Lightwave Logic names Michael Lebby CEO, Fred Leonberger to board

Lightwave Logic, Inc. (OTCQB: LWLG), which has pursued the use of organic polymers as a vehicle for photonic integration, has reshuffled its management team. The company has named industry veterans Michael Lebby as CEO and Fred Leonberger to the board of directors. Lebby's appointment is effective May 1, 2017, while Leonberger joins Lightwave Logic's board April 1. Tom Zelibor will remain chairman of the board after he transfers CEO responsibilities to Lebby.

Lightwave Logic, Inc. (OTCQB: LWLG), which has pursued the use of organic polymers as a vehicle for photonic integration, has reshuffled its management team. The company has named industry veterans Michael Lebby as CEO and Fred Leonberger to the board of directors. Lebby's appointment is effective May 1, 2017, while Leonberger joins Lightwave Logic's board April 1. Tom Zelibor will remain chairman of the board after he transfers CEO responsibilities to Lebby.

Lebby joined the company's board of directors in August 2015 and served on the Operations Committee. He has extensive experience in technology development and company management garnered over the past 20 years. That includes stints as president, CEO, and founder of Ignis Optics; director of business development and investor at Intel Capital; president and CEO of the Optical Industry Development Association (OIDA); and professor and chair of optoelectronics at Glyndwr University, among other roles.

Leonberger, meanwhile, has been a senior advisor to Lightwave Logic since December 2011, with a focus on modulator/technology development. He is the principal of EOvation Advisors LLC, his technology and business advisory firm, and serves or has served as a co-founder and board member/advisor for 10 private photonics companies. Salient within his previous experience was his role as senior vice president and CTO of JDSU (which split into Lumentum and Viavi Solutions in 2015). In addition to his role on the board, Leonberger also will join the Operations Committee.

Zelibor said the new hires come as the company embarks on a new phase in its development. "We have made tremendous progress at Lightwave Logic over the last few years and reorganized the company to attain realistic and achievable goals. This required critical investment in infrastructure and personnel, which has paid off significantly since we have demonstrated that our organic polymers and electro-optic technology can challenge the existing legacy infrastructure,” Zelibor explained via a company press release.

"It is now time for a changing of the guard, and Michael Lebby has the leadership skills and experience in the photonics industry necessary to move the company into its next level of performance, which will be achieved through the commercialization of our organic electro-optic polymers for the telecommunications, data communications, and data center markets around the world,” Zelibor concluded.

In a conversation at OFC 2017 in Los Angeles last week, Lebby said that his initial focus will fall on commercialization of Lightwave Logic's polymer-based Mach-Zehnder modulator technology. The devices have shown good performance at 10 Gbps, and Lebby views them as a natural fit for 4x25G implementations of 100G optical modules. Lebby notes that polymers can pair with such common photonic integration approaches as indium phosphide and silicon photonics, which provides a wide addressable market as the company develops what it calls polymer photonic integrated circuits (polymer PICs).

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