PITTSBURGH, May 18, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- II-VI Incorporated (Nasdaq:IIVI) today announced the planned retirement of Dr. Carl J. Johnson from day-to-day Company operations effective as of May 31, 2010. Dr. Johnson will continue in his role as Chairman of the II-VI Board of Directors.

"This event will continue the management succession plan begun in May 2007, and will be a seamless transition for II-VI," said Francis J. Kramer, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Since he co-founded the Company in 1971, Carl has shaped the culture, the values, the strategic business and technical direction of II-VI. Under his leadership for those nearly 40 years, II-VI Incorporated has increased revenues from a few thousand dollars in 1971 to over $292 million in the fiscal year ended June 30, 2009. The Company has also grown from its initial two employees to over 6,000. Several times, II-VI earned the distinction of being among Business Week's list of the nation's Best Small Companies."

Dr. Johnson intends to maintain an active role as Chairman of the II-VI Board of Directors. "My objective will be to continue creating value for all II-VI stakeholders. My primary focus will be the strategic direction and corporate governance of the Company, and the oversight of some of our subsidiary companies," he said. "I have great confidence in our leadership and our employees to continue to uphold the high standards of II-VI."

II-VI History of Growth Under Dr. Johnson's Leadership

Dr. Johnson says he and the late James E. Hawkey co-founded the Company because "the infrared optical materials commercially available to the laser industry at the time were incapable of sustaining the kilowatt power demands being projected by emerging carbon-dioxide (CO2) laser developers."   They named their enterprise II-VI for Groups II and VI of the Periodic Table of Elements, the source of the basic materials -- Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) and Zinc Selenide (ZnSe) -- from which they would work. Their mission was to grow, fabricate and coat the world's highest-quality infrared optical materials, then manufacture, assemble and market a superior line of output couplers, lenses, windows and beam-splitters to CO2 laser original equipment manufacturers and end users.

Dr. Johnson began as President of II-VI Incorporated in 1971. In 1973, the Company turned a profit for the first time; it has remained profitable every year since. In 1987, the Company went public on the NASDAQ Stock Exchange when revenues were approximately $10 million.  Francis J. Kramer was appointed President in 1985 and Dr. Johnson served as Chief Executive Officer until 2007.

In the 1990s, II-VI began to apply its successful CO2 Infrared Optics business strategy to additional businesses. This included working with Yttrium Aluminum Garnet (YAG) and Yttrium Lithium Fluoride (YLF) for Near-Infrared Optics through a subsidiary, VLOC. In 1998, the Company began to grow Silicon Carbide (SiC) substrates and in 2000, with the acquisition of Exotic Electro-Optics, part of Laser Power Corporation, added Germanium (Ge)-based materials to its arsenal of materials. With the acquisition of Marlow Industries in 2004, Bismuth Telluride (Bi2Te3)-based crystals were added to the list of materials fabricated by the Company.  

The II-VI global era began in 1988 with the establishment of manufacturing operations in Singapore. By 1996, the Company also was manufacturing in China and by 2005 had established its manufacturing footprint in Vietnam. Through acquisitions of Pacific Rare Specialty Metals and Chemicals (2007) and HIGHYAG Lasertechnologie GmbH (2008), the Company acquired manufacturing capacity in the Philippines and Germany, respectively. In 2009, II-VI and Beijing Supower Science and Technology Developing Co., Ltd. formed a joint venture, Langfang Haobo Diamond Co., Ltd., to produce Diamond (C) substrates for industrial-grade applications. In January 2010, II-VI completed the acquisition of Photop Technologies, Inc., of Fuzhou, China. The Company opened direct sales offices in Japan, the United Kingdom and China in the 1990s to be followed by offices in the Benelux countries, Italy and acquired distributors in Germany and Switzerland beginning in the year 2000.      

In 2007, Dr. Johnson and his wife, Margot, established the II-VI Foundation whose mission is to encourage and enable students to discover, engage and pursue careers in engineering, science, and mathematics. The Foundation identifies promising students from kindergarten through graduate school, providing early-education program support and undergraduate scholarships. It also provides funding for focused, well-planned graduate-research programs.

About II-VI Incorporated

II-VI Incorporated, the worldwide leader in crystal growth technology, is a vertically-integrated manufacturing company that creates and markets products for a diversified customer base including industrial manufacturing, military and aerospace, high-power electronics and telecommunications, and thermoelectronics applications. Headquartered in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania, with manufacturing, sales, and distribution facilities worldwide, the Company produces numerous crystalline compounds including zinc selenide for infrared laser optics, silicon carbide for high-power electronic and microwave applications, and bismuth telluride for thermoelectric coolers.

In the Company's infrared optics business, II-VI Infrared manufactures optical and opto-electronic components for industrial laser and thermal imaging systems, and HIGHYAG Lasertechnologie GmbH (HIGHYAG) manufactures fiber-delivered beam delivery systems and processing tools for industrial lasers. In the Company's near-infrared optics business, VLOC manufactures near-infrared and visible light products for industrial, scientific, military and medical instruments and laser gain materials and products for solid-state YAG and YLF lasers. Photop Technologies, Inc. (Photop) manufactures crystal materials, optics, microchip lasers and opto-electronic modules for use in optical communication networks and other diverse consumer and commercial applications. In the Company's military & materials business, Exotic Electro-Optics (EEO) manufactures infrared products for military applications, and Pacific Rare Specialty Metals & Chemicals (PRM) produces and refines selenium and tellurium materials. In the Company's Compound Semiconductor Group, the Wide Bandgap Materials (WBG) group manufactures and markets single crystal silicon carbide substrates for use in the solid-state lighting, wireless infrastructure, RF electronics and power switching industries; Marlow Industries, Inc. (Marlow) designs and manufactures thermoelectric cooling and power generation solutions for use in defense, space, photonics, telecommunications, medical, consumer and industrial markets; and the Worldwide Materials Group (WMG) provides expertise in materials development, process development and manufacturing scale up.

This press release contains forward-looking statements based on certain assumptions and contingencies that involve risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and relate to the Company's performance on a going-forward basis. 

The forward-looking statements in this press release involve risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results, performance or trends to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements herein or in previous disclosures. The Company believes that all forward-looking statements made by it have a reasonable basis, but there can be no assurance that management's expectations, beliefs or projections as expressed in the forward-looking statements will actually occur or prove to be correct. In addition to general industry and global economic conditions, factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to: (i) the failure of any one or more of the assumptions stated above to prove to be correct; (ii) the risks relating to forward-looking statements and other "Risk Factors" discussed in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2009; (iii) the purchasing patterns from customers and end-users; (iv) the timely release of new products, and acceptance of such new products by the market; (v) the introduction of new products by competitors and other competitive responses; and/or (vi) the Company's ability to devise and execute strategies to respond to market conditions.

II-VI Incorporated
Craig A. Creaturo, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
(724) 352-4455