Warren East awarded for lifetime contribution to electronics industry at last night’s NMI Awards

Warren East, who led Cambridge based ARM to become the world’s leading semiconductor IP company, the dominant technology developer in the smartphone chip market and one of the UK’s most valuable companies, has been given the lifetime contribution award at last night’s NMI Awards.

ARM’s designs are in 95% of all smartphone CPUs – including Apple, HTC, Nokia, Sony and Samsung – and account for over 75% of all 32-bit embedded CPUs.

Warren EastEast (54) was CEO of ARM between 2001 and 2013. Under East, ARM had seen operating profits grow six-fold to £263 million ($397 million) for his final full fiscal year (2012) on revenues of $913 million. And 8.7 billion designs shipped annually in 2012, compared to 420 million in 2001, with customers growing to 322 from 77 in that time.

In July, he was appointed as the new CEO of Rolls Royce Holdings.

In announcing the winner NMI’s CEO, Derek Boyd, said Warren: “joined one of the UK’s leading hi-tech companies in 1994 and, after a number of promotions, became CEO in 2001. Under his leadership, the company increased revenue and profit more than five-fold.                   

“After stepping-down as CEO, he undertook a number of board positions but unselfishly donated his time as the first Chairman of the Electronic Systems Council. During his two years as Chair, he played a leading role in increasing government awareness of the electronic systems community in the UK.”

While Warren wasn’t able to be there to accept the award he did supply an acceptance speech: “I have for the time being moved from the supply end of the electronic systems space to the user end, with a company better known for its mechanical engineering excellence.                    

“My observation is twofold. Many of the challenges are the same; energy efficiency remains a guiding principle. Also modern engineering is about utilising products, services and skills from across the engineering spectrum, and products which are typically about mechanics are becoming more efficient and reliable with increasing electrification and electronic content.

“Thank you very much for this award, it means a lot, and will it remind me of many friends around the electronic space in the UK and the semiconductor world at large.

“I’m very sorry not to be with you and I hope you all have a really good evening.”

The annual NMI Awards celebrate the year’s key electronics innovations, people and companies from across the UK and Ireland. Last night’s awards were held at the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel, with wildlife documentary presenter Monty Halls being the guest speaker.

Other key winners included Ultrahaptics’ CTO, Tom Carter, who won the Young Engineer of the Year Award; Plessey Semiconductors, who took home the Company of the Year Award and Argon Design, who won the Innovation of the Year Award.

The full list of winners, in order of presentation, were:

The UKESF Scholar of the Year Award – Josh Oldfield – University of Southampton

The Young Engineer of the Year award – Tom Carter – Ultrahaptics

The Contribution to Industry Award – Warren East

The Automotive Electronics Innovation & Excellence Award – Freescale

The Innovation Award – Argon Design

The Manufacturing Site of the Year Award – XAAR

The Manufacturing Supplier of the Year Award – KMG Ultra

The More than Moore Award – Analog Devices

The Product of the Year Award – Cambridge CMOS Sensors

The Research Collaboration Award – Raytheon

The Silicon to Software Design Award – DisplayLink

The University Research Group of the Year Award – University of Southampton

The Emerging Technology Company of the Year Award – PragmatIC

The Company of the Year Award – Plessey Semiconductors



About NMI

NMI is the UK trade association representing the electronic systems, microelectronics and semiconductor communities. Its objective is to catalyse and accelerate the continual development of a sustainable and world-leading industry in the UK.

NMI is a not-for-profit organisation funded by its membership, which includes electronic systems design and manufacturing companies, integrated device manufacturers, fabless semiconductor manufacturers, semiconductor foundries, semiconductor suppliers, electronics design services, intellectual property providers, research and academic institutions.

NMI is a trading name of the National Microelectronics Institute, a not-for-profit organisation registered in Scotland, No. 17005.

For more information: www.nmi.org.uk