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5 November 2019

POET appoints Vivek Rajgarhia as president, while CEO Suresh Venkatesan adds chairman role

POET Technologies Inc of Toronto, Ontario, Canada and San Jose, CA, USA — a designer and manufacturer of optoelectronic devices, including light sources, passive waveguides and photonic integrated circuits (PIC) for the sensing and datacom markets — has appointed industry veteran Vivek Rajgarhia as president & general manager, while its CEO Dr Suresh Venkatesan has added the title of chairman. David Lazovsky, who has been executive chairman since early 2017, resigned as executive chair but will continue as a director on the board. Existing director Peter Charbonneau will assume the role of lead independent director.

The changes in the senior management organization come in anticipation of the imminent closing of the sale of Singapore-based wafer fabrication operation DenseLight Semiconductors Pte Ltd to a Shanghai-based investor group (awaiting only the conversion of currency following the recent approval of the investor’s Overseas Direct Investment (ODI) application and transfer of funds to POET).

Rajgarhia was most recently senior VP & general manager of the Lightwave business unit of MACOM, which he joined through the acquisition of Optomai Inc (where he was co-founder & CEO), representing MACOM’s initial entry into the optical business. He was then instrumental in identifying and leading several strategic acquisitions to build an extensive portfolio of optical and photonic businesses, which formed MACOM’s Lightwave business unit.

Rajgarhia has held senior management positions during his 30 years in the optical communications industry. He was director of sales & marketing (Asia) for Lucent Technologies’ (now Nokia) optical components, where he started its Asia business; VP of product marketing & business development for OpNext (formerly Hitachi’s Fiber Optics Division), where he was part of the team to spin off the optical business from Hitachi; director of product management & marketing for JDS Uniphase (now Viavi), and VP of global sales for GigOptix.

Rajgarhia has also been an entrepreneur, founding two optical companies, and has held international assignments in Hong Kong, Germany and India. He has a Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical) degree from Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey.

“This appointment represents a powerful partnering of two senior executives from the photonics and semiconductor industries,” says Lazovsky. “Together, these two executives combine extraordinary careers with unparalleled business, market and product development experience. Suresh and Vivek bring together the ideal combination of strategic, technical and operational execution expertise in photonics and semiconductors that will position the company well to capitalize on the disruptive potential of the POET Optical Interposer platform,” he reckons.

After resigning from his position as executive chairman, Lazovsky will be joining Khosla Ventures in Menlo Park, where he has been appointed venture partner. “We want to thank Dave for his tireless work on business strategy and strategic partnership initiatives that he has led since 2017 as executive chairman,” says Venkatesan. “We will be able to continue to tap his considerable talents while he remains on the board,” he adds. “In concert with the governance requirements of the TSXV, we are also pleased that the board has elected Peter Charbonneau from among its members as lead independent director. Peter has led the reviews of the charters and operation of the board and each of its committees. We appreciate his efforts to modernize and update these important governance rules.” Charbonneau was first elected to POET’s board in March 2018.

See related items:

POET’s $26m sale of DenseLight subsidiary to close on or before 8 November

Tags: POET

Visit: www.poet-technologies.com

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