Paul Palonsky has been a part of SK hynix America for more than 28 years. Over nearly three decades, Paul has watched the business, and memory industry, undergo significant growth and change.
According to a Global Market Insights report, the semiconductor memory market size was valued at around $115 billion in 2020 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of over 6.5% from 2021 to 2027. The growth isn’t expected to slow down, either.
We spoke with Paul about how he got his start in the semiconductor industry and what has kept him excited to be a part of the SK hynix America team.
What has it been like being with this company for nearly 30 years?
It’s been a fascinating experience. When I started, the culture of the company was almost like that of a start up as the memory space was really starting to take off. Over the years, our technology and corporate structure have grown significantly, but not to the detriment of the company culture. Throughout all stages of growth, our executives have valued the input and opinions of the teams in place as they look to scale the business. That trust and confidence in the core employee base to help the company grow and be competitive I think has played a huge part of our company’s success story.
What has kept you motivated and inspired to stay with the same organization for so long?
Since I began, I have felt like I have been valued as a core part of the growth and success of our organization. Specifically, as a local market leader, I have had multiple opportunities to share my insights and knowledge to influence the company’s overarching strategy. I continue to enjoy being a part of this team because our leadership sees me for more than my day-to-day role, they value my experience and ideas.
How did you begin your career?
I graduated from Georgia Tech and began my career in electrical engineering on the product design-side of the business. I didn’t love working in design engineering because it was too solitary for me. I like working with others and having human interaction be a major part of my daily routine. However, I am grateful for the perspective I gained from that experience. It has given me a unique perspective on the product and its core elements that allows me to add value to our customers.
What is one of the best lessons you have learned in your career?
I like to play Texas Hold’em poker in my down time which has helped me stay mentally sharp in my day-to-day. If you lose in the game, it’s because you played poorly, not because your luck is bad. The game helps me to see patterns or habits that I’m falling into that need to be reevaluated if I want to win.
It’s the same with my work. If I don’t stop and take stock of what I’m doing and the result it’s having, I won’t be successful.