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7 July 2014

POET appoints Ajit Manocha as executive vice chairman

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 major changes to its board of directors and changes to the slate of board candidates for its annual general meeting (AGM).

Ajit Manocha joins as executive vice chairman

Ajit Manocha has joined the board as executive vice chairman. He will help in determining the strategic direction of the firm, and work with the executive chairman & interim CEO in carrying out actions to support that strategic direction, specifically including: mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and related transitions; joint ventures, collaborations, partnerships and other industry relationships; assistance in capital raises; and identification and installation of a permanent CEO.

Manocha was most recently CEO of the world’s second-largest semiconductor foundry GlobalFoundries - formerly the manufacturing arm of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), and expanded via the acquisition of Chartered Semiconductor – which produces integrated circuits in high volume for semiconductor companies such as AMD, Apple, Broadcom, Qualcomm, Samsung and STMicroelectronics. Globally, it owns five 200mm fabrication plants and three 300mm fabrication plants (including a new 300mm plant in New York). Manocha continues in a role as advisor with GlobalFoundries.

Prior to GlobalFoundries, Manocha was an advisor to Advanced Technology Investment Company and executive VP of worldwide operations at Spansion, where he managed global IC manufacturing and supply chain management for its semiconductor division. Earlier he was executive VP & chief manufacturing officer at Philips Semiconductors (now NXP). He has also worked at AT&T Microelectronics and AT&T Bell Laboratories.

Manocha also serves on the board of directors for SVTC Technologies and Signet Solar. He was previously on the boards of International Sematech, the Crolles Alliance, Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (ASMC) and served as chairman of the board of Systems-on-Silicon Manufacturing Company (SSMC) in Singapore. Since 2012, Manocha has also served on the US Presidential Committee for Advanced Manufacturing Partnership.

“His wealth of M&A experience, and remarkable turnarounds - including engineering GlobalFoundries' rise from fourth- to second-largest foundry in the world - is legendary,” comments chairman & interim CEO Peter Copetti. “He is a visionary leader, with an instinct for the future of the industry, and this insight and stature will no doubt be pivotal in propelling POET to the next level,” he adds.

The board approved the granting of 2,000,000 stock options to Manocha, according to the firm’s stock option plan. Pursuant to TSX Venture Exchange policies, and based on market price, the exercise price of the options was at CA$1.75 per share and expiry is on 3 July 2019. The options will vest and be exercisable on the basis of 25% immediately and 25% every six months thereafter.

Mark Benadiba retires from board

Mark Benadiba has announced his retirement from the board, vacating the executive vice chairman position now occupied by Manocha.

Along with Copetti and Dr Samuel Peralta, Benadiba was part of a re-invigorated board of directors that in 2012 recognized the inherent value in the semiconductor intellectual property held by the firm; and transformed what is described as a then-faltering photovoltaic firm into what POET Technologies is now, as it aims to establish a new manufacturing paradigm to further Moore’s Law.

Benadiba served as chairman and vice chairman of the firm, setting the groundwork and impetus for its new strategic direction.

Board candidate changes for AGM

Sheldon Inwentash has been endorsed by the board of directors as a new candidate for the board, to be elected at the AGM on 12 August. He is chairman & CEO of Pinetree Capital Ltd, a diversified strategic investment, financial advisory and merchant banking firm, and a major shareholder in POET. Inwentash has more than 25 years of experience in the investment industry and a deep understanding of progressive investment and financial management strategies, says POET.

Leon Pierhal has decided not to stand for re-election to the board. He is expected to finish his term of service with the board at the time of the AGM.

See related items:

POET announces executive changes plus restructured University of Connecticut license agreement

OPEL’s AGM agrees name change to POET Technologies Inc

Tags:  POET

Visit: www.poet-technologies.com

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