TORONTO, Jan. 17, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SMTC Corporation (Nasdaq:SMTX) ("SMTC"), a global electronics manufacturing services provider, announced they have appointed Fernando Ibanez as Vice President and General Manager of their Mexican manufacturing facility in Chihuahua. Mr. Ibanez has over 30 years of experience in senior leadership positions in electronics manufacturing in Mexico, China and the USA. Prior to joining SMTC, Mr. Ibanez was Vice President and General Manager for a tier one electronics manufacturing services provider in Monterrey, Mexico, where he won numerous quality awards. Mr. Ibanez is an expert in lean manufacturing, holds a Six Sigma Black Belt and has a proven track record in driving exceptional quality standards and operating performance for global customers. He also holds an Engineering degree, an MBA and a PhD in Organizational Change from Pepperdine University in California. "Fernando will be a key member of SMTC's leadership team, with in-depth knowledge of the EMS industry and the high quality standards we have to deliver to our global customers," said Alex Walker, Co-Chief Executive Officer of SMTC. "I am confident that under Fernando's leadership, the SMTC Chihuahua team will drive industry leading operational performance in Mexico. His hiring is also consistent with our mandate of attracting, retaining and motivating the best possible talent here at SMTC." Claude Germain, Co-Chief Executive Officer, added, "The hiring of Fernando is consistent with key elements of our 2013 strategic plan, notably a focus on lean manufacturing and improved quality. With a strong revenue growth year in 2012 behind us, we are focused on improving gross margins and cash flow in 2013. Our aim is to realize improved operating leverage, targeting 10-11% gross margins, 5-6% adjusted EBITDA, >18% returns on our working capital, and cash cycles of 60 days or better. Top-grading our talent with the addition of Fernando will help us achieve our targets."