Michael Stern, quality manager, Avalon Photonics
Zürich-based Avalon Photonics Ltd - which makes VCSEL lasers and arrays - has appointed Michael Stern as Quality Manager.

After a masters in Electrical Engineering from Furtwangen Fachhochschule, Stern was responsible for quality systems at quartz crystal maker Herbert C Jauch, then headed Karl Storz's Electronic Quality Assurance Department.

His key task is to lead Avalon's Quality Management System to ISO9001 certification in 2003. Statistical Process Control will be supplemented by monitoring of other quality parameters. Key suppliers will be audited regularly and all suppliers subjected to a qualification process.

Dr Xin Cheng, president and COO, Dowslake Microsystems Inc
Santa Clara-based Programmable Optical Processor-based module supplier Dowslake Microsystems has appointed Dr Xin Cheng as president and chief operating officer.

Cheng joined Amoco Technology Company subsidiary Meret Optical Communications Inc in the late 1980s where he developed broadband fibre business and technology including WDM-based computer imaging, HDTV and digital video. As president of Osicom Technologies Inc he founded its optical networking division, which became Sorrento Networks: in May 1997 his team launched the first commercial metro DWDM system; in 2000 he was appointed chairman/CEO.

Nicola Pignati, president and CEO, New Focus Inc
After joining San Jose-based New Focus Inc in April 2000 as chief operating officer and promotion in December 2001 to executive VP, chief operating officer, Nicola Pignati has been promoted to president, CEO and board member. R Clark Harris, president and CEO since October 2001, remains as chairman and chief strategy officer, working on acquisition and partnering.

From April 1996 Pignati was co-founder, president and CEO of MMC Technology Inc, a supplier of thin-film media for disk drives (now a subsidiary of Maxtor Corp). Pignati has held executive positions at Conner Peripherals (acquired by Seagate Technology Inc), Applied Magnetics, Komag, and IBM.

Pignati will "help to further operational objectives in light of near-term revenue prospects while focusing on growth opportunities, both organically and through acquisitions," says Harris.

Jenny Garrick, technical sales engineer, Optima Research
Specialist European photonic software and training supplier Optima Research has appointed Jenny Garrick as technical sales engineer. Garrick will be responsible for technical support and training courses.

Garrick has a degree in physics and experience as an optical designer.

Dr David Parker, president and CEO, Southampton Photonics Inc
The new president and CEO of in-fibre component and subsystem supplier Southampton Photonics Inc is Dr David Parker, ex-president and chief executive of Marconi Optical Components during its sale and transition to Bookham Technology in February. Previously he was VP and general manager of Agilent Technologies' Ipswich Components Operation.

Chairman professor David Payne says Parker will bring "great strategic and tactical direction to Southampton Photonics where he will apply his proven expertise in developing new opportunities."

Chris Gladding, VP of sales, Blue Sky Research
Chris Gladding has joined Blue Sky Research as VP of sales, reporting to president and CEO Dan Hu. "Chris will help us to clearly define and penetrate the markets," says Hu.

Gladding was JDS Uniphase's senior director of global accounts, responsible for all aspects of business with Cisco Systems sites and acquisitions worldwide. Previously he was senior director of North American sales for E-TEK Dynamics and global sales and marketing manager for Laser Diode Inc (now part of Tyco). Gladding has also held strategic sales positions with the UK's Optilas Ltd, R.R. Electronics (now Arrow) and Optronics Ltd.

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