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Leadership Team

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Alex Balkanski

President and CEO

Alex Balkanski is an industry leader with a demonstrated record of delivering growth in revenue and profits in tandem with outstanding customer satisfaction. Prior to joining Picarro, Alex was a managing partner at Benchmark Capital and served on the board of directors at Picarro. Alex led C-Cube and DiviCom, two pioneering companies that drove the MPEG standard to dominance in consumer electronics and broadcasting. Alex founded C-Cube in 1988. In 1994, he took the company public, and in 1998 he orchestrated C-Cube's acquisition of DiviCom. Previously, he was a board member of Ambarella (AMBA), Decru (acquired by Network Appliance), Entrisphere (acquired by Ericsson), and Infinera (INFN). Alex holds a Ph.D. and M.S. from Harvard University, as well as a B.S. from Harvard College.

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Joel Avrunin

Vice President, Environmental Sales and Marketing

Joel leads the worldwide Environmental sales and marketing team, bringing a twenty year background in metrology, commercial leadership, and team building to Picarro. He loves working with his customers, and seeing the amazing science they are able to discover with Picarro instrumentation. Joel's experience includes over a decade in sales and management at Danaher/Fortive (through Tektronix subsidiary). He has a strong technical background, and before his commercial roles he worked as an analog/RF design engineer.  When not working, he enjoys running and hiking, and is always looking for new running routes when he’s traveling. Joel earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University and his MBA in Organizational Leadership from Towson University. 

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Yonggang He

Vice President, Systems and Hardware Engineering

Yonggang leads the product development team, as well as the systems and hardware engineering groups. He works closely with Picarro’s business units to define technology strategy, research and development priorities and execute the product development roadmap. Prior to joining Picarro, Yonggang held various senior engineering roles at NewFocus, Oclaro and LGR. Yonggang received his B.S., M.S. in physical chemistry and his Ph.D. in spectroscopy from Nanjing University and Oregon State University respectively. He was a Postdoctoral Scholar at California Technology Institute.

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Mitchell Zucker

Senior Vice President, Manufacturing

Mitchell has 25+ years of experience in semiconductor capital equipment in roles ranging from Field Service and Applications, Supply Chain Management, Manufacturing Operations, Business Process Optimization and Change Management. Mitchell had the great fortune to work for some of the best companies in the capital equipment segment including KLA Instruments, Applied Materials and most recently Onto Innovation. He received a BS Electronic Engineering Technology degree from DeVry University and his MBA from Santa Clara University.

Nipun Soni Profile Slim

Nipun Soni

Chief Financial Officer

Nipun is a seasoned finance executive with over 20 years of broader finance and operations experience across Public and Private multinational Companies. He has supported multiple capital raises in public as well as private markets and has a deep experience with M&A. He is passionate about building high performing finance teams to support the scaling of high growth businesses to drive shareholder value. Prior to taking the CFO role at Picarro, he was the CFO at BillionToOne. Before that, he held various senior finance leadership positions with multi-national public companies including Oracle Corporation, KLA Corporation, Quotient Technology and Guardant Health, after starting his career with PricewaterhouseCoopers. Nipun is a CFA Charterholder, Certified Public Accountant licensed in California and Chartered Accountant from India.

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Kalpana Shah

Vice President, Human Resources

Kalpana is focused to create and build Picarro’s culture of Doing the Right Thing. She is leading the people strategy to promote employee success and developing and caring for employees to help employees do their best work. She manages talent acquisition, talent development, employee experience, business partnership, learning & development, total rewards – benefits, compensation, and inclusion and diversity. The strategic alignment of these functions ensures holistic care for the well-being of Picarro’s employees. Before Picarro, Kalpana held leadership positions and built successful human resources functions at small and mid-sized private and public technology companies like Datameer, Good Technology (now Blackberry), Nanometrics (now Onto Innovation). Kalpana received her B.S. in Communications and Photography from Mumbai, India, and HR Management from UCSC.