At 82, Analog Devices cofounder Ray Stata isn’t ready to slow down.
The godfather of the state’s tech industry recently jetted to San Francisco to accept a prestigious award on Analog’s behalf from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, which bills itself as the world’s largest technical professional association.
The Norwood-based chip manufacturer was recognized for its pioneering work in data converters, a fancy term for the devices that convert analog signals into digital formats (or vice versa). Stata was joined by Analog colleagues Dave Robertson and Bob Adams.
Stata may have been the rock star in the room, but he said the award honors the work of his talented engineering team. The company that Stata launched with Matthew Lorber in Cambridge 52 years ago remains the undisputed leader in the converter product business.
Stata stopped running Analog on a day-to-day basis years ago, although he remains the company’s board chairman and contributes his expertise and insight when he can, including with Analog’s recent acquisition of Linear Technology Corp.
“That was one of the more important decisions our company has ever made, and we had to get that right,” Stata said.
The Massachusetts High Technology Council, which Stata cofounded, last week ushered in the first of its Ray Stata Leadership and Innovation Awards. Kronos Inc. CEO Aron Ain was the first honoree.
Stata spends much of his time these days with Stata Venture Partners. It’s an investment firm that has backed a wide range of startups, he said, including a number of spinoffs from his alma mater, MIT.
“I work as hard now as I ever had,” Stata said. “I’m a technology junkie that likes to learn about new things and work with bright young people. It keeps me going.”
But just don’t call him an icon — even if it’s hard to think of another businessperson who lives in the Boston area more deserving of the word. “Icon,” Stata said, “that’s a code word for ‘old.’ ” — JON CHESTO
Kerry sees China opening
If you ask John Kerry, he would love Boston to still host the next US-China climate summit. But Boston Mayor Marty Walsh remains less enthusiastic.
Kerry, the former secretary of state and US senator, reached out to Walsh recently to say: “I’m prepared to be helpful.”
Last June Kerry and Walsh were in Beijing attending the US-China summit when they announced that Boston would host this year’s gathering. But the election of Donald Trump and his subsequent pullout of the Paris climate agreement put that plan on hold.
The forum brings together dozens of mayors from both the United States and China to discuss how they can reduce carbon emissions. The United States and China are the world’s two biggest carbon emitters.
A looming concern is, without federal support, could the city invite Chinese officials and could those talks be effective.
Kerry, in an interview, said he doesn’t see a problem.
“Whenever foreign dignitaries travel to the United States, we afford them the dignity and respect of their positions . . . whether it is on official business or not,” he said.
As secretary of state, Kerry helped craft the Paris climate accord in which 195 countries agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Along with a deal with Iran, it was one of Kerry’s signature accomplishments as America’s top diplomat.
Along with forging stronger climate change policies, Walsh had touted the US-China summit as a way to show off the city to Chinese leaders that could create economic opportunities. In an interview on WGBH radio last week, the mayor didn’t think the conference could have the same impact with the United States out of the Paris agreement.
“We are not having a gathering or meeting for the sake of having a meeting,” Walsh said.
Still, the mayor hasn’t given up completely on a climate change forum, perhaps one that would feature just US mayors. — SHIRLEY LEUNG
Karter biking across US
Most businesspeople in Boston know Trish Karter for Dancing Deer Baking Co., the company she ran for more than a decade.
But Karter is embarking on a challenge that’s tougher than being a CEO. Starting on Saturday, Karter and three teammates will compete in the Race Across America, biking 3,000 miles over seven days.
Karter, who is 60, wants to establish a world record for the women’s 60-plus age group — one doesn’t exist right now — and to chase the record for the 50-plus category. She wants to raise money for women’s health research at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, too.
Most importantly, she wants to send a message.
“I’m doing it mostly because I feel it will make a difference,” Karter said. “I’ve spent my career trying to advance the role of women in business. But in athletics, it’s particularly bad. When women get older, they really disappear. . . . It’s another glass ceiling to break.”
Karter said she began cycling seriously relatively late in life, in 2009. (She left the CEO’s job at Dancing Deer in 2010.) She overcame a traumatic crash to become a top uphill rider, setting the record for the 60-64 age group last year at Mt. Washington. Lately, she’s been cycling as many as 300 miles a week, while running Chabaso Bakery in New Haven.
Longtime friend Karen Kaplan, the CEO of ad agency Hill Holliday, connected Karter with executives at the Brigham, a Hill Holliday client. Karter’s journey seemed like a perfect match for Brigham Health, part of Partners HealthCare, and the organization became her team’s lead sponsor.
“This is quintessential Trish Karter,” Kaplan said. “It’s like, ‘Barriers, what barriers?’ ”
— JON CHESTO
Kraft a big Immelt backer
Few executives in Greater Boston are closer to departing GE chief executive Jeff Immelt than Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots.
So it’s not surprising that Kraft would offer up strong words of praise for his friend when asked about the news that Immelt will step down on Aug. 1 to make way for John Flannery, the head of GE’s health care business.
“Jeff Immelt is a terrific leader,” Kraft said in an e-mail. “For the past 17 years, he has run one of the largest and most complicated systems as the CEO at General Electric. One of his greatest skills is his ability to get people to work together. That collegial leadership is critical to the success of all great teams.”
Kraft said Immelt wrapped up a number of impressive accomplishments during his tenure as CEO. Among them: deciding to move GE’s headquarters to Boston last year. Kraft helped to pitch Immelt on the merits of relocating here from Connecticut.
“Bringing GE’s headquarters to Boston will be one of his lasting legacies,” Kraft said, “and will benefit our economy for generations to come.”
— JON CHESTO