In this months feature of Get to Know The CEO we had the privilege of sitting down with Michael Sanie – CEO of Endura Technologies.

Michael leads Endura Technologies’ mission to transform SoC power delivery. His career spans several executive roles in diverse businesses and multifunctional responsibilities.

Most recently, he was Chief Marketing Executive and Senior VP of Enterprise Marketing and Communications at Synopsys, where he also held leadership roles as VP of Marketing and Strategy for the Design Business and VP of Product Management for the Verification Business.

Michael previously held executive and senior marketing positions at Cadence, Calypto, Numerical, and Actel, as well as IC design and software engineering positions at VLSI Technology (now NXP Semiconductors). Michael holds BSECE and MSEE degrees from Purdue University and an MBA from Santa Clara University.

Let’s get to know more on Michael: 

Q: What advice would you give to early-career engineers/people wanting to get into your vertical market/people wanting to start a company in the current climate/etc?

A: As an early-career engineer aspiring to a long-term future in the semiconductor industry, I strongly recommend dedicating a few years to exploring roles in Sales—even if your primary interest lies in a technical career. The landscape of semiconductor sales, marketing, and economics is distinctly unique. You’ll encounter clients who are educated, intelligent, and often inherently skeptical, qualities that enhance their decision-making. Mastering the art of navigating these complex dynamics will equip you with invaluable perspectives and skills, giving you the ability to manage the industry’s fluctuations, technological trends, and diverse personalities. The few years of Sales experience can prove transformative, offering a robust foundation for a long career in this dynamic field. 

Q: What personal projects will you be working on this weekend?

A: As CEO, as much as I strive to maintain a broad perspective and a balanced approach for both myself and my team, weekends often involve catching up on work and preparing for the week ahead.  I also make time for personal passions, weather and travel schedules permitting. My activities could range from challenging myself with a 50-mile bike ride, to dedicating a few hours to piano practice. I also enjoy watching sports and networking with friends across the industry. These varied pursuits not only enrich my personal life but also invigorate my professional focus.

Q: What was your first job in the industry?

A: My first job was as a design/software engineer with VLSI Technologies, which pioneered the ASIC industry. The work we undertook then continues to underpin current SoC design practices. It was an enriching experience, both in terms of learning and culture.

Q: What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career, and how did you overcome it?

A: The most significant challenge in my career occurred when a protégé (within the context of a large organization with a less-than-ideal culture) unexpectedly maneuvered politically, assumed control of my organization, and precipitated my layoff. This was both a shocking and enlightening experience for someone who had always been considered a rising star.

What followed was an identity crisis. I had unconsciously equated my self-worth with my high-ranking professional status. Suddenly, stripped of my role and title, I found myself at a loss for who I was. It took several months, but with my family’s and true friends’ steadfast support, I came to see that I was not just my job title—I was a husband, a father, and a well-rounded intellectual.  This pivotal realization empowered me to take control and consciously shape my career path, workplace environment, and the teams I chose to work with. Ultimately, this led to a far more satisfying and thoughtful career.

Q: What is something that would surprise people to know about you?

A: In my early days, I studied and was all set to become a world-class orchestra conductor. I had my moment of brilliance when I “conducted well,” and just as quickly, I could “switch” to when it seemed like I “didn’t conduct.” As such, this ability to quickly switch back and forth led me to a career in semiconductors.  Though it sounds like a strange pun, it’s a true story that perfectly captures my life’s journey!