On June 2 the Israeli business publication TheMarker Online reported that the ExScite Yair Shamir will be nominated chairman of the board of Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), one of the largest companies in Israel.
Yair is not giving up his other positions. Minister of Defense Shaul Mofaz announced the appointment on June 6th. Shamir is chairman of Shamir Optical Industries Ltd. (Nasdaq: SHMR; TASE: SHMR) (which last month became the first kibbutz company ever floated on Nasdaq), former executive VP and general manager of Scitex (Nasdaq: SCIX; TASE: SCIX), former CEO of Strauss-Elite (TASE: STEL), former executive VP of the Challenge Fund Etgar, and former chairman of El Al Israel Airlines (TASE: ELAL). He accepted Mofaz’s offer of the IAI position, despite the burden of his other activities. Shamir is now chairman of high-tech company VCON Telecommunications(Nouveau Marche: VCON), and has been the company’s CEO. VCON develops advanced video call systems. He is also a member of the board of directors of Orckit Communications (Nasdaq: ORCT; TASE: ORCT), Mercury Interactive Corporation (Nasdaq: MERQ), and DSP Group (Nasdaq: DSPG), where Eli Ayalon is chairman and CEO. He is also chairman of the Catalyst Fund , an Israel based venture capital fund investing in late-stage companies mainly in the technology sector. In his new position,
Shamir will lead the issue of 20% of IAI on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange this year. This issue is the reason why a chairman was recruited from the business sector, instead of from within the defense establishment. Minister of Finance Benjamin Netanyahu is making Shamir’s agreement to promote privatization of IAI a condition of his appointment.
The Israeli finance minister Netanyahu, who has not yet given his final consent to the appointment, said, “Yair Shamir is a worthy candidate, but his suitability for the job will be judged by his willingness to advance the company’s privatization.”
Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) $2 Billion a year company, is providing products and services to defense and civil aerospace markets.
Established in 1953, IAI has played an integral role in making Israel a regional superpower, developing the country’s independent space capability, and supplying the IDF and defense forces worldwide with unique and cost-effective solutions for a wide range of military needs.  The company has developed the world’s first operational Anti-Tactical Ballistic Missile and is a global leader in totally integrated UAV solutions, as well as the conversion and upgrade of aircraft.
IAI has ten core areas of activity: Space; Theater Defense; Development and Manufacture of Commercial Aircraft; MRO & Conversion of Civil Aircraft; Military Aircraft & Helicopter Upgrades; Unmanned Aerial Vehicles; Intelligence Systems; Homeland Defense; Naval Systems; and Ground Systems.