People News; Bob Steele, Shuji Nakmura, Zumtobel CEO, and more

Strategies Unlimited's Bob Steele has announced his retirement, Shuji Nakamura will act as a consultant for Seoul Semiconductor and Zumtobel has appointed a new CEO.

Bob Steele announces retirement

Bob Steele of Strategies Unlimited has announced his retirement effective March 31, 2010, following 28 years of employment at Strategies Unlimited, the market research firm which is a sister organization of LEDs Magazine. Bob runs the LED market research practice at Strategies Unlimited, and has been the figurehead for the Strategies in Light conference since its inception 11 years ago.

Bob says that he will not be completely out of the picture; "I will have a consulting contract with our parent company, PennWell, to work on program development for several Strategies in Light conferences, as the company works to spread this successful brand to other parts of the globe. In addition, I will be consulting on an as-needed basis with my colleagues at Strategies Unlimited on projects that can make use of my skills. I also plan to write articles from time to time for LEDs Magazine."

The LED market research practice will be left in the capable hands of Vrinda Bhandarkar, who will continue to focus primarily on the LED lighting market, and Maria Marianashvili, who will focus primarily on the HB LED component market.

Shuji Nakamura joins Seoul Semiconductor as consultant

Shuji Nakamura, a professor at the Materials Department of the College of Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), has been named as a scientific adviser to LED manufacturer Seoul Semiconductor Co., Ltd. (see press release).

Nakamura was involved in the development of commercially-viable blue, green and white LEDs and violet laser-diodes based on gallium nitride while working for Nichia Corporation in Japan in the mid-1990s. He joined UCSB in 2000, where he is also co-director of the Solid State Lighting and Energy Center (SSLEC).

“Seoul Semiconductor Co., Ltd. is proud to be one of the industrial sponsors of the SSLEC," said Senior Vice President S.M. Lee of Seoul Semiconductor. "Prof. Nakamura’s consulting will lead Seoul Semiconductor's bright future."

Harald Sommerer appointed as new CEO of Zumtobel AG

Harald Sommerer has been appointed as a member of the Management Board of Zumtobel AG, the Austria-based lighting company, and will succeed Andreas Ludwig as the Chief Executive Officer of Zumtobel AG on May 1, 2010. Ludwig, who has been serving as CEO since September 2003, will leave the company (see Zumtobel press release).

Until the end of January 2010, Harald Sommerer (43) served as Chairman of the Management Board of AT&S Austria Technologie & Systemtechnik AG, a manufacturer of printed circuit boards, and has been serving as Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Zumtobel AG since April 2006.

Zumtobel says that Sommerer's experience and knowledge will "be of significant benefit for the future positioning of the Zumtobel Group as a leading player in the global lighting industry and for actively pushing innovative products such as the LED technology."

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