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12 February 2014

POET announces executive changes plus restructured University of Connecticut license agreement

POET Technologies Inc of Toronto, Canada – which, through subsidiary OPEL Defense Integrated Systems (ODIS Inc) of Storrs, CT, USA, has developed the proprietary planar-optoelectronic technology (POET) platform for monolithic fabrication of integrated III-V-based electronic and optical devices on a single semiconductor wafer – has announced changes to its executive team and board (effective immediately):

  • Peter Copetti has been named executive chairman & interim CEO. Copetti was previously executive director & chair of the Special Strategic Committee (SSC), which was dissolved (as reported in January) following its final report to POET’s board of directors.
  • Co-founder Leon M. Pierhal has stepped aside as CEO and will continue his role as president and member of the board.
  • Mark Benadiba has stepped down as executive chairman but will remain a member of the board, as vice chairman.

“I would like thank Mark and Leon for their commitment and contributions, and will continue to work with both of them in progressing POET’s story to the next phase, which is expected to culminate in the monetization of POET’s proprietary platform and processes,” says Copetti. “POET is at an advanced stage in its 16-year development history. We are determined to be first to market with a practical compound semiconductor solution in the industry’s race to sustain Moore’s Law beyond the constraints of traditional silicon,” he adds.

“POET intends to go to market with the world’s first completely integrated optical and electrical device operating on a single die, and to fulfill its promise of vastly superior processing speed and energy utilization in a patented production process that can ultimately be retrofitted to conventional fabs,” Copetti concludes.

“I steered the company through infancy, and shepherded POET safely through turbulent change,” says Pierhal. “POET has since evolved from its origins as pure R&D, to a publicly traded going concern trading on two markets in Canada and the USA, to where it stands today – at an inflection point, where monetization of the POET platform is on the horizon, with fully integrated optical-electronic chips leading the way for the semiconductor industry’s next-generation chip technology,” he adds.

“This change in role allows me to spend time with family, and tend to overdue personal commitments that had been put aside, due to the arduous demands needed to bring POET to where it is today,” Pierhal continues. “Having worked closely with Peter Copetti over the past 18 months, I am confident in Peter’s ability to serve as CEO… Peter will play a pivotal role in bringing the company’s technology to market.”

The firm has also entered into a term sheet with the University of Connecticut to restructure its license agreement of 8 April 2003. The licenses granted pursuant to the license agreement are in full force and are irrevocable.

While the maintenance fee provisions of the license agreement remain unchained, the parties agreed to restructure the payment provisions by reducing the royalty payment to 3% of amounts received from unaffiliated third parties in respect of the exploitation of the intellectual property defined in the license agreement.

In consideration for the favorable restructuring of the royalty terms, POET will provide the university 2,000,000 common shares, subject to approval by the TSX Venture Exchange. Trading of these shares is restricted until 31 May 2016. The restructuring is subject to final execution of the formal amendment to the license agreement.

“I am extremely pleased with the University of Connecticut’s vote of confidence in POET, exhibited by their taking an equity stake in the company as an alternative to a higher potential royalty revenue stream,” Copetti states. “Their decision will greatly enhance the company’s ability to monetize the POET technology and create shareholder value.”

The firm says that it remains on track with its technology roadmap, and will soon be providing updates to all stakeholders on progress and achieved milestones to date.

See related items:

POET dissolves Special Strategic Committee as firm transitions from research to development

POET’s Special Strategic Committee announces key updates

Tags: POET

Visit: www.poet-technologies.com

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