May 20, 1998

FEI Names New CEO

HILLSBORO, Ore., May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- FEI Company (Nasdaq: FEIC) today announced the appointment of Vahe Sarkissian as President and CEO. Mr. Sarkissian will also be a member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Sarkissian will replace Bill Whitward, who will be retiring from the Company, having led the Company since the business combination with Philips Electron Optics in February, 1997.

Mr. Sarkissian brings over thirty years of high technology management experience, with the last fourteen years in executive leadership roles, and the last nine years as the President, CEO, or Chairman of semiconductor and information systems-related companies. His experience specifically includes expertise in focused charged particle beam technology.

Most recently, Mr. Sarkissian has been the Chairman of several start-up companies. Previously, he was the President and CEO of Metrologix Inc., an electron beam metrology company which was acquired by KLA. Prior to Metrologix, Mr. Sarkissian was the President and COO of Silicon Valley Group, Inc. and he was also the President and CEO of SVG Lithography Systems, a subsidiary of SVG.

Prior to Silicon Valley Group, Mr. Sarkissian was Vice President at Data General Corp, heading up the Telecommunications Products and Technology Division. Mr. Sarkissian also has an extensive product development, technology, and business management career with semiconductor companies, including AMD for twelve years.

Throughout his career, Mr. Sarkissian has been responsible for the development and introduction of numerous memory and microprocessor products. At SVG Lithography Systems, he led the introduction of the Micrascan product. He has been instrumental in incubating several start-up organizations, such as Actel, Power Integration, and Accurel Systems. In many organizations, he has forged partnerships with world-class international high tech corporations.

"For over twenty-five years, FEI and Philips Electron Optics have worked to become world leaders in focused charged particle beam technology," stated Dr. Lyn Swanson, Chairman of the Board of FEI. "Vahe has a very complete understanding of the value of this technology and the seasoned experience to move FEI forward as a critical player in all of its key markets."

Mr. Sarkissian is looking forward to utilizing his diverse background in his new role at FEI. "I am delighted to join a quality company such as FEI," says Mr. Sarkissian. "I believe that FEI is well positioned as the company to create new and expanding future opportunities for electron and ion beam technologies. I expect my experience to help in making a positive impact in moving FEI into a key supplier position in the industry."

Mr. Sarkissian holds a B.S.E.E. from Northrup University and an M.S.E.E. from the University of Santa Clara.

Bill Whitward will be retiring as President and CEO of FEI. "We have all worked very hard to build an effective foundation for FEI's promising future with new products, the combination of FEI and Philips businesses, and the overall integration of this combination," said Whitward. "I am very pleased to turn the management reins over to Vahe who I believe has all the experience and skill to lead FEI as a world-class technology company."

According to Donald VanLuvanee, who is an FEI Board member and also President and CEO of Electro Scientific Industries, Inc., "Mr. Sarkissian has an established record of management, technical, and entrepreneurial leadership of Companies. His high familiarity with the semiconductor industry should drive FEI to become an increasingly important supplier of semiconductor capital equipment needs."

Founded in 1971, FEI Company is a leading manufacturer of scanning electron microscopes, focused ion beam instruments, transmission electron microscopes, and components for submicron-level imaging, analysis, modification and fabrication. In 1997, FEI tripled in size when it combined operations with Philips Electron Optics. Philips Industrial Electronics International B.V. owns 55% of the new company's common stock. FIB workstations are used primarily in the semiconductor industry for design modification, failure analysis and process analysis. Major users of transmission electron microscopes and scanning electron microscopes are research institutes, hospitals, universities, and industrial customers in semiconductors, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, metals, and mining. FEI has approximately 1,000 employees worldwide, with manufacturing in the US and Europe.
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CONTACT: William Langley, Chief Financial Officer, FEI Company, 503-640-7537

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