Steve Appleton, chief executive of Boise, Idaho-based semiconductor manufacturer Micron Technology Inc., died Friday when a small plane he was piloting crashed at an Idaho airport. He was 51.
"We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Appleton, Micron chairman and CEO, passed away this morning in a small plane accident in Boise," the company's board of directors said in a statement late Friday.
"Steve's passion and energy left an indelible mark on Micron, the Idaho community and the technology industry at large.
"Our hearts go out to his wife, Dalynn, his children and his family during this tragic time."
Airport officials said the single-engine Lancair plane caught fire and went down between two runways. Appleton was the only person aboard.
The cause of the incident is under investigation.
Micron is one of the world's leading manufacturers of advanced semiconductors. It makes a variety of flash memory devices, as well as other memory technologies and semiconductor systems.
Appleton previously survived two plane crashes, one of which left him with several fractures and a punctured lung in 2004.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012