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25 November 2009


DayStar appoints business development expert and investment banker as independent directors

DayStar Technologies Inc of Santa Clara, CA, USA, which is developing copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin-film photovoltaic products, has appointed Dr Kang Sun to its board as an independent director.

Sun is president & CEO of photovoltaic tracking system manufacturer RayTracker Inc. He previously was president, chief operating officer and director of China-based photovoltaic product maker JA Solar Holdings Co (responsible for securing $620m in equity funding in 2007 and 2008 and leading the firm to profitability by growing revenue from $90m in 2006 to about $800m in 2008).

“His demonstrated success and leadership as president & chief operating officer of JA Solar and his depth of experience in technology companies will be of great value to DayStar as we move forward to commercialize DayStar’s CIGS thin-film technology,” says chairman Peter Lacey.

Prior to JA Solar, Sun was managing director, new business development & chief strategy officer of semiconductor equipment maker Applied Materials’ New Business and New Products Group, responsible for new business ventures and the firm’s corporate strategic licensing business. From 1990 to 2005, Sun held executive positions in several large business enterprises and technology start-ups, including VP of new venture business at Honeywell International Inc, general manager of the optical devices business at Allied Signal, VP of new business & technology at Oce, and VP of business development at Microfabrica. Sun also has a PhD degree in material science from Brown University, a master’s degree in chemistry from University of Georgia, and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Nanjing University, China.

“DayStar’s proprietary CIGS technology has significant commercial potential in the rapidly growing thin-film, photovoltaic market,” believes Sun.

Last week, DayStar also appointed Jonathan Fitzgerald (an independent investment banker providing advisory services to early- and growth-stage technology firms) as an independent director on its board.

Previously, he was a managing director and senior investment banker with Morgan Joseph & Co Inc. As well as leading the firm’s cleantech investment banking practice, he served a variety of industrial clients across the USA's Western region.

Fitzgerald has also been interim CEO of Harvest Wind Ltd, a development-stage wind turbine manufacturer in Oregon, and as an adviser to iSense Corp, Boston Poly Corp and Trustwater LLC.

*Due to increased R&D spending for its CIGS-on-glass module and manufacturing process development, DayStar’s net loss grew to $7.7m in Q1/2009, leading it to cut staffing by 30% in Q2/2009 and, in July, to divest the non-core assets of its Halfmoon, NY operation (and its R&D group in Clifton Park, NY) to Veeco Instruments Inc of Plainview NY, USA (which makes CIGS web-coater systems). Cash and cash equivalents fell from $17.1m at the end of 2008 to just $1.3m at the end of June. However, despite expecting futher losses in the future as it completes build-out of its initial module manufacturing line, this has since recovered slightly to $1.7m at the end of September due to the effects of cost cutting.

See related item:

Veeco creates Solar Process Development Center from DayStar’s New York assets

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