COMPANY
MANAGEMENT
Yield Engineering Systems, Inc. (YES) Management

Ramakanth Alapati, Chairman and CEO

Before becoming CEO in August of 2020, Mr. Alapati spent two years as a YES technology advisory board member, and he has been YES’s chairman since January of 2020. Prior to that, he oversaw engineering and operations at PsiQuantum, led technology strategy and roadmaps at Amkor Technology, directed packaging product management and R&D at GlobalFoundries, and guided the development and commercialization of double patterning & TSV technologies at Micron Technology. Mr. Alapati has a master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Kansas, a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Osmania University in India, and executive education from Harvard. He holds over 30 patents.

Dragan Cekic, VP of Sales, Americas & Europe

Dragan Cekic is an accomplished semiconductor sales & marketing executive with more than two decades of international business and customer experience in semiconductor equipment and worldwide manufacturing. Prior to joining YES, he was Director of Global Sales & Marketing for Semiconductor Process Equipment Corp. (SPEC), a long-time supplier of surface conditioning wet-process equipment. Before that, he founded and spent ten years running Dyno Silicon International, a global technology consultancy specializing in optimizing, developing and expanding clients’ business operations in the semiconductor field, with an emphasis on wet etch, solvent clean, ECD/plating, ion implantation, plasma ashing, UV curing and lithography. His background also includes sales management positions at SEMSYSCO GmbH, Trymax Semiconductor, and Axcelis Technologies. Mr. Cekic holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Technical College Munich and a certificate in Business Leadership and Strategic Management from Cornell University. He is fluent in five languages.

Alex Chow, Asia Sales President and GM

Mr. Chow is based in the YES Asia office in Taiwan and is responsible for growing the company’s presence in the APAC region. To his role at YES, he brings 20 years of executive positions at Onto Innovation and Ultratech, and many successful strategic partnerships with top-tier IDMs, foundries and OSATs. Mr. Chow holds a master’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park and has completed the Executive Education program in Strategy in Competitive Markets at the University of California, Berkeley.

Don Foldenauer, VP of Operations

Prior to joining YES, Don Foldenauer spent over 15 years in Manufacturing Operations management at Applied Materials, followed by VP of Operations roles at three contract manufacturers: Jabil, Celestica, and Ultra Clean Technology. His resumé also includes more than 15 years in Field Operations management at Applied Materials and KLA-Tencor. He began his career as a design engineer of semiconductor manufacturing equipment systems and has been awarded multiple patents. In addition to holding bachelor’s degrees in electronic engineering and business management, and an MBA from San Jose State University, he is a regular guest lecturer at Stanford University on the topics of photovoltaics and semiconductor manufacturing.

Jason Hoffman, SVP of People & Culture

Prior to joining the executive team, Jason Hoffman was an advisor for YES’s lead investor KCK Group. He has over two decades of US and international HR leadership and management consulting experience in highly innovative business environments including healthcare IT, medical devices, biotechnology, autonomous driving and semiconductors. Among his past positions are VP of HR and Communications at TRR, VP of HR at Innovusion, VP of People & Culture at Visby Medical, CHRO at Elekta and HR Director at Pfizer. His educational background includes a BA in Psychology from the University of California at Santa Barbara, a masters program in Strategic Human Resources Management from Stockholm University, and executive leadership programs at the Stockholm School of Economics and INSEAD.

Zia Karim PhD, SVP and CTO

Dr. Karim is Technology Office SVP and Chief Technology Officer at YES. Before joining the company, Dr. Karim spent 15 years as Vice President of Business Development and Technology at Eugenus/AIXTRON/Genus (acquisitions). He also held senior management positions at Applied Materials and Novellus (acquired by Lam Research). He started his career at Sharp Microelectronics in 1994. Dr. Karim received his B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Dublin City University in Ireland, and the Certificate of Business Excellence from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Karim owns 16 patents and has authored more than 40 papers.

Bioh Kim, President of YES Korea

Bioh Kim is based in the YES Korea office in Dongtan. Prior to joining YES, he served in various executive roles for over a decade at leading equipment manufacturers, including Vice President of the ECD business unit and worldwide sales & service for TEL NEXX (Tokyo Electron US), Managing Director of packaging field technology for Applied Materials, and General Manager for APEVA (a subsidiary of Aixtron). Bioh started his career at Samsung in Korea after earning his BS and MS degrees in Materials Science and Engineering from Seoul National University. He then spent 20 years in the US semiconductor industry, returning to Korea in early 2020.

Chris Lane, VP Engineering

Before joining YES as VP of Engineering, Mr. Lane spent six years as Systems Engineering Vice President at Translarity. For the five years prior to that, he was Managing Director of Engineering Programs at Applied Materials. He also held engineering leadership positions at Solyndra and Intevac. Mr. Lane has a BS in Systems Engineering, an MBA in Finance and an MS in Engineering Analytics, all from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He holds 25 U.S. and international patents, with several more pending.

