News Article

In Brief: Vitesse, Picogiga And Crystal IS

Vitesse Semiconductor puts three executives, including its CEO, on leave pending a stock option investigation, Picogiga and parent company Soitec both enjoy strong sales, and Crystal IS hires a business development VP.

Vitesse probes executive stock deals
InP chip developer Vitesse Semiconductor has placed its CEO and two other top executives on leave while it investigates stock option awards.

CEO Louis Tomasetta, CFO Yatin Mody and executive VP Eugene Hovanec are all suspended, with a special committee of independent directors looks at the timing of the stock options and related accounts. Chris Gardner takes over as acting CEO.

Vitesse was previously a key GaAs chip manufacturer and pioneered 6-inch GaAs manufacturing, but its III-V activities are now restricted to development of high-speed InP transistors and contract manufacture of some optoelectronic devices (see related stories).

The company added that it may need to restate some financial results following the investigation's conclusion.

Picogiga grows on strong sales
French GaN-on-silicon specialist Picogiga saw a huge increase in sales in the past year, registering 95% year-on-year growth to reach €8.2 million ($10.1 million).

The company says that it will continue to focus on product development, including technologies for the LED sector - although its traditional market is in RF applications.

Picogiga's parent company Soitec also saw very strong growth in sales of its silicon-on-insulator wafers, which were up nearly 90% at €262.8 million.

Soitec also raised €204.7 million in a recent share offering, and plans to build a new SOI wafer fab to meet demand.

Crystal IS hires new VP
Aluminum nitride substrate developer Crystal IS has hired former IQE sales manager Timothy Bettles as its VP of business development, sales and marketing.

Bettles, who has also worked at Trikon Technologies, Philips Semiconductors and Marconi in his time, will be responsible for worldwide sales.

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