Appointed Chief Executive Officer of Bridgelux, Inc. in January 2010, Bill Watkins has more than 30 years of experience in the technology manufacturing industry. Before joining Bridgelux, Watkins served as chief executive officer of Seagate Technology, the world’s leading disc drive and storage solutions company, from 2004 through January 2009. During his tenure as Seagate’s CEO, Watkins was named Forbes Magazine 2006 CEO of the year. Prior to the CEO position, he was the company’s president and chief operating officer, a position he held since 2000. During that time, he was responsible for the company’s hard disc drive operations, including recording heads, media and other components, and related R&D and product-development organizations.
Watkins joined Seagate in 1996 as part of the company’s merger with Conner Peripherals. In 1990, Watkins established the Conner Disk Division and managed its success through the merger with Seagate. Prior to joining Conner Peripherals, Watkins held executive positions with Domain Technology, where he managed the MINT (Magnetic Information Technology) disc media manufacturing process. Earlier in his career, he was three times part of the management team that took companies public.
Watkins, 59, holds a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from the University of Texas. He currently serves on the board of directors of Flextronics and Maxim Integrated Products, as well as the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In 2006 Watkins was named Knight Commander “Dato” by the Governor of Penang, Malaysia and received Distinguished Friends of Singapore medal from S.R. Nathan, President of Singapore.