Veteran semiconductor executive to lead semiconductor wafer manufacturer
BLOOMINGTON, Minn., Oct. 10, 2017 – SkyWater Technology Foundry has named Thomas Sonderman as the company President. Effective immediately, Sonderman will be responsible for leading the operations of the semiconductor wafer manufacturing company. Interim-CEO Gary Obermiller, will continue to serve the organization as Chairman of the Board of Directors and provide guidance on strategic planning.
Formed following the purchase of a 200mm semiconductor wafer manufacturing facility in Bloomington, Minn. from Cypress Semiconductor Corporation in March 2017, SkyWater specializes in the development and manufacturing of a wide variety of semiconductor-based solutions. Sonderman’s immediate focus will be on defining new product markets and target customers while simultaneously driving operational efficiencies. Building upon the company’s culture and brand will another important aspect of his role.
“We felt it was important that SkyWater’s president not only understand the industry and the operational aspects of a fab but is also capable of growing and diversifying a company built upon the foundation of another,” said Obermiller. “With Tom (Sonderman) we found someone who had experience in all aspects of fab operations and its associated processes. But more importantly, he was part of an executive team that spun-off manufacturing operations to form a new entity. Having walked a similar path, he is ideally suited to guide SkyWater forward.”
Prior to joining SkyWater, Sonderman was the group vice president and general manager for Rudolph Technologies’ Integrated Solutions Group. In this position, he was responsible for delivering industry-leading growth and profitability for the company’s software division, creating a Smart Manufacturing ecosystem based on big data platforms, predictive analytics and IoT. Under Sonderman’s leadership, the business unit realized three years of consecutive revenue and margin growth while solidifying a dominant market share position.
Prior to Rudolph Technologies, Sonderman was vice president of manufacturing technology at GLOBALFOUNDRIES. Formed as a spin-off of AMD’s manufacturing operations in 2009, GLOBALFOUNDRIES is a $4.0B full-service semiconductor foundry serving more than 150 integrated circuit customers worldwide. A key contributor to the spin-off, Sonderman assumed global responsibility for utilizing proprietary Design for Manufacturing and Automated Precision Manufacturing technologies to create a competitive advantage for the company. During his tenure, he built and led a team that transformed AMD’s manufacturing operation into an independent manufacturing powerhouse able to effectively compete with competitors ten times its size.
“I’m very excited to join SkyWater,” said Sonderman. “Our company has a differentiated foundry portfolio and a highly motivated team. I look forward to leveraging my experience at GLOBALFOUNDRIES to create a truly world class technology foundry that delivers tremendous value over time.”
During his two decades at AMD, Sonderman held numerous executive management and engineering positions. Prior to the spin-off, he served as vice president of Manufacturing Systems Technology. In this role, he had global responsibility for development, integration, support and scalability of automation and manufacturing systems in the company’s wafer fabrication and assembly operations.
The author of numerous articles in the area of manufacturing technology, Sonderman is a sought-after expert on semiconductor industry issues and has been quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine, Investor’s Business Daily, CNET and DigiTimes. A champion for innovation within the semiconductor industry, he holds 47 patents and currently serves on the Executive Board for the American Society of Semiconductor Manufacturing and SEMI’s SMART Manufacturing Council. Additionally, he served as Board Chair for the International Symposium on Semiconductor Manufacturing from 2007-2010.
Sonderman received a BS in Chemical Engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology and an MS in Electrical Engineering from National Technological University.
About SkyWater Technology Foundry
SkyWater is a U.S.-based technology foundry specializing in the development and manufacturing of a wide variety of semiconductor based solutions. As a globally recognized, DMEA accredited Trusted facility with advanced development capabilities co-located with volume production, SkyWater has the ability and flexibility to innovate to any scale with a wide array of special materials. Our roots go back to the pioneers of computing technology and as such SkyWater offers what most foundries cannot: decades of technology innovation experience. Reach out to see how SkyWater can help revolutionize your product. To learn more, visit www.skywatertechnologyfoundry.com.
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