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GaN Systems to power up with new CEO

The power electronics executive will head up the global commercialisation of the company’s gallium nitride power semiconductors
GaN Systems, a  developer of power switching semiconductors, has appointed Jim Witham as CEO of the corporation.

GaN Systems’ power conversion devices, based on its proprietary Island Technology, are being commercialised in 2014 and the company is expanding globally. Co-founders Girvan Patterson and John Roberts will continue in their current roles as President and Chief Technical Officer, respectively.

Witham has over thirty years’ experience in business development, international sales and marketing and operations management, and joins GaN Systems from Neoconix Inc., a manufacturer of miniature connectors. As President and CEO of Neoconix, he successfully implemented strategic changes which dramatically increased revenue and resulted in the company’s acquisition by Unimicron Technology Corporation.

Prior to Neoconix, Witham spent five years as President and CEO at Fultec Semiconductor and has also held VP Sales & Marketing positions at Aegis Semiconductor and Genoa Corporation. Other notable career highlights include senior executive positions at Raychem, including Director of Asia Sales & Marketing, based in Japan. As an Engineering Specialist at General Dynamics’ Space System Divison during the eighties,

Witham worked on fluid systems for the Space Shuttle and was on Mission Control for interplanetary missions. Witham holds an MBA from Harvard and both M.S. and B.S. with distinction in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.

In making the announcement, Ian McWalter, Chairman of GaN Systems, says : “We are delighted that Jim Witham has joined GaN Systems as CEO. Mr Witham has extensive leadership experience in the power electronics industry and his expertise will be invaluable in guiding the company through the next phase of its development. As GaN Systems’ unique product offering based on our proprietary Island Technology® is commercialized this year and as we increase our worldwide market presence, Jim and our senior executive team will grow GaN Systems into a significant player in the power electronics industry.”

GaN Systems Co-founder and President, Girvan Patterson adds,: ”I extend a warm welcome to Jim and look forward to working with him on this next phase of our planned growth. Since John Roberts and I founded GaN Systems in 2008 to develop our Island Technology® products, there has been increasing recognition of gallium nitride's advantages over silicon devices in power conversion applications. Jim will be a great addition to our team as we look forward to the full commercialization of our product families and GaN power devices become the technology of choice in automotive, power, alternative energy and many other markets. ”

On behalf of GaN Systems’ investors Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital and Rockport Capital, Mike Sherman, Managing Partner of Chrysalix EVC, concludes by saying: ”The founders of GaN Systems have done an outstanding job of building the company to its present stage, and the addition of Jim Witham, with his proven leadership and global market experience, will allow the team to fully deliver their unique gallium nitride-based power conversion solutions to the world.”

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