LONDON Foundry chipmaker Tower Semiconductor Ltd. (Migdal Haemek, Israel) has announced the appointment of Russell Ellwanger, formerly a senior executive with Applied Materials Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.), as chief executive officer. Ellwanger is set to take up the post with effect from May 1.
Ellwanger comes to Tower from a position as group vice president at chipmaking equipment company Applied Materials Inc. where Ellwanger served as general manager of Applied Global Services, general manager of the CMP and Electroplating Business Group, co general manager of the Metrology and Inspection Business Group and vice president of the 300-mm Program Office, Tower said in a statement.
Ellwanger is familiar with Israel having served as corporate vice president and general manager of a business group for Applied Materials. Ellwanger's international career also includes time in Japan, Singapore and the Netherlands. He has held executive positions at Novellus Systems, and research & development management positions at Philips Semiconductor, Tower added.
Ellwanger has more than 25 years experience with semiconductor and technology companies and his management responsibilities have included development, commercialization and managing enterprises through semiconductor industry cycles, the company said.
"Tower's expectations for rapid growth in specialized foundry services dictate that we bring in someone of Russell Ellwanger's experience, strategic thinking and management skills," said Udi Hillman, Tower's acting chief executive officer, in a statement. "He has a strong reputation for close customer interaction, product innovation and grasp of complex issues. I expect that his energy and experience will inspire the Tower team and fuel considerable future success for the company," Hillman added in the statement.
Hillman, who serves as president and chief executive officer of ICTech, the technology holding company of Israel Corp., a financial backer of Tower, took the position of acting CEO after Carmel Vernia, who served as chairman of the board and CEO, said he wished to step down from his positions to pursue other interests (see Feb. 10 story).