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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives

Tim Tobin


Entrepix Inc. & Planatome, LLC

Location: Phoenix

Founded: 1998 & 2017

Industry: Technology

Tim Tobin’s entrepreneurial journey began after he realized that a bachelor’s degree in applied physics did not offer the career opportunities he desired. He chose to obtain a master’s degree in microelectronic manufacturing engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology, and his career took off when he was hired by Motorola as a chip fabrication engineer, relocating from Upstate New York to Phoenix.

At Motorola, Tobin transitioned to sales and eventually joined SpeedFam-IPEC, a Phoenix-based company that pioneered the chemical mechanical planarization (CMP) process for chip manufacturing. It was during this time that Tobin recognized the potential of CMP for product advancements and the barriers for newcomers in the industry.

In 1998, Tobin, along with Steve Horowitz, founded Entrepix Inc. with the belief that they could expand the use of CMP to enable chip manufacturers to bring new products to market rapidly and cost-effectively. Despite being advised by experts that their self-funded venture was not feasible in the semiconductor industry, Tobin and Horowitz persisted. They built Entrepix from the ground up, using their personal savings and no outside investors.

In 2002, Entrepix became the world’s first CMP foundry operation, offering CMP process development as a service. Over the years, Entrepix has accumulated the largest portfolio of CMP processes globally and established itself as a leader in semiconductor fabrication.

“We launched our venture without any loans or investors of any kind, based solely on the belief in our vision and the reliance on self-determination,” Tobin said. “Given any set of circumstances, your heart by itself or your mind by itself can lead you astray, so it becomes imperative to coalesce all inputs and learn to tap into and listen to your ‘gut.’”

In early 2023, under Tobin’s leadership, Entrepix Inc. was acquired by Amtech Systems, Inc., a semiconductor company based in Phoenix. This integration provides Entrepix with increased resources and a global footprint, positioning it for further growth and market leadership, the company said.

Beyond his professional accomplishments, Tobin has a personal history rooted in sports and education. He grew up playing football, wrestling and playing baseball, and organized an adult baseball team sponsored by Motorola in Phoenix.

“Through 24 years in business, in a company of roughly 70 people, 29 have been employed for 10-plus years, 17 for 15-plus years and four for 20-plus years,” Tobin’s team said. “Entrepix leadership facilitated a culture where people are highly appreciated, treated like family and in turn take care of their customers and supplier partners in the exact same fashion.”

Presented by:

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Comerica Bank

Keeping to a non-traditional path and albeit late in life, Tim became a first-time father, 3 years ago at age 52. He will unequivocally tell you this is his greatest honor and joy in life.


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