Image courtesy of National Instruments

(Image courtesy of National Instruments).

James Truchard to Step Down as Chief Executive of National Instruments

Dr. James Truchard. (Image courtesy of National Instruments).

Dr. James Truchard, the chief executive and one of the founders of National Instruments, is stepping down as chief executive after 40 years.

Dr. Truchard – affectionately known as Dr. T within the industry – said on Tuesday that he will retire at the end of the year. He will, however, keep his position as the chairman of the board of directors.

After starting the company out of a garage in Austin, Dr. Truchard helped turn NI into one of the biggest makers of software and test equipment for everything from industrial control systems to wireless transmitters. NI has grown into a business with over $1 billion in annual revenue and over 7,000 employees worldwide.

The change will take effect on January 1st, the company said in a statement. Alex Davern, NI’s chief operations officer and chief financial officer, will replace Dr. Truchard. It will be the first time that anyone other than Dr. Truchard has served as chief executive of the company, which was founded in 1976.

Under Dr. Truchard’s leadership, NI has focused on developing platforms that could be built upon over the years. These include its PXI modular test equipment and CompactRIO embedded industrial controllers. The company’s biggest platform success is perhaps the LabVIEW programming environment, which is used by millions of engineers to plot out test and control systems.

In recent years, the company has tried working itself into specific industries, particularly wireless technology. Earlier this year, NI partnered with New York University to develop one of the first testers for millimeter waves, which are likely to be a major component of fifth-generation (5G) networks.

“It has always been my goal for NI to be a company built to last,” Dr. Truchard said in a statement. “I believe NI is well-positioned for the coming decade.”

“It is the right time for me to retire as CEO,” he added.

Another version of this article originally appeared in Electronic Design.

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