Micron CEO Steve Appleton killed in small-plane crash

Crash was second for adventurous chief executive, who was 51

Micron Technology chief executive Steve Appleton was killed in a plane crash Friday at Boise (Idaho) Airport. He was 51.

Appleton was piloting the plane and flying alone, according to authorities.

Trading was suspended for Micron stock (NASDAQ: MU) early Friday afternoon following the announcement of Appleton's death.

Micron, based in Boise, is a manufacturer of semiconductor devices, including DRAM, SDRAM, NOR flash memory and CMOS image sensing chips. The company has a market capitalization of $7.85 billion and generated revenue of $8.79 billion last year, along with a profit of 17 cents a share.

In a statement posted on Micron's website, the company's board of directors said, "We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Appleton, Micron Chairman and CEO, passed away this morning in a small plane accident in Boise. ... Our hearts go out to his wife, Dalynn, his children and his family during this tragic time."

From the Associated Press:

It's not the first time Appleton has been in a small plane crash...

On July 8, 2004, Appleton sustained a punctured lung, head injuries, ruptured disk and broken bones after his stunt plane crashed in the desert east of Boise.

Appleton didn't immediately reveal the severity of his injuries.

Appleton began at Micron in 1983, working his way up to president and chief operating officer in 1991. He was name CEO three years later at age 34.

In addition to being a stunt pilot, Appleton also participated in numerous other sports and activities, including scuba diving, surfing and off-road car racing. He had a black belt in Taekwondo, a Korean martial art.

Last week Micron COO Mark Durcan announced he would resign from his position in August.

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