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Coherent appoints Silicon Valley executive as new CEO

05 Jun 2024

Jim Anderson brings experience from Intel, Broadcom, AMD, and most recently Lattice Semiconductor to the photonics company.

Coherent, now one of the largest photonics companies in the world, has appointed semiconductor industry executive Jim Anderson as its new CEO.

Anderson replaces the retiring Chuck Mattera as the NYSE-listed firm’s boss, and brings experience from senior management roles at several of the chip sector’s best-known names.

Most recently the CEO at Lattice Semiconductor, a major supplier of field-programmable gate array (FPGA) logic devices, Anderson also held senior roles at chip makers AMD, Intel, and LSI Corporation.

“I am deeply honored to join Coherent, a company I have long admired, as its next CEO,” said Anderson in a company release announcing his appointment. “With cutting-edge innovation, an industry-leading platform, and an intense focus on the customer, Coherent is exceptionally well positioned to build on its existing momentum and deliver enhanced profitable growth over the long term.”

Lattice turnaround
Anderson is credited with achieving a turnaround in his time at Lattice Semiconductor, with the company’s stock price rising in value ten-fold since his September 2018 appointment.

According to a US Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) filing detailing the terms of Anderson’s employment, the new CEO will be paid a base salary of just over $1 million and a sign-on bonus of $500,000, as well as up to $48 million in the longer term through performance-related equity awards.

In a lengthy farewell LinkedIn post reflecting on his time at Coherent, Mattera wrote: “As proud as I am of everything we’ve achieved together, I believe this is just the beginning. The next few years will bring opportunities that we have only imagined - and certainly more challenges, too.

“On your watch - and with your full support for our new CEO, Jim Anderson - the best is yet to come.”

‘Rapidly changing market’
Having succeeded Fran Kramer as II-VI CEO in 2016, Mattera oversaw the company’s transformation into a $5 billion-turnover operation, largely through the acquisition of Finisar and the more recent merger with laser manufacturer Coherent, whose name II-VI then took on.

Enrico DiGirolamo, who is now chairman of the Coherent board, paid tribute to retiring CEO, saying:

“Chuck Mattera has been in and around this industry for almost half a century, conceptualizing and directing the acquisition and business development strategy that made Coherent the multi-billion dollar global entity it is today."

Of the new appointment, DiGirolamo added: “Jim’s business acumen and technical capability, coupled with his extensive experience transforming complex global businesses to deliver above-market growth and profitability, make him the ideal leader to steer Coherent through its next chapter amidst a rapidly changing market.

“I am confident that Coherent will benefit from Jim’s operational expertise, innovation-first approach, and in-depth knowledge of our market and platform, as we capitalize on the strong market demand we see across our AI-related datacom portfolio and improving industrial market, while leveraging our diversification strategy that continues to serve us well.”

Investors appeared to welcome the appointment of Anderson, with Coherent’s stock price rising around 15 per cent immediately following the announcement.

SPECTROGON ABLaCroix Precision OpticsBerkeley Nucleonics CorporationECOPTIKIridian Spectral TechnologiesCHROMA TECHNOLOGY CORP.Optikos Corporation
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