Board of Directors

The Board oversees the management of Synopsys' business operations, and ensures the long-term interests of Synopsys' stockholders are served. Our Board members bring with them decades of experience in the software, semiconductor, manufacturing and distribution industries. To learn more about committees of the Board of Directors, visit the Board Committees area of this site.


Dr. Aart J. de Geus
Since co-founding Synopsys in 1986, Dr. Aart de Geus has expanded Synopsys from a start-up synthesis enterprise to the world leader in electronic design automation. Dr. de Geus has long been considered one of the world's leading experts on logic synthesis and simulation, and frequently keynotes major conferences in Electronics and Design Automation. He is the recipient of numerous industry and community honors, including Electronic Business Magazine’s “CEO of the Year” (2002) and “Top 10 Most Influential Executives” (2005), the IEEE Robert N. Noyce Medal (2007), the Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG) "Spirit of the Valley" Lifetime Achievement Award” (2007), and the GSA “Morris Chang Exemplary Leadership Award” (2009). Dr. de Geus is active in the business community, serving on the Boards of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG), Applied Materials, the Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA), and the Electronic Design Automation Consortium (EDAC). He is also heavily involved in education for the next generation, having created the Synopsys Outreach Foundation in 1999, which promotes project-based science and math learning throughout Silicon Valley.


Janice D. Chaffin
Janice D. Chaffin was appointed to our Board of Directors in December 2014. She held several senior executive positions with NortonLifeLock Inc. (f.k.a. Symantec Corporation), most recently as Group President, Consumer Business Unit, from April 2007 to March 2013, and previously as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer from 2006 to 2007 and Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer from 2003 to 2006. Before joining NortonLifeLock Inc., Ms. Chaffin spent more than twenty years with Hewlett-Packard Company in a variety of management and marketing leadership positions. Ms. Chaffin has served on the board of directors of PTC, Inc. since August 2013 and the board of directors of Informatica Corporation since October 2019. She previously served on the board of directors of International Game Technology from September 2010 to April 2015 and the board of directors of Electronics for Imaging, Inc. from November 2018 to July 2019.


Bruce R. Chizen 
Bruce R. Chizen has been a member of our Board of Directors since April 2001. He is currently an independent consultant and has served as Senior Adviser and PGO Partner with Permira Advisers LLP since July 2008 and June 2018, respectively, and Venture Partner with Voyager Capital since July 2009. From November 2007 to November 2008, Mr. Chizen served as a strategic adviser to Adobe Systems Incorporated, a provider of design, publishing and imaging software for print, Internet and dynamic media production. He served as Adobe's President from April 2000 to January 2005, as its Chief Executive Officer from December 2000 to November 2007, and as a member of its board of directors from December 2000 to April 2008. He previously held various other positions at Adobe dating back to 1994. Mr. Chizen has served on the board of directors of Oracle Corporation since July 2008, ChargePoint Holdings Inc. since November 2014 and Informatica Corporation since August 2015.

Mercedes Johnson

Mercedes Johnson has been a member of our Board of Directors since February 2017. Ms. Johnson previously served as Interim Chief Financial Officer of Intersil Corporation from April 2013 to September 2013, Chief Financial Officer of Avago Technologies, Inc. from 2005 to 2008, and Senior Vice President, Finance and Chief Financial Officer of Lam Research Corporation from 1997 to 2004. Ms. Johnson currently serves on the board of directors of Analog Devices, Inc., Millicom International Cellular S.A. and Teradyne, Inc., and has previously served as a board member for a number of public companies, including Intersil Corporation, Juniper Networks, Inc., Maxim Integrated Products, Inc., Micron Technology, Inc. and Storage Technology Corporation.

Dr. Chrysostomos L. "Max" Nikias

Dr. Chrysostomos L. "Max" Nikias has been a member of our Board of Directors since July 2011. Dr. Nikias served as President of the University of Southern California (USC) from August 2010 to August 2018. He currently serves as President Emeritus, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Director of the Institute for Technology Enabled Higher-Education at USC, and he is holder of the Malcolm R. Currie Chair in Technology and the Humanities. Dr. Nikias served as USC's provost from 2005 through 2010 and as dean of USC's Viterbi School of Engineering from 2001 through 2005. From 1996 through 2001, he was the founding director of the National Science Foundation-funded Integrated Media Systems Center. Dr. Nikias has worked as a consultant for numerous corporations and the U.S. government, including the U.S. Department of Defense. Dr. Nikias is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, a life fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), a foreign member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and a charter fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He has received the IEEE Simon Ramo medal for exceptional achievement in systems engineering, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, UNICEF’s Spirit of Compassion Award and six honorary degrees.


Jeannine P. Sargent
Jeannine P. Sargent was appointed to our Board of Directors in August 2020. She has served as a Senior Advisor at Generation Investment Management LLP, an investment firm focused on sustainable companies, since November 2017. Ms. Sargent held multiple leadership roles at Flex Ltd., a leading contract design, engineering and manufacturing company, including President of Innovation and New Ventures, from January 2012 to October 2017. Prior to joining Flex, she was Chief Executive Officer at Oerlikon Solar AG, a publicly traded Swiss company, from 2007 to 2010, and Chief Executive Officer of Voyan Technology, an embedded systems software provider. Ms. Sargent currently serves on the board of directors of Proterra Inc. since October 2018, Fortive Corporation since February 2019, and Queen’s Gambit Growth Capital since January 2021. Ms. Sargent was also a director at Cypress Semiconductor Corporation from December 2017 to April 2020, when it was acquired by Infineon Technologies AG.

John G. Schwarz
John G. Schwarz has been a member of our Board of Directors since May 2007. Mr. Schwarz was co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Visier Inc., a business analytics software firm, from May 2010 to May 2020, and he currently serves as its Chairman of the Board. Mr. Schwarz previously served on the executive board of SAP AG from March 2008 to February 2010. Mr. Schwarz was the Chief Executive Officer of Business Objects S.A., a provider of business intelligence software and services, from September 2005 through its acquisition by SAP in January 2008, and he served as the Chief Executive Officer of SAP's Business Objects unit through February 2010. Mr. Schwarz served on Business Objects’ board of directors from January 2006 until its acquisition in January 2008. Mr. Schwarz has also served as the President and Chief Operating Officer of NortonLifeLock Inc. (f.k.a. Symantec Corporation) and as President and Chief Executive Officer of Reciprocal Inc. Mr. Schwarz previously spent 25 years at IBM Corporation, where he was most recently General Manager of IBM's Industry Solutions Unit. Mr. Schwarz has served as a director at Teradata Corporation since September 2010, a director at Avast PLC since December 2011, and the Chairman of Avast's board of directors since 2014.

Roy Vallee

Roy Vallee has been a member of our Board of Directors since February 2003. From July 2011 to November 2012, Mr. Vallee served as Executive Chairman of the board of directors of Avnet, Inc., a global semiconductor/electronics products and IT distributor. From June 1998 to July 2011, Mr. Vallee served as Avnet's Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the board of directors. Mr. Vallee also previously served as Avnet's Vice Chairman, President, and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Vallee served on the board of directors of Teradyne, Inc. from February 2000 until May 2021, and as Chairman of the board of directors from May 2014 to May 2021. Mr. Vallee also served on the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco from January 2013 to December 2016, and as Chairman of the board of directors from January 2015 to December 2016.