Velodyne Lidar Leadership Spotlight: Sinclair Vass
Jan 28, 2022 | By Velodyne Lidar
Sinclair Vass, Chief Commercial Officer for Velodyne Lidar

Sinclair Vass was recently appointed as Chief Product Officer at Velodyne Lidar. Prior to his role as Chief Product Officer, Sinclair served as Chief Commercial Officer, at which point he was responsible for driving revenue growth across all Velodyne markets and geographies.

Sinclair is a seasoned executive with extensive experience in telecommunications, consumer electronics, automotive and industrial laser markets. Prior to joining Velodyne, he was SVP & President of the Laser Optics Business Unit at Focuslight Technologies Inc., a China-based manufacturer of high-performance laser and optical beam steering solutions.

Previous to Focuslight, Sinclair served as Vice President of Sales, Product Management & Customer Service at Viavi Solutions. Throughout his career, Sinclair has also held increasingly senior leadership positions at JDS Uniphase, New Focus, Lucent Microelectronics, Hewlett Packard and Plessey Research.

We sat down with Sinclair to learn more about him and his priorities for his work at Velodyne.

Sinclair enjoying the view in Hawaii

Q: Would you share with our readers what excited you about joining our company?

Sinclair: There are many things that excite me about being at Velodyne. The wide diversity of markets we address is impressive and being able to contribute towards advanced new safety applications in automotive and smart cities is particularly satisfying.

The caliber of the people at Velodyne is world class. There is excellent teamwork and collaboration, with everyone focused on making our business a success. Overall, the opportunity for Velodyne solutions is set to expand rapidly over the next few years, and I believe we can make a real difference in many different industries and communities.

Q: Velodyne has a diverse range of customers. What steps have you taken to get to know them and their needs?

Sinclair: As Chief Commercial Officer I saw first hand what our customers want and need. I worked collaboratively to finalize a worldwide ‘go to market’ strategy that helps us to align closely with our customers’ needs and enable the sales team to effectively sell highly differentiated solutions. We have the focus, resources and structure we need to fully support our top customers and further build out our number one market position. Our team also ensures regular customer feedback to all Velodyne stakeholders, thus keeping customer needs at the forefront of our business.

Now as Chief Product Officer, I look forward to taking that knowledge from my activities with the Commercial team to inform our product strategy and roadmap. My experience will allow me to fulfill my goal of leading a customer-facing product team to define the right sensors and software solutions to serve them. The collaboration between my product team and the sales team, now lead by our SVP of Worldwide Sales Laura Wrisley, ensures that we will not only know our customers well but create the products that are needed for their diverse applications.

Q: What are your goals for the product management team this year?

Sinclair: I am really looking forward to leading the product management team here at Velodyne. My new team is made up of various functions across the business, which facilitates teamwork and effectiveness in strategic product management and development. By creating an environment of open communication and collaboration, we will be able to develop the best products for the right markets.

We have a fantastic opportunity ahead of us. My job is to ensure that we provide the product support needed for the strong and lasting customer relationships built by our Sales team. Working together with sales, our customer-facing product management will allow us to provide the best service and help the company achieve profitable growth.

Q: You have extensive experience working in the EMEA and APAC regions. What are some of your learnings from this experience that may help Velodyne in addressing customer needs?

Sinclair: I have strong experience working in several different cultures, including having lived in various parts of the UK and Germany. I am conversational in Mandarin and understand well most large Asian business cultures. I love engaging with different people, cultural styles and business customs.

We have strong local sales leadership and targeted strategies for success in North America, EMEA and APAC. I look forward to continuing to support the team in all regions.

Q: Please share a little about your life outside the work world.

Sinclair: I participate in a variety of leisure activities with more time being available now that my children are grown and out of the house. Having work-life balance brings me energy and helps me perform at my best. I enjoy playing the piano for relaxation. Learning languages stimulates my brain, with Mandarin being my current focus. I am a regular at the gym next to the Hellyer office and I like the physical competitive workout of martial arts, especially Krav Maga. And being Scottish, I would be remiss if I did not enjoy a good round of golf.

About Velodyne Lidar

Velodyne Lidar (Nasdaq: VLDR, VLDRW) ushered in a new era of autonomous technology with the invention of real-time surround view lidar sensors. Velodyne, a global leader in lidar, is known for its broad portfolio of breakthrough lidar technologies. Velodyne’s revolutionary sensor and software solutions provide flexibility, quality and performance to meet the needs of a wide range of industries, including robotics, industrial, intelligent infrastructure, autonomous vehicles and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). Through continuous innovation, Velodyne strives to transform lives and communities by advancing safer mobility for all.

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