Sass Somekh To Retire As President Of Novellus
December 21, 2006

SAN JOSE, Calif., December 21, 2006 – Novellus Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVLS) today announced that effective January 29, 2007, Sass Somekh, having turned 60, will retire as president of the company and transition to a part-time role. Somekh will continue to work with Novellus for the foreseeable future as chairman of the Novellus Technical Advisory Board, as well as serving as advisor to the CEO. He will also continue on behalf of Novellus to rally Silicon Valley business leaders behind stable energy initiatives through and as the Novellus representative to the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.

"Sass has been a great asset to Novellus over the past three years, bringing a process-oriented, cross-functional, and engineering-focused approach that has helped us streamline product development processes and grow our organization," said Rick Hill, chairman and CEO of Novellus. "Sass' continued position with the company will ensure that the transition to his full-time retirement can be made without missing a beat."

Somekh has enjoyed a long and distinguished career in the semiconductor capital equipment industry. He joined Novellus as company president in January of 2004 after a 23-year career at Applied Materials. Somekh played a pivotal role in the development of products that have revolutionized the manufacturing of semiconductor devices, including the Precision 5000 CVD system, the first semiconductor manufacturing tool to be placed in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. He received the SEMI Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994, and in 2006 was inducted into the Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame.

About Novellus:

Novellus Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: NVLS) is a leading provider of advanced process equipment for the global semiconductor industry. The company's products deliver value to customers by providing innovative technology backed by trusted productivity. An S&P 500 company, Novellus is headquartered in San Jose, Calif. with subsidiary offices across the globe. For more information please visit