Western Digital Congratulates SanDisk Founder and Retired CEO Dr. Eli Harari on Induction Into National Inventors Hall of Fame

San Jose, CA - May 08, 2017

Dr. Harari Recognized for Transformative Innovations in Flash Memory

DR. Eli HarariWestern Digital Corp. (NASDAQ: WDC) today announced that the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF), in partnership with United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), has inducted founder and retired Chief Executive Officer of SanDisk1 Dr. Eli Harari into its 2017 class.  Dr. Harari was recognized for his groundbreaking inventions that helped lead to the development and commercialization of flash storage.  Dr. Harari was formally inducted during a ceremony last week at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C

"The breakthrough storage technologies pioneered by Eli and his ability to recognize the broad applications for flash memory were instrumental in the creation of the flash industry and forever changed how we consume, store and share data," said Steve Milligan, chief executive officer at Western Digital.  "His ingenuity and bold vision helped to firmly establish the SanDisk® brand around the world.  Eli truly embodies the title ‘innovator’ and I am sincerely honored to congratulate him on this prestigious achievement."

"Dr. Harari's innovations and vision played a pivotal role in the development and proliferation of flash memory," said Dr. Siva Sivaram, executive vice president of memory technology at Western Digital Corporation.  "The storage technologies he helped pioneer transformed the consumer electronics industry and continue to expand the possibilities of data in a wide range of new markets and technology areas, from the data center to the 'Internet of Things' (IoT).  I am proud to congratulate my friend and role model, Eli, on this prestigious and well-deserved accolade."

Dr. Harari and 14 other elite engineers, scientists and inventors were selected for induction into the NIHF for groundbreaking, patented inventions that had a "meaningful contribution to society".  Among his achievements, Dr. Harari co-invented System-Flash and invented the floating gate EEPROM, a significant innovation that enabled data storage in flash memory.  This work served as the foundation for transforming flash memory into a highly versatile and portable mass-storage media, and led to the development and commercialization of the compact, low-cost flash memory that is today found in everything from smartphones and computing devices, to the data center, to "connected" IoT devices and more.

"Dr. Harari's important work in data storage has been fundamental to development of technologies that today are at the heart our digital lives," said National Inventors Hall of Fame Chief Executive Officer Mike Oister. "We are proud to welcome to the National Inventors Hall of Fame Dr. Harari and the rest of this year's new class of industry pioneers whose patented innovations have furthered our nation."

This year's inductees and their notable innovations will be showcased in the NIHF Museum in Alexandria, Va.  Inductees will also participate in NIHF educational programs and competitions that strive inspire and challenge the next generation of young inventors in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Since its founding in 1973, the NIHF has inducted more than 500 industry pioneers who have conceived, patented and advanced the greatest technological achievements in the United States.

About Western Digital
Western Digital is an industry-leading provider of storage technologies and solutions that enable people to create, leverage, experience and preserve data. The company addresses ever-changing market needs by providing a full portfolio of compelling, high-quality storage solutions with customer-focused innovation, high efficiency, flexibility and speed. Our products are marketed under the HGST, SanDisk and WD brands to OEMs, distributors, resellers, cloud infrastructure providers and consumers. Financial and investor information is available on the company's Investor Relations website at investor.wdc.com.

1 – SanDisk was acquired by Western Digital Technologies, Inc. in 2016. After founding SanDisk, Dr. Harari served as CEO for 22 years


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