August 6, 2007 – Nanometrics Inc. has appointed Timothy Stultz, former president/CEO of Imago Scientific Instruments, as its new CEO, taking over for Bruce Rhine who held the spot since March and move to the position of chairman, in a culmination of moves in what the company admits has been a year of “challenges.”
Stultz, who had led Imago since June 2003, also was VP and GM with Veeco Instruments from 1994-1999, and founder/CEO of Peak Systems Inc., a developer of rapid thermal processing equipment. In between those stints and Imago he served as president/CEO for ThauMDx, a provider of diagnostics systems for bio/chem applications.
In a statement, Rhine hinted at the company’s recent activities and shakeups which apparently haven’t gone as smoothly as hoped, areas Stultz will presumably address as he attempts to “implement business processes to focus on profitability, cash flow and predictability.” Nanometrics founder Vincent Coates noted that Rhine “has guided Nanometrics through some of the most challenging tasks we have faced as a company,” most notably “turning around a troubled business integration,” and Rhine himself remarked on “a number of challenges in integrating and consolidating its operations worldwide.”
It’s been a tumultuous year for Nanometrics, with a number of executive shuffles, selling off certain product assets, and moving other product lines overseas. Since last summer’s acquisition of metrology firms Soluris Inc. and Accent Optical Technologies (AOI), the firm has watched former CEO John Heaton leave the company with little explanation, followed a month later by CFO Dave McCutcheon “to pursue other interests”. More recently Nanometrics has announced it will consolidate all its overlay metrology production in Korea (and close the Soluris site in Concord, MA), where it already makes its Orion and Caliper systems. And weeks ago Nanometrics sold off the Yosemite CD-SEM technology originally developed by Soluris and AOI’s DiVA series of IV instruments primarily for use in the RF microwave industry, both for undisclosed amounts.