The MIT Corporation last Friday elected Alexander V. d'Arbeloff to succeed Paul E. Gray as chairman, effective July 1, 1997.
Dr. Gray announced last June his intention to complete his tenure as chairman of the Corporation, after serving 26 years as chancellor, president and subsequently as chairman. A professor of electrical engineering, he will continue to teach at MIT, his professional home since he entered as a freshman in 1950.
Mr. d'Arbeloff is chairman and CEO of Teradyne, Inc., a leading manufacturer of automatic test equipment and interconnection systems for the electronics and telecommunications industries.
Commenting on the trustees' decision, President Charles M. Vest said, "Alex d'Arbeloff is truly an outstanding selection for this position. He is a man of strong intellect and accomplishment whose wisdom I have often sought regarding Institute affairs. He has deep loyalty to MIT, and his teaching both at the Sloan School and in mechanical engineering has given him an appreciation of many of the issues of concern to our faculty and students. His knowledge of the high-tech industry-a world that intersects strongly with the interests of many of our faculty and the future of our students-is, of course, extraordinary."
"I am honored and excited by MIT's decision to name me as its new chairman," Mr. d'Arbeloff said. "I hope to be worthy of that honor and I will work hard to make a significant contribution to the future of MIT."
Professor Lawrence S. Bacow, chairman of the MIT faculty, said, "Mr. d'Arbeloff has just the right combination of intellect, professional accomplishment, deep knowledge of MIT, humility and respect for scholarly tradition that will enable him to develop an excellent relationship with our faculty."
The chairman of the Corporation has traditionally been a former president who serves full-time in that position, in contrast to the practice of most colleges and universities, where the chair is a trustee who serves part-time. Mr. d'Arbeloff has agreed to spend at least 50 percent of his time as chairman.
"I am delighted that Alex has agreed to undertake these responsibilities," Dr. Gray said. "His extraordinary experience as founder and chief executive of Teradyne, together with the knowledge of MIT that he has gained from the vantage point of both trustee and teacher, qualify him exceptionally well for the chairmanship. I look forward to working with him over the next seven months to ensure a seamless transition."
Mr. d'Arbeloff received the SB in management from MIT in 1949. He has been a member of the MIT Corporation since 1989, and was elected to Life Membership in 1994. He has also served on the Corporation's Development Committee and on the visiting committees for the Departments of Economics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Mechanical Engineering.
In addition, he has taught classes at the Sloan School of Management and developed and teaches a course on management and entrepreneurship for graduate students in mechanical engineering.
His wife Brit, an aspiring novelist whose earlier professional activities included engineering and business management, received the master's degree in mechanical engineering from the Institute in 1961. Both are active supporters of music and the arts in the Boston area.
Together with MIT classmate Nicholas DeWolf, Mr. d'Arbeloff co- founded Teradyne in 1960, and he became its chief executive in 1971. He served as chairman and president until January 1996, when Teradyne elected a new president. Under his leadership, the company's annual sales have increased from $13 million to $1.2 billion in 1995. Teradyne, with headquarters in Boston, is now the world's largest producer of automatic test equipment.
Mr. d'Arbeloff is a director of Sematech, BTU Corp., PRI Automation, Stratus Computer Corp., and several private companies. A director and former chairman of the Massachusetts High Technology Council, he is also a director of the Center for Quality of Management. He is a trustee of Partners Health Care System, Massachusetts General Hospital and the New England Conservatory.
Mr. d'Arbeloff's election as chairman was proposed to the Corporation by its Executive Committee upon the recommendation of a search committee chaired by trustee Dr. W. Gerald Austen (SB '51), surgeon-in-chief at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Other members of the search committee, all MIT trustees, were Dr. Morris Tanenbaum (co-chair), Dr. Edward E. David, Jr. (SB '47) and Judy C. Lewent (SM '72)
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on December 11, 1996.