Chris Norris, President and CEO
Chris joined Alta Devices as CEO in 2008 shortly after the company was founded. During his tenure, Alta has raised over $100M in financing and set the world records for both cell and module efficiency based on its flexible mobile power technology. Prior to Alta Devices, Chris was a Venture Partner at the investment firm Blue Run Ventures, and before that, the CEO of MicroDisplay Corporation, where he led the transformation of the company from chip maker to high definition TV (HDTV) manufacturer. Much of Chris’s professional experience was shaped by a long career in the semiconductor industry, first at Intel, where he was involved in both manufacturing and development, and then later at Cypress Semiconductor where over a span of seventeen years, he managed a wide variety of businesses, including the consumer, computation, and data-com business units. While at Cypress, Mr. Norris served on the board of the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), working on trade and environmental issues. He has seven issued patents, a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s in Computer Engineering.
John Batty, CFO
Responsible for managing financial planning and analysis, accounting and financial reporting, tax, treasury and information technology, John was previously EVP & CFO at Affymetrix, a $325 million leading Life Science/Biotech Company in the genetic analysis tools space. He drove the completion of three acquisitions, raised over $400 million, and eliminated ~$25 million of fixed manufacturing costs through cost reduction and consolidation. From late 2004 through 2007, John was the Chief Financial Officer for Credence Systems, a $500 million global semiconductor Automated Test Equipment manufacturer. At Credence, John completed the integration of a major acquisition, implemented new ERP system capability, improved the cost structure, and secured capital through a series of refinancing. From 1999 through the end of 2004, John was the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer for Network Equipment Technologies (NET), a global provider of telecommunications equipment used for enterprises, service providers, and government in mission critical applications. Additionally, John was CFO at Verilink Corporation (telecommunications equipment), and held various senior financial management positions at VLSI Technology (now NXP – semiconductor), and Intel Corporation (semiconductor). He has a Bachelor’s in Economics from the University of New Hampshire and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth Graduate School of Business.
Joseph Foster, VP of Business Development
Joe manages customer and corporate development at Alta. Prior to joining Alta Devices, Joe worked in the semiconductor industry for 25 years including 12 years as CTO/SVP of Business Development at Celerity. Alta is his seventh startup, third in the solar industry, serving as VP of Sales and Marketing at SoloPower, and via founding his own company in Orion Metrology. Orion was successfully sold to a large semiconductor OEM. Joe has spent the last 15 years in executive roles involved in M&A, equity and debt financings, and customer/market development. He holds a Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from CSU Chico, and an MBA from San Jose State University.
Rich Kapusta, VP of Marketing
Rich is responsible for Alta’s overall product strategy, brand, and marketing communications. Rich has over 20 years of experience in technical, marketing, and business management roles. Rich joined Alta Devices from Microsemi Corporation, where he was Vice President of Marketing for their FPGA business via the acquisition of Actel. Prior to Actel, Rich held M&A and Product Line VP roles at Exar and Sipex. Rich began his career at Cypress Semiconductor where he spent 14 years in progressively more senior technical and marketing management roles. He has six issued patents, and a Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Nasreen Chopra, VP of Capital Equipment
Nasreen has 15 years of experience in developing equipment and processes for new technologies. Prior to joining Alta, she was a director at SunPower Corporation where she led the design and procurement of solar equipment to lower capital cost and increase throughput for high efficiency solar cells. Before moving to the solar industry, she was founder and CEO of a venture-backed nanotechnology start-up in Silicon Valley. Nasreen started her career in semiconductors at Applied Materials, and then moved to Agilent Technologies where she designed in-line manufacturing test equipment for the printed circuit board industry. She has a PhD in Physics from the University of California at Berkeley and is currently co-chair of the Semi North America PV Advisory Board.
Prasad Chaparala, VP of Product and Reliability
Prasad is responsible for product development, quality and reliability engineering at Alta Devices. Prior to joining Alta, he served as the Director of Technology Reliability at National Semiconductor. He has over 15 years of experience in semiconductor process, product, quality, and reliability. Prasad has a PhD in Reliability Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park. He has contributed to more than 50 publications in international journals and conference proceedings and holds 16 US patents. He is a board member and Vice General Chair of the IEEE International Reliability Physics Symposium (IRPS) and he serves as a steering committee member of the IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics.
Ray Milano, VP of Technology
Ray is responsible for the overall development of custom processes at Alta Devices. He has over 30 years of experience in compound semiconductor materials and devices. Prior to joining Alta, Ray was the CEO of a venture-backed startup focused on the development of InP power amplifier products. Ray began his career at Rockwell International’s Science Center where he worked on a variety of devices, including GaAs CCD’s, and managed the Optical Sources and Detectors group. He spent the majority of his career at Vitesse Semiconductor, where he was responsible for the development of products and services for the design of high speed MESFET circuits. As Vice President of Optical Products, he established a major product line of optoelectronic and analog circuits for communications applications. Ray has a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Gregg Higashi, Chief Technologist
With nearly 30 years of experience in research, development, and manufacturing of various silicon and compound semiconductor technologies, Gregg is responsible for cell performance. Gregg began his career at Bell Laboratories working on understanding CVD and surface chemistry as it related to silicon integrated circuit technology. He later helped to develop process technologies spanning 0.5 um to 90 nm for AT&T Microelectronics, Lucent Technologies, and Agere Systems. At Applied Materials, he was CTO of the Front End Products Group supporting Si Epi, RTP, Gate Dielectrics, LPCVD, and Ion Implantation technologies before joining Intel to do 65 nm NOR FLASH and Phase Change Non-Volatile Memory Development. Just prior to joining Alta Devices, Gregg served as Managing Director of Applied Materials’ SunFab Thin Film Solar Technology Start-Up Team. Gregg is a Fellow of the IEEE with a Bachelors and PhD in Physics from MIT.
Gang He, Chief Technologist
Responsible for technology architecture, roadmap, and development, Gang has over 16 years of experience in compound semiconductor process and device development. Gang started his career at Vitesse Semiconductor where he led the development of many advanced technologies, including high-speed HBT/MESFET integrated circuits, detectors, lasers, and other photonic devices. He was also responsible for the development and production implementation of many high-volume integrated circuit manufacturing technologies and equipment. Prior to joining Alta Devices, he worked at Infinera and was responsible for process development of photonic integrated circuits for fiber-optic telecommunications equipment. Gang has a PhD in Physics from Caltech.