Steve Chidester was a class act.
EDA software can be a cutthroat place, but good luck finding someone who would even think of saying something unkind about Steve.
Known inside Cadence as “Mr. Allegro,” Steve could as well have been called Boomerang for the way over three decades he always returned to the software company. Steve did three stints in all at Cadence, totaling 17 years. He had only recently returned to the company when he passed away from cancer last week at age 55.
While I had met Steve years ago, I didn’t really get to know him until he joined Zuken as head of product marketing in 2010. He was instrumental in getting the IPC-2581 data transfer format off the ground after 40-plus years in the mire. At Steve’s invitation, I spoke on the topic at Zuken Innovation World that year, although I resisted his repeated urging to present at the company’s user conference in Tokyo. Something about not being fluent in Japanese always held me back.
Little details like that could never stop Steve, however. He was an eternal optimist, never one to get down either on a situation, himself or others. Colleagues tell me that even after learning, in late November, that he had a particularly aggressive form of cancer, he downplayed it, saying it was treatable.
He spoke often of his family — he had nine children plus several grandchildren. That always appealed to me as well, as I like going beyond the regular job-speak and getting to know the folks I work with around the industry.
In an industry filled with generous people, Steve was a particularly kind soul. I will miss him dearly.