Canadian Manufacturing

Polar Sapphire appoints new CEO and CFO

by CM Staff   

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Mr. Hewes brings leadership and industry experience to Polar Sapphire, with experience in the specialty materials industry, having held senior roles in the past.

OAKVILLE — Polar Sapphire, a manufacturer of high-purity aluminum oxide (HPA), announced that Hap Hewes has been appointed Chief Executive Officer and Sean Doherty has been appointed Chief Financial Officer. Ara Partners, a private equity firm focused on industrial decarbonization, is the majority owner of Polar Sapphire.

Mr. Hewes brings leadership and industry experience to Polar Sapphire, with experience in the specialty materials industry, having held senior roles with companies including Saint-Gobain, Rubicon Technology, and Saphikon. Most recently, Mr. Hewes was President and CEO at Pallidus, a private equity-backed specialty materials company utilizing disruptive and proprietary technology to grow high quality silicon carbide crystals. He has HPA market experience, specifically in downstream uses of HPA to grow sapphire for use in LED, aerospace and defense, medical, and optical end markets. Mr. Hewes received a BS from Cornell University and an MBA from the University of Michigan.

“I am thrilled to join Polar Sapphire and lead the company as we commission additional HPA production capacity and capitalize on the significant growth opportunities in the growing HPA market,” said Hap Hewes, CEO of Polar Sapphire. “The company has a strong foundation and differentiated production process that will allow us to deliver high specification HPA consistently to our customers enabling them to achieve greater value. I look forward to working with the company’s founders, Scott Nichol and Dan Smith, the Board, and Ara Partners to realize Polar Sapphire’s long term strategic vision.”

Mr. Doherty brings financial leadership experience to Polar Sapphire having held various senior finance and accounting roles with multiple private equity-backed companies. Most recently, Mr. Doherty was Executive VP Finance and Administration at PASSUR Aerospace. Mr. Doherty began his career at BDO and received a BA from Wilfrid Laurier University. He is designated as a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Accountant.


“I am very excited to join the Polar Sapphire leadership team and lead the finance organization as the company begins to scale up operations,” said Sean Doherty, CFO of Polar Sapphire. “The company has created a deep bench of technical and business talent, and I am looking forward to working with the rest of the management team to execute on our strategy.”

“Polar Sapphire is well-positioned to become the preferred supplier of HPA, which is a critical specialty material for use in LEDs and lithium-ion batteries and is key to decarbonization efforts across various end markets,” said Tuan Tran, a Partner at Ara Partners.


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