SAN FRANCISCO—Semiconductor and solar panel production equipment maker Applied Materials Inc. merged its solar and display business units under a veteran executive from rival KLA-Tencor Corp. in a shakeup that also includes the departure of Mark Pinto, formerly the firm's chief technology officer.
Applied (Santa Clara, Calif.) announced that its Energy and Environmental Solutions (EES) and Display units would be combined under Ali Salehpour, who joined Applied as vice president and general manager of both groups.
Pinto, most recently executive vice president and general manager of EES, and Tom Edman, group vice president and general manager of Display, both announced their intentions to leave Applied following a period of transition, Applied (Santa Clara, Calif.).
"Mark and Tom have made many valuable contributions to Applied Materials and have been great colleagues," said Mike Splinter, Applied's chairman and CEO, in a statement.
Pinto joined Applied in 2004 after a five year stint at Agere Systems. Prior to that, Pinto worked at Bell Labs for 16 years, where he rose to the rank of vice president and Fellow. At Applied, Pinto held several high-ranking positions, including CTO, vice president of the company's China subsidiary and chairman of its venture capital arm.
Edman was formerly CEO of Applied Films Corp., which Applied Materials acquired in 2006.
Salehpour has more than 25 years of semiconductor industry experience, most recently as a senior vice president at KLA-Tencor.
"Ali has earned a track record of delivering customer satisfaction, growing market share and building high-performance teams," said Gary Dickerson, president of Applied Materials. "Ali's strategic and operational skills will enable him to provide strong leadership and drive growth and profitability across this new organization."
Splinter said trends in mobility and clean energy made it suitable for the company to combine the units to optimize efficiencies. "By bringing together these two business units, we believe we can better support our customers' roadmaps and advance our technology for large-area applications."