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Highest Level of Carl Zeiss Technical Ladder Reached for First Time


Vice President of Product Strategy in Lithography Optics named “Fellow”

Winfried Kaiser (53), Vice President of Product Strategy (product development and strategy) in Lithography Optics at Carl Zeiss SMT AG, is the first Carl Zeiss employee to achieve the “Fellow” designation, the top rung on the technical ladder. President and CEO of Carl Zeiss, Dr. Dieter Kurz, and Member of the Executive Board, Dr. Hermann Gerlinger, who is also the President and CEO of Carl Zeiss SMT, presented the physicist with the certificate of appointment on November 6.

At the end of 2005, Carl Zeiss introduced the technical ladder as an equivalent career alternative to the traditional management ladder. According to Dr. Kurz, the technical ladder is strategically important: “Quickly turning innovation into market success is a challenge that we must meet every day. By declaring Winfried Kaiser a “Fellow,” we are honoring an employee who has mastered this challenge with extraordinary success.” He added that “311 employees around the globe have now been accepted for the five- stage technical ladder. Winfried Kaiser is the first to reach the top rung. The technical ladder has already proven to be a successful tool in providing highly qualified employees in research and development with their own career opportunities and the necessary freedoms for creative work.”

Dr. Hermann Gerlinger emphasized that “all products from the Lithography Optics Division at Carl Zeiss SMT are the result of the product strategy developed by Winfried Kaiser. His successful work has led to his acceptance as a fully entitled member at the product policy meeting at our Dutch partner ASML.” ASML completely relies on lithography optics from Carl Zeiss for its exposure tools, or wafer steppers, for the manufacture of microchips. Since entering into a partnership with Carl Zeiss in 1993, ASML has become the world’s leading provider of wafer steppers and has thus asserted its position against strong competition from Japan, in particular. “The optical systems from Carl Zeiss play a key role in this success,” adds Gerlinger.

Ideas or projects from Winfried Kaiser have earned internal and external awards on multiple occasions. Currently, Kaiser is a member of one of the finalist teams for the 2007 German Future Prize for the development of EUV optics. This technology, which is sponsored by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research, deals with the manufacturing possibilities for the microchips of tomorrow.

Winfried Kaiser is very pleased with this distinction: “Being designated as a Fellow by Carl Zeiss is a great honor and is recognition of my work in setting up Lithography Optics. At the same time, it is also a challenge to continue this success for the benefit of our customers in the future.


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