Dr. Sass Somekh is responsible for leading the development and driving the business growth of several key products in the Semiconductor-equipment industry. Prior to joining Novellus Systems as President in 2004, he was an Executive VP and a board member at Applied Materials. During his 24-year tenure at the company, he played a critical role in transforming it from a $50-million revenue company to a $10-billion semiconductor-equipment industry leader 2000.
First as an engineer and project manager and then as a senior executive, he helped create a culture of innovation and action. Over the years Sass hired, coached, and promoted hundreds of employees, ranging from new college graduates to managers of billion-dollar product divisions. As a mentor of talent he contributed his insight and counsel to the building of strong management teams in the semiconductor-equipment industry.
In 1993 Sass was recognized as a co-inventor of the Precision 5000 when it became the first semiconductor-manufacturing system to be placed in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution. It is on display in the Information Age exhibit at the National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C. In 1994 Sass received the Semiconductor Equipment and Materials Institute’s SEMI Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his many contributions to the industry.
Sass received his bachelor degree in physics from Tel Aviv University and doctorate in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology. He holds more than 50 U.S. patents. Prior to joining Applied Materials, he worked at Bell Laboratories and Intel Corporation.
Sass Somekh has been a director of Synopsys since 1999, and has recently joined the board of two Nano Technology start-ups, Nanosys and Sol-Gel Technologies.