Former Altera CEO dies in bicycle crash

Rodney Smith, the chipmaker's former chairman, dies at age 67 after a bicycle accident.

Rodney Smith, the former chairman and chief executive officer of chipmaker Altera, died Friday after a bicycle accident. He was 67.

Smith died about 25 minutes after a car struck him while he rode his bicycle in Menlo Park, Calif., according to the Associated Press. Smith, of Portola Valley, Calif., was riding eastbound along Sand Hill Road when he was struck by an automobile, the California Highway Patrol said.

Smith served as CEO from 1983 to 2000 and spent 20 years as the company's chairman before retiring in 2003. The San Jose, Calif.-based company makes chips that can be programmed to perform a variety of tasks.

The accident occurred on a stretch of road where Smith once worked picking up garbage, according the San Jose Mercury News. Smith and his wife, Mary, were also active philanthropists, donating $1 million to the Portola Valley Open Space Fund as part of cleanup efforts in the area.

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Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. Before joining CNET News in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.

 

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