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BluGlass Appoints Industry Veteran As President

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James Haden brings three dacades of laser industry operational and technical leadership expertise

Australian semiconductor developer BluGlass Limited has appointed expert laser diode executive James (Jim) Haden as BluGlass President, effective immediately. Mr Haden will continue to be based in the US.

Haden brings three decades' laser industry expertise to BluGlass and a demonstrated track record transforming advanced technology businesses from R&D and early-stage product development to profitable, high growth commercial entities. He has held senior executive and advisory roles at several of BluGlass' prospective customers and competitors, including senior Ttchnical and operations adviser at Kyocera SLD, Chief Operating Officer at nLight, director of operations and product line management at Coherent, and director of operations at JDS Uniphase.

Haden's appointment follows an extensive global executive search to lead BluGlass through its next growth phase. As president, Mr Haden will oversee all aspects of the business and will be responsible for transitioning BluGlass from its R&D origins to a technology development and product manufacturing company.

BluGlass executive chair, James Walker, said: “I am thrilled to introduce Jim Haden as BluGlass President. Jim's unique synergy of deep technical, commercialisation and leadership skills along with his extensive customer and supply chain network will be invaluable in solving our reliability challenges as we transition BluGlass to profitability and deliver a pipeline of next-generation laser products to market.

“Our ability to attract an industry executive of Jim's calibre is a testament to the quality of our industry-leading technology, which addresses the growing demand for brighter and better performing lasers. Jim h

elivered significant revenue growth and built enviable market leadership positions throughout his career and has hands-on experience optimising operations and identifying strategic opportunities, including facilitating successful mergers and acquisitions.”

Commenting on his appointment, Mr Haden said: “It is a very exciting time to be joining BluGlass, as we finalise product development and prepare to launch a range of in-demand products into high-growth markets. It will be an amazing journey as we transition BluGlass from cutting-edge R&D to a globally dominant commercial photonics company.”

In his most recent role at Soora Laser Diode (now Kyocera-SLD), Haden was responsible for guiding operations and development teams to stabilise, improve, and ramp high-power blue GaN lasers and associated packaging, which enhanced thermal, electrical, and optical performance and greatly improved manufacturing yields. This product development delivered a leading automotive customer (BMW) and rapid revenue growth, assisting in their acquisition by Kyocera in January 2021.

Prior to this, Haden was the COO at nLIGHT, helping transform the business from early- stage revenue generation to its current market leadership position. During his time with nLIGHT, he more than doubled revenue, delivered a four-fold increase in R&D return on investment, streamlined production management, and improved manufacturing yields and cost margins; ultimately assisting the business to attract expansion capital of $25M.

Interim executive chair James Walker will remain in the role to ensure a seamless transition and support the business' financial and governance requirements as the company nears commercialisation.

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