Rezwan Lateef, President

Mr. Lateef became President of YES in November of 2020, after two years as the company’s SVP of Sales & Service. He has over 15 years’ experience in the semiconductor industry and was a key executive in the successful sale of two companies. He has also held leadership positions at MKS, NEXX Systems, TEL, Ultratech & Veeco. Mr. Lateef holds a BSEE and MSEE from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has completed the executive management training program at the Harvard Business School.

Vinod Mahendroo, SVP of Operations

Mr. Mahendroo brings a wealth of experience in building companies to his role as head of operations at YES. He was formerly CEO of Nanoconduction and Primaxx, and served as President and GM of the service business unit at Applied Materials. Prior to that, he held managerial positions in operations and engineering at Intel. Mr. Mahendroo completed his bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian University of Technology in Delhi, as well as graduate work in engineering at Notre Dame, and received his MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Kimihiko Matsubara, General Manager, YES Japan

Based in Nagoya, Kimihiko Matsubara leads YES’s sales efforts in the Japan market, supporting the rapidly evolving semiconductor and advanced organic substrate market segments in the region. Matsubara-san started his career with process equipment manufacturer Hakuto, spending three decades there in positions of increasing managerial responsibility. Subsequently, he served in business development and senior sales management roles at TASMIT and Faro Japan. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Meijo University.

Prabhat Mishra, VP of Finance

Mr. Mishra became Vice President of Finance in June 2021, after two years as the company’s Head of Finance. Prior to joining YES, Mr. Mishra was Senior Director of Finance at Macom and Applied Micro, managing the Financial Planning and Analysis function of the company. Before that, he spent ten years as a finance leader at Intel Corporation, supporting the Mobile Products Group, the Software & Services Group and the Technology & Manufacturing Group. Mr. Mishra started his career as an engineer and was an engineering manager at STMicroelectronics, Sun Microsystems and Intel. Mr. Mishra holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi, an MBA from Arizona State University, and Certification in Accounting from University of California, Berkeley.

Guy Shecter, VP, Global Product Management and Global Service

Prior to joining YES, Mr. Shechter was VP and General Manager of Global Services Solutions at Veeco, where he spent 13 years in Marketing and Service leadership roles of increasing responsibility. Earlier in his career, he was Director of Marketing at Oramir (now part of Applied Materials) and Vice President of Marketing at Sagitta. Mr. Shechter holds both a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering (magna cum laude) and an MBA in Technology Development from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. He is a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt.

Yield Engineering Systems, Inc. (YES) Management

Ramakanth Alapati, Chairman and CEO

Before becoming CEO in August of 2020, Mr. Alapati spent two years as a YES technology advisory board member, and he has been YES’s chairman since January of 2020. Prior to that, he oversaw engineering and operations at PsiQuantum, led technology strategy and roadmaps at Amkor Technology, directed packaging product management and R&D at GlobalFoundries, and guided the development and commercialization of double patterning & TSV technologies at Micron Technology. Mr. Alapati has a master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Kansas, a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Osmania University in India, and executive education from Harvard. He holds over 30 patents.

Dragan Cekic, VP of Sales, Americas & Europe

Dragan Cekic is an accomplished semiconductor sales & marketing executive with more than two decades of international business and customer experience in semiconductor equipment and worldwide manufacturing. Prior to joining YES, he was Director of Global Sales & Marketing for Semiconductor Process Equipment Corp. (SPEC), a long-time supplier of surface conditioning wet-process equipment. Before that, he founded and spent ten years running Dyno Silicon International, a global technology consultancy specializing in optimizing, developing and expanding clients’ business operations in the semiconductor field, with an emphasis on wet etch, solvent clean, ECD/plating, ion implantation, plasma ashing, UV curing and lithography. His background also includes sales management positions at SEMSYSCO GmbH, Trymax Semiconductor, and Axcelis Technologies. Mr. Cekic holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Technical College Munich and a certificate in Business Leadership and Strategic Management from Cornell University. He is fluent in five languages.

Alex Chow, Asia Sales President and GM

Mr. Chow is based in the YES Asia office in Taiwan and is responsible for growing the company’s presence in the APAC region. To his role at YES, he brings 20 years of executive positions at Onto Innovation and Ultratech, and many successful strategic partnerships with top-tier IDMs, foundries and OSATs. Mr. Chow holds a master’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park and has completed the Executive Education program in Strategy in Competitive Markets at the University of California, Berkeley.

 

Don Foldenauer, VP of Operations

Prior to joining YES, Don Foldenauer spent over 15 years in Manufacturing Operations management at Applied Materials, followed by VP of Operations roles at three contract manufacturers: Jabil, Celestica, and Ultra Clean Technology. His resumé also includes more than 15 years in Field Operations management at Applied Materials and KLA-Tencor. He began his career as a design engineer of semiconductor manufacturing equipment systems and has been awarded multiple patents. In addition to holding bachelor’s degrees in electronic engineering and business management, and an MBA from San Jose State University, he is a regular guest lecturer at Stanford University on the topics of photovoltaics and semiconductor manufacturing.

