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Our Management Team

Staying on the cutting edge of human interface technology for more than two decades requires talent that begins at the very top. But understanding technology has to come with a thorough understanding of what it takes to help OEMs succeed. That’s exactly how our executive team works. This team combines technological expertise with a deep knowledge of the global marketplace and a clear vision of the future. They focus our organization to continue to push human interface technology to new heights of creativity and innovation.

Michael Hurlston

President and CEO

Michael Hurlston was appointed President and CEO of Synaptics in August 2019. Before joining Synaptics, Mr. Hurlston was the CEO at Finisar Corporation where he was also a member of the Board of Directors. Prior to Finisar, he served as senior vice president and general manager of the Mobile Connectivity Products/Wireless Communications and Connectivity Division at Broadcom Limited, as well as other senior leadership positions in sales, marketing and general management. Prior to joining Broadcom in 2001, Michael held senior marketing and engineering positions at Oren Semiconductor, Inc., Avasem, Integrated Circuit Systems, Micro Power Systems, Exar and IC Works from 1991 until 2001. Mr. Hurlston is also a member of the board of directors of Ubiquiti Networks, Inc. and Vilynx Inc. he received a B.S.E.E., an M.S.E.E. and an M.B.A. from the University of California, Davis.

Saleel Awsare

Senior Vice President and General Manager, PC & Peripherals Division

Saleel Awsare is the SVP and GM of the PC & Peripherals Division since July 2020 which comprises of the company’s TouchPad, fingerprint, printer, and video interface business including DisplayLink. Prior to this he was the SVP and GM of the IoT Division where he significantly grew the business. Before joining Synaptics as CVP & GM of Audio & Imaging Products, he was President of Conexant which was acquired by Synaptics in July 2017. At Conexant, Awsare led the growth of its audio, voice and imaging business while successfully executing a turnaround by becoming a market leader in audio and voice technologies. Mr. Awsare served as president of Nuvoton's U.S. operations and general manager of the its audio and voice divisions. In 2008, he started the audio product line within Nuvoton, a spin-off of Winbond Electronics, significantly growing that business by delivering new products focused on large customers in the consumer market. Prior to Nuvoton, he was the executive vice president and general manager of mixed signal products for Winbond Electronics Corporation America. Before Winbond, he was director of engineering for Information Storage Devices, where he was part of the team that developed the first single chip analog voice playback and record product based on embedded flash technology. He holds a B.S. from Stevens Institute of Technology and an M.S. from Santa Clara University. He has five patents and has written for multiple publications. Mr. Awsare is also a Director of Sigma Designs, Inc. since February 25, 2018 and member of the Board of Trustees of Stevens Institute of Technology since September of 2017.

Dean Butler

Chief Financial Officer

Dean Butler joined Synaptics in October 2019. Before joining Synaptics, he served as Vice President of Finance at Marvell Technology Group Ltd. from July 2016 to October 2019. Prior to joining Marvell, he served as Controller of the Ethernet Switching Division at Broadcom Limited from January 2015 through July 2016. Prior to joining Broadcom, Mr. Butler held senior finance positions at Maxim Integrated from May 2007 to December 2014. Mr. Butler received his Bachelor’s degree in Finance from the University of Minnesota Duluth.

Alex Chou

Senior Vice President and General Manager, Wireless Connectivity Division

Alex Chou joined Synaptics through the acquisition of Broadcom’s wireless IoT connectivity business in July of 2020. Prior to Synaptics, he served as VP of Product Marketing at Broadcom Corporation’s Wireless Connectivity business unit, which he grew as a new line of business from near-zero to $500 million a year in 5 years. Prior to that, he also jump-started Broadcom’s first enterprise Ethernet Switch, PoE and 10GBASE-T PHY product lines and grew each business to more than 50% market share under his management. Mr. Chou was also an investment VP at UMC Venture Capital where he assisted in funding successful semiconductor startups. Mr. Chou spent his early career in the PC Graphics field and co-found/served as VP of Engineering for his startup graphic IC company, ARK Logic, Inc., which was acquired by Integrated Circuit Systems. He received his BS degree from National Cheng Kung University in Taiwan, and an MS in Computer Engineering from Syracuse University in New York.

Satish Ganesan

Chief Strategy Officer

Satish Ganesan joined Synaptics in November 2019 as Chief Strategy Officer. Prior to Synaptics, Satish served as Chief Product Officer of Keyssa, a wireless startup focused on short range connectivity. Before that, he held several executive positions at Broadcom where he led IoT and mobile strategy at different times. Prior to Broadcom, he held various senior product marketing positions at Tilera and Broadcom. He spent his early career in various engineering roles at Xilinx, and holds more than 10 US patents. He received his Bachelors degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from BITS, India and MS in Computer Engineering from University of Cincinnati.

