10 November 2011

Voltaix appoints CEO; interim CEO succeeds president

Voltaix LLC of Branchburg, NJ, USA, which manufactures specialty materials that enhance the performance and manufacturability of semiconductors and photovoltaics, has named Peter A. Smith as CEO and board member.

Smith is a 20-year high-tech industry veteran, having served at Motorola, Honeywell and, most recently, as VP of corporate strategy for the Bussmann Division of Cooper Industries in St Louis, MO, USA.

Using expertise in silicon, germanium and boron chemistry, Voltaix manufactures electronics products including germane, trisilane, diborane, and trimethyl boron, using proprietary synthesis, purification, and packaging technology developed in-house, as well as designing and building its own equipment for use in its manufacturing operations. Products are custom designed for demanding applications including advanced DRAM computer memory; silicon germanium (SiGe) transistors for wireless communications chips; strained silicon for high-speed logic computer chips (CPUs); copper-enabling low-k dielectrics for computer chips; and high-efficiency thin-film silicon solar cells. Voltaix claims that its materials improve manufacturability by minimizing defect formation and increasing machine throughput.

“Over the last four years Voltaix has embarked on a plan that has increased sales and expanded manufacturing capacity,” says chairman Peter B. de Neufville. “As we considered the impact of this growth and the potential for continued expansion, the board of directors sought a chief executive with vision and distinguished operating and technical leadership experience,” he adds.

“Peter is a top notch strategist who has proven himself developing specialty materials at Honeywell, scaling the MEMS business at Dover and significantly enhancing performance at a Cooper Industries wireless unit,” says Voltaix director and former Renewable Energy Corp CEO Reidar Langmo. “He brings a broad array of leadership and management talents with a track record of successfully implementing corporate growth in North America, Asia and Europe.”

Smith succeeds Mark K. Fine, who has been interim CEO since January 2010 and will succeed John P. de Neufville as president. Fine will have responsibility for a number of the firm’s strategic initiatives and will oversee relationships with distributor partners worldwide. “Mark Fine has played a key role in our development plan from the beginning and, as interim CEO for the past 22 months, has strengthened the company’s leadership position,” comments de Neufville.

de Neufville will continue as chief scientist, overseeing chemical research and end-use applications development. He will also remain a member of the board and chairman of the executive committee.

At Cooper Industries, Smith led the acquisition of power management device maker Martek and improved Cooper’s industrial wireless business. Previously, he led the consumer electronics product group at Dover Knowles, which he grew from $150m to $240m.

Earlier, Smith focused on semiconductor and display manufacturing at Motorola and later worked on behalf of one of its key suppliers, Three-Five Systems, where he managed M&A activities and oversaw manufacturing productivity in the Philippines and China.

Smith has a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering and a BS in Materials Engineering (both from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey) and an MBA from Arizona State University. He is associate editor for the Journal of the Society of Information Display.

Tags: Voltaix Germanium SiGe

Visit: www.voltaix.com

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