Jason Hoffman, SVP of People & Culture

Prior to joining the executive team, Jason Hoffman was an advisor for YES’s lead investor KCK Group. He has over two decades of US and international HR leadership and management consulting experience in highly innovative business environments including healthcare IT, medical devices, biotechnology, autonomous driving and semiconductors. Among his past positions are VP of HR and Communications at TRR, VP of HR at Innovusion, VP of People & Culture at Visby Medical, CHRO at Elekta and HR Director at Pfizer. His educational background includes a BA in Psychology from the University of California at Santa Barbara, a masters program in Strategic Human Resources Management from Stockholm University, and executive leadership programs at the Stockholm School of Economics and INSEAD.

Zia Karim PhD, SVP and CTO

Dr. Karim is Technology Office SVP and Chief Technology Officer at YES. Before joining the company, Dr. Karim spent 15 years as Vice President of Business Development and Technology at Eugenus/AIXTRON/Genus (acquisitions). He also held senior management positions at Applied Materials and Novellus (acquired by Lam Research). He started his career at Sharp Microelectronics in 1994. Dr. Karim received his B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Dublin City University in Ireland, and the Certificate of Business Excellence from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Karim owns 16 patents and has authored more than 40 papers.

Bioh Kim, President of YES Korea

Bioh Kim is based in the YES Korea office in Dongtan. Prior to joining YES, he served in various executive roles for over a decade at leading equipment manufacturers, including Vice President of the ECD business unit and worldwide sales & service for TEL NEXX (Tokyo Electron US), Managing Director of packaging field technology for Applied Materials, and General Manager for APEVA (a subsidiary of Aixtron). Bioh started his career at Samsung in Korea after earning his BS and MS degrees in Materials Science and Engineering from Seoul National University. He then spent 20 years in the US semiconductor industry, returning to Korea in early 2020.

Chris Lane, VP Engineering

Before joining YES as VP of Engineering, Mr. Lane spent six years as Systems Engineering Vice President at Translarity. For the five years prior to that, he was Managing Director of Engineering Programs at Applied Materials. He also held engineering leadership positions at Solyndra and Intevac. Mr. Lane has a BS in Systems Engineering, an MBA in Finance and an MS in Engineering Analytics, all from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He holds 25 U.S. and international patents, with several more pending.

Rezwan Lateef, President

Mr. Lateef became President of YES in November of 2020, after two years as the company’s SVP of Sales & Service. He has over 15 years’ experience in the semiconductor industry and was a key executive in the successful sale of two companies. He has also held leadership positions at MKS, NEXX Systems, TEL, Ultratech & Veeco. Mr. Lateef holds a BSEE and MSEE from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has completed the executive management training program at the Harvard Business School.

Vinod Mahendroo, SVP of Operations

Mr. Mahendroo brings a wealth of experience in building companies to his role as head of operations at YES. He was formerly CEO of Nanoconduction and Primaxx, and served as President and GM of the service business unit at Applied Materials. Prior to that, he held managerial positions in operations and engineering at Intel. Mr. Mahendroo completed his bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian University of Technology in Delhi, as well as graduate work in engineering at Notre Dame, and received his MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Kimihiko Matsubara, General Manager, YES Japan

Based in Nagoya, Kimihiko Matsubara leads YES’s sales efforts in the Japan market, supporting the rapidly evolving semiconductor and advanced organic substrate market segments in the region. Matsubara-san started his career with process equipment manufacturer Hakuto, spending three decades there in positions of increasing managerial responsibility. Subsequently, he served in business development and senior sales management roles at TASMIT and Faro Japan. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Meijo University.

Prabhat Mishra, VP of Finance

Mr. Mishra became Vice President of Finance in June 2021, after two years as the company’s Head of Finance. Prior to joining YES, Mr. Mishra was Senior Director of Finance at Macom and Applied Micro, managing the Financial Planning and Analysis function of the company. Before that, he spent ten years as a finance leader at Intel Corporation, supporting the Mobile Products Group, the Software & Services Group and the Technology & Manufacturing Group. Mr. Mishra started his career as an engineer and was an engineering manager at STMicroelectronics, Sun Microsystems and Intel. Mr. Mishra holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi, an MBA from Arizona State University, and Certification in Accounting from University of California, Berkeley.

Guy Shecter, VP, Global Product Management and Global Service

Prior to joining YES, Mr. Shechter was VP and General Manager of Global Services Solutions at Veeco, where he spent 13 years in Marketing and Service leadership roles of increasing responsibility. Earlier in his career, he was Director of Marketing at Oramir (now part of Applied Materials) and Vice President of Marketing at Sagitta. Mr. Shechter holds both a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering (magna cum laude) and an MBA in Technology Development from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. He is a Certified Six Sigma Black Belt.