Applied Materials Inc. announced last week that Nancy H. Handel, its senior vice president and chief financial officer, will retire effective Jan. 5, 2007, after more than 21 years with the company. Handel will assist with the transition to a new CFO, the company said. Handel has served as CFO since 2004. Since joining Applied Materials in 1985, she has held a variety of key financial executive positions, including deputy chief financial officer, corporate controller and principal accounting officer, and treasurer. She currently serves on the board of Broadcom Corp. Applied Materials, based in Santa Clara, Calif., is a developer of nanomanufacturing technology equipment for the electronics industry.