Management Team

Bill Davis

Senior Director – Global Customer Service

Bill joined Plasma-Therm® in 2012 as a Special Project Manager, leading cost-control efforts for the VLN product line. He advanced to the role of Operational Excellence Manager, initiating multiple continuous improvement projects and programs that boost efficiency and productivity while enhancing customer satisfaction. Bill has more than 20 years of operations and field service management experience within the semiconductor industry, and he holds a B.S. in Electronic Engineering from ITT Technical Institute.

Dwarakanath Geerpuram

Senior Director – Marketing

Dwarakanath joined Plasma-Therm in 2006 as a process engineer and advanced to Process Engineering Manager before taking over as the Director of Product Development. In his current position, he is responsible for all engineering operations at Plasma-Therm. He has more than 15 years of experience in various aspects of semiconductor device fabrication and plasma processing. He has also authored or co-authored 20 publications and a patent. Dwarakanath holds a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois and an MBA from the University of Florida.

Thierry Lazerand

Business Unit Director – Lab-to-Fab Product Line

Thierry Lazerand is currently acting General Manager of Plasma-Therm Europe. He joined Plasma-Therm headquarters in Florida in 2010 after over twenty years spent in various technology and management roles both in device manufacturing and capital equipment companies in France and USA. He relocated to Grenoble, France in 2019 to take responsibility of the EMEA branch of Plasma-Therm, to ensure the implementation and execution of the plasma-based solutions Innovation activity and Product Management serving worldwide Universities and R&D centers.

Mooraly Suppiah

Senior Director – Quality and Continuous Improvement

As Director of Quality and Continuous Improvement, Suppiah is responsible for the Quality of all PT products and the Quality Systems. Coupled with that, he is responsible for all Lean Manufacturing initiatives, including improvements to business and operational processes at Plasma-Therm. Suppiah joined Plasma-Therm in 2022 and brings 20 years of manufacturing and product development experince from automotive and medical industries. Suppiah holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s degree in Materials Engineering from Chalmers University, Sweden.

Rick McGonigal

Senior Director – Operations

Rick McGonigal is the Senior Director of Operations at Plasma-Therm, where he leads the operations team including production planning, manufacturing, procurement, warehousing/logistics and engineering (mechanical/electrical/systems & controls). Rick has over 25 years of experience and most recently served as the Director of Manufacturing within the medical device industry. Rick has extensive knowledge in cost structures, driving P&L growth, clean room assembly/packaging, and is experienced in leading multi-site manufacturing operations, including establishing manufacturing facilities overseas. Rick earned an undergraduate degree from Kent State University, a graduate degree from University of South Florida and his True Lean certification from the University of Kentucky, School of Engineering, under the Toyota Production System. 

Russ Westerman

Executive Vice President of Technology

Russ joined Plasma-Therm in 1996 and became EVP of Technology and a managing partner in January 2009. He oversees all technical operations at Plasma-Therm. Previously he led the R&D efforts as head of product development. He has authored or co-authored more than 30 publications and more than 40 U.S. patents on various aspects of semiconductor processing. Russ holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Virginia Tech, a master’s in Chemical Engineering from the University of Illinois, and an MBA from Florida Institute of Technology.

Abdul Lateef

Chief Executive Officer

Before being named CEO, Abdul started with Plasma-Therm in 1998 as a project manager, leading the PVD product development effort. He advanced through the roles of Applications Lab Manager, Principal Scientist, and head of the Etch Business Unit. In 2009, Abdul drove the management buyout process that re-established the Plasma-Therm brand, accepting his new role as CEO. Under his leadership, Plasma-Therm has completed more than 10 acquisitions and integration projects which have had a favorable impact on the company’s growth and expansion of its product portfolio. Abdul serves on the St. Petersburg College Advisory Committee, and he is a leadership coach at the University of Tampa. He founded the Plasma-Therm Foundation, a nonprofit focused on disaster relief and support. Abdul holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nebraska and an MBA from the University of Florida.