralph Greenburg


Anyway I ended up back in A building as manager of power transistor product marketing. The stay was short lived as Z building had been built to house all central marketing departments and I moved there in 1971.  During the managerial upheaval at the end of 1974 I was downgraded to a lesser position in power marketing and in 1976 I was laid off. But shortly I got a job in Strategic Marketing, still in Z building but now on the third floor.  By the time I joined Market Research the old 56th street plant had been torn down and a very modern office facility was built to house Sector HQ,  Sector Finance and World Marketing, including Market Research.  So in 1984 I was back at the same address where I started in 1954.


Market Research was responsible for estimating the market size for the 16 business centers and their market share. I was appointed Motorola’s representative on the SIA Semiconductor Statistics Program that later morphed in to WSTS (World Semiconductor Trade Statistics) program. By the time I retired there were 70 member companies reporting monthly sales (50 USA, 12 Japan, 6 Europe and 2 Korean).  The datum was sent to Price Waterhouse who compiled the information by product category and issued a “Blue Book” to all participants and was sold to market research houses and financial institutes.  WSTS also attempted market forecasts, Each spring there were forecast meetings in Europe, Japan or Korea and in the fall some city in USA or Canada.


Oral History – Ralph Greenburg


I think you mentioned that you came to Motorola from Philco.  What was your field of study and what was the Motorola hiring process like?


At the University of Utah I graduated with a BSEE with communications options. In addition to the basic power courses I had studies in circuit design, vacuum tube theory and practice and lab work designing and construction basic communication circuitry. Upon graduating I had another year on the GI Bill and I took some Master degree courses although I did not complete the degree, These were mainly advanced math, circuit theory, antenna design and one interesting course in designing and making a vacuum tube.


The hiring process of Motorola was quite simple. I was working with the 9th Naval district as a Philco Tech Rep and had completed a project of designing physical layouts of Naval electronic equipment for about six training centers scattered around the Midwest. Philco then wanted to send me to serve aboard a ship in the Atlantic. Being married with two small children the option was a no-no. We were living in Waukegan at the time and we wanted to find a job out west. I found an Ad in the Chicago Tribune announcing Electrical Engineering openings at Motorola’s Military Research facility in Phoenix.



Go To Greenburg Oral History, Page 3


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