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Former Xaar CEO joins EFI as chief technology officer

EFI has named inkjet guru Dr. Douglas Edwards as its new chief technology officer (CTO), replacing longtime technology head Ghilad Dziesietnik, who recently retired.

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  EFI's Inkjet Innovation facility in New Hampshire, US
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    "One of the best": Dr. Douglas Edwards, 
          EFI's new chief technology officer

“Doug possesses one of the best technological backgrounds in our industry, and combines technology with demonstrated business accomplishments,” said EFI chairman and CEO Jeff Jacobson. “I had the pleasure of working closely with Doug when I was the CEO of KPG, as well as when I was the COO of Kodak’s Graphic Communications business, and I cannot think of a better person in our industry to lead EFI’s strategic and technology developments.”

Edwards, who’s assumed his new role at EFI’s inkjet manufacturing facility in New Hampshire, US, has had an extensive career as a senior print executive and R&D technologist. Edwards was CEO of Cambridge, England-based Xaar, a leading developer of inkjet print heads for industrial printing, and chairman of Xaar 3D – the company’s 3D printing joint venture with Stratasys.

“EFI was a customer of mine while with Xaar, and I am very aware of the unique opportunity EFI has now to further develop a portfolio that includes many of the world’s leading digital inkjet and print workflow solutions,” Edwards said. “EFI, with its printhead-agnostic approach, is leveraging technology from many different vendors, and I look forward to bringing my inkjet experience to help drive value from this strategy and further enhance EFI’s ‘best of breed’ approach.”

Before joining Xaar, Edwards was president of Kodak's Digital Printing and Enterprise Business with responsibility for flexo packaging, functional printing, electrophotographic solutions, commercial and consumer inkjet solutions, with combined revenues of around $800 million. 

Edwards also ran Kodak's largest graphics business, Prepress Solutions, with revenues of $1.5 billion. Edwards joined Kodak from Kodak Polychrome Graphics, a 50/50 joint venture between Eastman Kodak and Sun Chemical Corporation, where he was vice president of R&D. He has also held senior R&D leadership roles with International Paper, Zeneca Specialties (formerly ICI Colors & Fine Chemicals) and Ilford Photographic in the U.K.

Edwards has a Bachelor of Science in chemistry and a Ph.D. in conducting organic materials – both from London University. He has several patents, scientific papers and books to his credit in topics such as solid-state conductivity and photographic materials. He has also published research in textile dyeing, including work on the aqueous solution behaviour of anionic azo dyes for textile fibres.

EFI, a global technology company based in Silicon Valley, develops technologies for the manufacturing of signage, packaging, textiles, ceramic tiles, and personalized documents, with a wide range of printers, inks, digital front ends, and a comprehensive workflow suite.