Pasquale Pistorio’s pioneering efforts helped improve the microelectronics industry in Europe and formed one of the world’s top semiconductor manufacturers. Pistorio merged Italy’s SGS Group with France’s Thomson Semiconducteurs during the 1980s to form what is today known as STMicroelectronics. In 1980, Pistorio left Motorola Corporation while general manager of its International Semiconductor Division to take on the challenge of reviving the only remaining microelectronics company in his native Italy. As chief executive officer of the SGS Group, Pistorio transformed the struggling company into a successful semiconductor manufacturer. This led to the merger with Thomson in 1987, which positioned the newly formed company, then known as SGS-Thomson Microelectronics, as a strong international competitor. Pistorio’s leadership skills were crucial in overcoming the anxieties and mistrust initially involved with this first-of-its-kind merger of equals in a very competitive industry. His vision and leadership helped overcome the diverse social, economic, and political landscape in Europe to successfully add and merge companies in France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Pistorio was also a key driver of advanced technology research groups that helped Europe close the technology gap with the rest of the world as companies learned that competitors could become respected partners for the good of the industry. An advocate of environmental protection who believes that environmentally friendly companies are more financially competitive, Pistorio also has a special interest in bridging the imbalance between those with access to technology and those without.
Pistorio retired from STMicroelectronics, Geneva, Switzerland, as president and chief executive officer in 2005 and is the company’s honorary chairman. In 2011 he received the IEEE Robert N. Noyce Medal for "contributions to, and leadership in, the technology, business and environmental development of the global semiconductor and electronics industry.”