Dave describes growing up in the Midwest, the oldest of four living children. He had decided to be an engineer by his teen years. Attending Michigan Tech, he discovered an interest and natural skill in computer design and decided to take that direction for his career. He joined Raytheon for his first job in Massachusetts, but knew that someday he wanted to end up in California. He later went to work for Computer Control Corp, which was then acquired by Honeywell. He eventually found his way to California through a job in charge of computer development with Microdata. After a long courtship by Intel, he was persuaded to move to Northern California to take a job with that company. At Intel, he held a number of positions relating to microprocessors, eventually becoming head of the microprocessor division. In 1996, he took over as CEO of Bay Networks, which was sold to Nortel in 1998.