Venkat Kodavati

Senior Vice President and General Manager, Multimedia Division

Venkat Kodavati joined Synaptics in April 2020 as SVP of Engineering and was subsequently named SVP and GM of the Multimedia Division in July 2020. Prior to Synaptics, Venkat ran the emerging 60GHz wireless business at Broadcom, successfully launching products into the backhaul market with tier-1 customers. Prior to Broadcom, Mr. Kodavati was the CEO and co-founder of Posedge, a company that grew into multi-million-dollar enterprise by developing and selling IP cores, including Wi-Fi and ethernet switch. In 2013, he successfully sold the company to Imagination Technologies. Venkat also held various senior engineering management roles at Broadcom and participated in the growth of the wireless connectivity business from 0 to nearly $3B. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from BITS Pilani, India, an MS in Computer Engineering from University of California, Santa Cruz, and has more than 10 patents with papers published multiple journals.

Phil Kumin

Senior Vice President of Sales

Phil Kumin is the Senior Vice President of Sales since March 2020. Prior to Synaptics, Phil was the founder and managing partner of Paragon Technical from 1997-2020 where he led the company’s semiconductor line and sales strategy. Mr Kumin has more than 30 years of industry experience with more than 20 semiconductor companies, including leadership roles at Brooktree (acquired by Rockwell) and Texas Instruments. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

John McFarland

Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary

John McFarland joined Synaptics in November 2013 and serves as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary. Prior to Synaptics, Mr. McFarland served for nine years as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of MagnaChip Semiconductor, where he established the company’s legal department and helped lead the company through a successful initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. He spent his early career at law firms in Palo Alto, California, and Seoul, South Korea. Mr. McFarland holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Asian Studies, conferred with highest distinction, from the University of Michigan, and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.

Janice Mori

Senior Vice President and General Manager, Touch & Display Division

Janice Mori has been the SVP and GM of the Mobile Division since December 2019 and expanded her role to include the automotive business in July 2020. Ms. Mori joined Synaptics in September 2008, and most recently served as VP of Strategic Programs and Products. Previously she was Vice President and Chief of Staff, Mobile Division, where she drove product development at Synaptics’ largest consumer mobile account as well as leading business operations for the division. Prior to this, she served in various leadership capacities at Synaptics including leading the integration of RSP into Synaptics in 2014, heading the mobile program management team, and leading multiple major product launches at key accounts. Prior to Synaptics she held senior program and marketing positions at Genesis Microchip (later ST Microelectronics), Agilent Technologies and Oak Technologies. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Management Business Administration from San Jose State University.

Divyesh Shah

Senior Vice President of Operations

Divyesh Shah joined Synaptics in March 2020 as Senior Vice President of Worldwide Operations. Prior to Synaptics, Divyesh ran operations for SiTime and was part of the executive team that had a successful IPO in 2019. Before that, Mr. Shah was at Broadcom (formerly Avago, LSI Logic) for 22 years, ultimately managing worldwide IC operations. He has also held positions at Integrated Device Technology, National Semiconductor and a MEMS startup. Divyesh has served on the boards of industry and community organizations including the Global Semiconductor Alliance and Notre Dame High School. He holds a dual Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering and Industrial & Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Nicole Singer

Senior Vice President, Human Resources

Nicole Singer joined Synaptics in January 2018 and is Senior Vice President of Human Resources. Ms. Singer brings more than 20 years of varied professional experience with technology companies to her role including serving as Vice President of Human Resources at Xilinx. Prior to joining Xilinx, she served in various technology sales and customer implementation roles at management consulting and software companies such as Accenture, Deloitte Consulting and PeopleSoft. Ms. Singer received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology, with a minor in Psychology and Business, from George Washington University in Washington, DC, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) plus Master of Science in Management Information Systems (MIS) from Boston University in Boston, MA.

Sunil Thomas

Vice President and General Manager, Video Interface Business Unit

Sunil Thomas joined Synaptics in 2015 and served as VP and GM of the Automotive Business Unit where he successfully grew that business. In July 2020 he transitioned to lead the newly acquired DisplayLink business and entire video interface portfolio. Prior to Synaptics, Mr. Thomas was the General Manager of the Automotive Business at Cypress Semiconductors where he led the early introduction of advanced HMI technologies for passenger cars. Prior to Cypress, Sunil was General Manager for several business units at Texas Instruments including Custom Networking ASICs, Consumer ASICs, Analog TV Tuners, and Medical CCDs. He has more than 20 years of experience in semiconductors with over seven years focused on automotive. Sunil has a BSME from the University of Calicut India, an MSIE from State University of New York at Binghamton, and an MBA from Southern Methodist University Cox School of Business.

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