TI retirees received encouraging news about the economy and TI’s performance at the Nov. 12 Thanksgiving-themed Big Event, which attracted about 1,200 people to Market Hall in Dallas. But Tom Engibous, TI chairman, president and CEO, voiced his concern about rapidly rising health benefits costs —TI’s fastest growing expense. “TI is outperforming its competitors right now,” Tom said. “People are beginning to see there is a recovery. Companies are starting to hire again, including TI.” The 2001 downturn was the worst in semiconductor industry history by at least a factor of two. However, because TI played offense and didn’t cut research and development expenditures, the company is gaining market share in the upturn. “Signal processing is the sweet spot in the SC industry — where we want to be,” Tom said. Demand for advanced cell phones has made wireless a big growth driver again for TI. “We’re also getting a good boost from broadband modems as well as consumer electronics and our analog business,” Tom added.