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We report on the operation and beam profile analysis of an optically pumped GaSb-based vertical-external-cavity surface-emitting laser at 2.33 μm. To compensate for the low thermal conductivity of the laser chip, an intracavity heat spreader made from polycrystalline chemical vapor deposition diamond was bonded to the top surface of the chip. In this configuration, at -18°C, a maximum continuous-wave output power of 0.6 W in a multitransverse mode beam (M2≈2.7) was achieved, limited by the available pump power. Optimizing the resonator for TEM00 laser emission (M2≈1.1), an output power exceeding 0.4 W was observed at the same temperature.