Management Team

Tom Sparkman, Chief Executive Officer

Recently named Chief Executive Officer of Spin Transfer Technologies, Tom Sparkman has nearly 35 years of experience across medical, automotive, semiconductor and wireless technologies. His extensive leadership roles include CEO of Samplify Systems, a startup delivering mixed-signal semiconductor and ultrasound solutions, where he raised over $25 million in capital. Additional career highlights include 19 years at various executive positions at Maxim Integrated Products, General Manager and Senior Vice President of Worldwide Sales roles at Integrated Device Technology, and most recently, General Manager and Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales at Spansion, Inc., prior to its merger with Cypress Semiconductor. Mr. Sparkman holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.


Mustafa Pinarbasi, Ph.D., Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President of Magnetics Technology

Mustafa Pinarbasi is a pioneer and innovator in magnetic thin films. Dr. Pinarbasi spent the first 18 years of his career at IBM and Hitachi Global Storage Technologies (GST) (formerly IBM, now part of Western Digital) as a leading technologist in magnetic materials and thin films. At IBM, Dr. Pinarbasi pioneered the adoption of ion beam sputtering deposition technology, a revolutionary conductor and hard magnet process, by the magnetic head industry. He was recognized with the IBM Corporate Award in 2000 for his work on developing the giant magnetoresistive (GMR) sensors which resulted in the introduction of the first GMR-based hard disk drives in the world. In the same year he was named as an IBM Distinguished Engineer for his contributions to the thin film magnetic field. Dr. Pinarbasi spent five years at Hitachi GST, where he led the development of tunneling magneto-resistance (TMR) read head processing used in hard disk drive products.

He most recently was Chief Technology Officer at SoloPower, a thin-film solar company, where he built a comprehensive technology team, developed roll-to-roll thin film photovoltaic deposition processes and equipment, and spearheaded the industry’s first flexible and light weight CIGS (Copper Indium Gallium di-Selenide)-based solar modules that are certified to both U.S. and European standards. He is an inventor with over 190 U.S. patents, with several in thin film magnetic materials and processing, spin valve sensors, magnetic tunnel junctions, nanostructures and photovoltaic cells. He has authored or co-authored over 30 scientific publications in thin film materials, magnetic multilayer structures, processing, tooling, product development and reliability. During his career, he has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Gold Patent award at Hitachi GST and Outstanding Technical Achievement and Outstanding Innovation awards at IBM. Dr. Pinarbasi holds a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Amitay Levi, Vice President, Memory Integration

Amitay Levi brings to STT more than 28 years semiconductor industry experience in advanced technology development of non-volatile memory. Prior to joining the company, Amitay spent several years at Crocus Technology as the Vice President of Technology Development, working on the development of TAS MRAM technology at TowerJazz and IBM. Before that, Amitay was instrumental in the success of Silicon Storage Technology, Inc. (SST), where he served as Vice President of Embedded Technology. At SST Amitay was responsible for supporting technology licensing and developing Embedded SuperFlash™ technology for multiple foundries and IDMs. In an earlier position at SST as Vice President, Advanced Development, Amitay led his group in developing many generations of SuperFlash technology for stand-alone chip products. Prior to SST, Amitay held various engineering management positions at Xicor, Inc. Amitay earned an M.S. degree in Microelectronics and a Ph.D. in Material Science, both from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Les Crudele, Senior Vice President, IC Product Development

Les Crudele brings over 40 years of proven leadership and business management experience to his role at Spin Transfer Technologies, with a lengthy track record of success in integrated circuit development and large-scale systems. Crudele’s career includes various executive and technical leadership roles. Highlights include positions as Vice President and General Manager of Motorola Semiconductor’s PowerPC RISC Microprocessor Division, and Vice President and General Manager of Compaq’s Workstation Products Division. In addition, Crudele held CEO positions at Banderacom, Transmeta and Azuray Technologies. Crudele received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Florida Atlantic University, and holds 10 patents.


Andrew Walker, Ph.D., Vice President of Product

With more than 30 years of experience, Mr. Walker is widely known as a proven leader in the semiconductor industry, providing expert guidance specifically in the 3-D Flash memory technology segment. Mr. Walker has been particularly focused on 3-D Flash memory since 2000, and founded Schiltron Corporation to investigate and develop new 3-D memory technology. He worked for several major semiconductor companies including Cypress Semiconductor, Artisan Components and Matrix Semiconductor. Prior to his work in Silicon Valley, Mr. Walker was with Philips Research Laboratories in Eindhoven, The Netherlands from 1985 to 1994 where he worked on CMOS and non-volatile memory research and development. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from the University of Dundee, Scotland and a Ph.D. from the Technical University of Eindhoven, The Netherlands. He holds over 40 U.S. patents, and is the author and co-author of more than 30 academic articles.


Jeff Lewis, Senior Vice President of Business Development

Jeff Lewis joins Spin Transfer Technologies as Senior Vice President of Business Development, bringing extensive experience in the semiconductor IP and EDA industries, focusing on licensing technologies in the memory sector. Most recently, Lewis was Senior Vice President of Business Development and Marketing at SuVolta, Inc., where he directed the company’s licensing, and customer and market engagement activities, including their strategic partnership and ultimate acquisition by Fujitsu. Prior to SuVolta, he served as Senior Vice President of Business Development and Marketing at Innovative Silicon. Additional leadership roles include President and CEO of CiraNova, an EDA software company acquired by Synopsys, and Vice President positions at FormFactor, Artisan Components and Compass Design Automation. Lewis earned an MBA from UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from UC Berkeley.


Steven Watts, Ph.D., Senior Director Test

As Senior Director of Test, Steve Watts is responsible for all device and chip testing for STT including magnetics characterization, foundry and product testing and design testing support. Steve brings over 10 years of experience working in MRAM research and development, starting as a device testing and characterization engineer with the pioneering MRAM startup Grandis Inc. and staying on with Samsung Electronics after it acquired Grandis in 2011. He earned his Ph.D. in Physics from Florida State University.




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Invesco Asset Management

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Woodford Investment Management

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