industry -- Forest Grove high-tech company taps Michael Burger, who has experience in China

Merix Corporation, a circuit board manufacturer based in Forest Grove, announced this month that it has a new president and chief executive officer, Michael Burger.

Burger, 48, will leave Flextronics Corporation, where he was president of its business components unit, to join Merix. He is to start April 30.

He replaces Mark Hollinger, who held the top post for nine years before stepping down in January.

Allen Muhich, vice president of finance and investor relations, said the board of directors and Hollinger agreed that a change in leadership was needed to facilitate more rapid growth in the changing industry.

In December 2004, Merix purchased Data Circuit Systems, a circuit board manufacturer in San Jose that specializes in quickly building circuit boards for prototype projects. And in September 2004, it acquired Eastern Pacific Circuits, a circuit manufacturer based in Hong Kong.

Muhich said it's important for Merix to have a presence in China, where manufacturing costs less, to be competitive in today's markets. And the board of directors, Muhich said, wanted a person such as Burger with experience in China and a track record of fast growth with multi-national, multi-manufacturer companies like Merix.

'Michael's background and success in building high technology businesses and his significant China experience make him a great fit for Merix,' William McCormick, board chairman and acting CEO, said in a statement. 'The board of directors is confident that Michael will provide great leadership.'

Burger holds an engineering degree from New Mexico State University and studied business at Stanford University. He was previously president of ZiLOG Corporation and vice president of the National Semiconductor's Asia Pacific Division, based in Hong Kong.

'Merix has a great reputation in the high-end printed circuit board business and a remarkable opportunity to grow its global reach and technologies,' Burger said.

Merix, which employs 1,200 people in its various locations, is Forest Grove's largest employer.