Meet the team who’s Revolutionizing Technology Realization.
SkyWater is led by an accomplished group of semiconductor professionals experienced in technology development and volume manufacturing foundry services. This team is managing a Technology Foundry strategy around key capabilities, expertise, flexibility and quality for customers who value a forward thinking foundry partner.
Thomas Sonderman joined SkyWater in 2017 as the lead executive, driving the company’s successful business transformation from an IDM to a pure play foundry. He has effectively diversified SkyWater’s customer base by defining new product markets and target customers while simultaneously improving operational efficiencies. Mr. Sonderman has leveraged SkyWater as the only U.S.-based and U.S.-owned semiconductor foundry to expand the company’s government business and to focus on reinstating a strong commercial manufacturing presence in the U.S. He has built a world class leadership team that inspires 500 employees to deliver process R&D innovation and operational excellence.
Mr. Sonderman’s extensive industry experience in all aspects of fab operations has delivered market leadership and increased shareholder value to high-technology industry leaders Rudolph Technologies, GLOBALFOUNDRIES and AMD. Notably, he played a critical role serving as part of an executive team at AMD that spun-off manufacturing operations to form GLOBALFOUNDRIES.
A widely recognized subject matter expert, Mr. Sonderman is the author of 47 patents and a highly sought-after industry speaker. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Missouri University of Science Technology and a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from National Technological University.
With more than 25 years of leadership experience in senior corporate finance roles, Steve Wold provides key insight and strategy on both short-term and long-term growth of the company. As chief administrative officer, he oversees critical business operating functions to streamline business processes and drive efficiencies across all aspects of the organization. He most recently served as chief financial officer of SkyWater since January 2018.
Prior to SkyWater, he was a key member of the leadership team of Arctic Cat Inc. (formerly NASDAQ:ACAT), where he was instrumental in completing the sale of the company to Textron Inc. in 2017. Previously, Mr. Wold served with Orbital ATK (NYSE:OA), for 18 years where he was focused on transforming processes, change management, and driving operational efficiencies as the company grew from approximately $1B to more than $5B in revenue. He began his career as a CPA with Deloitte Audit and Assurance focusing on providing services to both publicly traded and privately held manufacturing entities.
Mr. Wold holds a Bachelor of Accountancy from the University of North Dakota and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Minnesota Society of CPAs.
Steve Manko utilizes his extensive finance background in working with his team to drive profitability and enhance the value of the organization. He achieves this by collaborating with other leaders in the company to understand their challenges and opportunities and develop a strategy for increased returns on investment.
Prior to joining SkyWater as chief financial officer, Mr. Manko was managing director at Riveron Consulting where he led the Financial Advisory Services practice in Minneapolis. He and his team assisted companies through various change events such as acquisitions and internal process changes and optimizations. Previously, Mr. Manko was at Ernst & Young and specialized in the Banking & Capital Markets industries. He spent time in the Cleveland, Ohio and Honolulu, Hawaii offices, before moving with his family to the Twin Cities in 2015.
Mr. Manko holds a Master of Business Administration from The University of Akron and a Bachelor of Arts in accounting and business administration from Malone University. He is also a member of various accounting and finance committees and organizations.
Brad Ferguson is responsible for developing the company’s technology roadmap and IP strategy by identifying high growth markets for SkyWater’s Technology Foundry business along with continuing to lead SkyWater’s government relations efforts. Previously, he served as senior director of sales in the custom foundry line of business at SkyWater and was responsible for the government relations strategy.
Dr. Ferguson started his career in photolithography process development at Cypress Semiconductor. In 2008, he started up the Cypress custom foundry business to provide differentiated solutions to technology innovators. He also drove the accreditation process to achieve Trusted Foundry status which launched the site’s entry into the aerospace and defense market, a key component of SkyWater’s market strategy.
Dr. Ferguson received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. He also received a Master of Science degree, and holds a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.
John Kent is responsible for leading SkyWater’s technical vision and strategy for developing technology roadmaps and design enablement capabilities and partnerships to facilitate successful silicon for SkyWater customers. His 40 plus years of experience in the semiconductor industry include demonstrated successes in technology development, operations and leadership positions.
Mr. Kent’s prior experience includes vice president of foundry IP; customer design enablement at GLOBALFOUNDRIES, executive level positions with KLA-Tencor in the Wafer Inspection Group, and technology development leadership positions at Rambus and AMIS (now ON Semiconductor). Previously, for more than two decades he held a variety of positions at IBM Microelectronics with responsibilities for the development of various technologies, including a focus on DRAM/embedded DRAM process development.
Mr. Kent holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Michigan State University.
Mark Litecky is focused on building and aligning revenue generating teams to meet the needs of targeted markets, further expand SkyWater’s diversified customer relationships, and drive profitable and predictable growth for the company. Mr. Litecky’s 30+ years of industry expertise includes: building out revenue teams, sales, marketing, revenue generation, strategic partnerships and business development. He has leadership skills in corporate strategy, organizational structure, technology development, new product roadmaps, engineering, operations, acquisitions, company integrations and IPOs.
Prior to SkyWater, Mr. Litecky served as sales & marketing vice president with GCM, a provider of product design and manufacturing serving medical, aerospace and industrial markets. Previously, he held various executive leadership positions. With Interlink, he worked on transitioning the company from a component supplier to a sensor systems solutions partner. Mr. Litecky served with Soligie (Molex), a leader in printed and flexible hybrid electronics, and with August Technology (Rudolph Technologies), a provider of automated visual inspection equipment used in manufacturing semiconductors, optoelectronics and data storage. He started his career at Rosemount Inc. (Emerson) in industrial process controls and sensors.
Mr. Litecky holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota.
Srila LaRochelle is responsible for supporting SkyWater customers in the western region of the U.S. and aligning technology roadmaps with strategic customer requirements. She is also focused on new customer engagement in target markets to expand revenue and fab utilization. Ms. LaRochelle has more than 30 years of experience in the semiconductor industry.
Prior to joining SkyWater, she was the head of ASIC sales for North America at GLOBALFOUNDRIES (former IBM Microelectronics division). Previously, Ms. LaRochelle was AVP of business development at United Microelectronics Corporation (UMC). Throughout her career, she has held various management and individual contributor positions in marketing, business development and sales at SanDisk (now Western Digital), LSI Logic (now Avago Technologies), Hitachi America, Actel (now Microsemi) and Harris Semiconductor (now Renesas).
Ms. LaRochelle received a Master of Business Administration degree from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor of Science degree from University of Central Florida.
Tom Legere focuses on evolving and enhancing SkyWater’s operations and driving foundry efficiency to support its customer partnerships and the company’s long-term growth objectives. He has more than 30 years of expertise in operational excellence across a diverse array of industries and technology segments.
Mr. Legere has held senior operational roles at various companies, most notably Aurora Semiconductor, Sonavation, eSolar, SVTC, Cypress Semiconductor and Atmel. He brings an ideal combination of leadership and operational talent to SkyWater with extensive industry experience in aerospace and defense, life sciences, security, MEMS, renewable energy and semiconductors. Mr. Legere has led both mature and start-up companies with extensive implementation experience in Design for Manufacturability (DFM), lean and six sigma principles, supply chain management and customer engagement. He began his career at Fairchild Semiconductor where he received a Sherman Fairchild scholarship grant.
Mr. Legere studied economics and mathematics at Amherst College and holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.