LONDON – Plastic Logic Ltd., a developer of plastic electronics technologies for displays and other applications, has appointed Indro Mukerjee as CEO. Mukerjee will succeed Richard Archuleta who is stepping down after leading the company for four years.
The move coincides with a resurgence of fortunes at Plastic Logic (Cambridge, England) after an abortive attempt to launch an e-reader tablet in 2010. The company now expects to launch its first commercial product later this year.
Mukerjee most recently served as chairman and CEO of C-MAC Microtechnology Ltd. (Amersham, England), a manufacturer of hybrids and electronics assemblies for harsh environments. Prior to that Mukerjee was with Philips Semiconductors BV, where he served in a number of executive leadership positions including executive vice president responsible for global commercial operations and as CEO of the automotive and RF-ID businesses.
Mukerjee's early career included time as commercial director at VideoLogic Ltd., a graphics IC company, as it went into public ownership and senior management positions within Hitachi's European semiconductor division. Mukerjee holds a degree in engineering science from Oxford University and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program of the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School.
Plastic Logic was founded in 2000 by researchers from Cambridge University's Cavendish Laboratory. The company received substantial backing of about $200 million and in September 2008 opened high-volume manufacturing plant in Dresden, Germany.
The company is now engaged in a $700 million project to develop a second manufacturing facility in Zelenograd, Russia, with funding from Rusnano, the Russia state nanotechnology investment agency. The Zelenograd plant is due to open in 2013 or 2014 and groundbreaking is expected to happen later this year.
Besides Rusnano investors in Plastic Logic have included Oak Investments, Amadeus Capital, Intel Capital and Siemens Venture Capital.
"The board would like to thank Rich Archuleta for his enormous contribution to the development of Plastic Logic which includes the opening of our first factory in Dresden, continuing advancements of our core technology, developing our product pipeline and enabling commercial production. We wish him every success in his next venture," said Tony Illsley, chairman of Plastic Logic, in statement.
Plastic Logic will pull its headquarters from SV back to Cambridge to concentrate on being "a more European company", according to industry reports. My guess is that there were few takers in SV for their technology and the Russian investment didn't hurt. A trial run of 1000 paper-thin e-readers using Plastic Logic's technology and loaded with the required curriculum content (w/hyperlinks) have been distributed to Russian grades 1 to 6, according to reports. The hope must be to have Russian kids get used to portable electronics learning early in life (plastic screens do less harm than glass displays at that boisterous age). Apple should think about that.