Leading The Way
Meet Velodyne's leadership team.
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David Hall, Founder & CEO
As a serial inventor owning more than 30 patents, David Hall is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Velodyne LIDAR, Inc. After competing as one of the original entrants in the DARPA Grand Challenge, in 2005 David Hall invented 3D LIDAR to give autonomous vehicles real-time 360-degree vision. Having transformed this break-through into a thriving company, which remains the unequivocal industry leader, Hall continues to serve as a visionary inventor whose technologies are enabling safe autonomous mobility. As founder of the 3D LIDAR industry, David Hall now leads a Dream Team of engineers who make daily advancements in the development and production of innovative LIDAR products. Possessing unmatched experience in the industry, Hall has far-ranging ideas with regards to the enduring central role of LIDAR in unleashing the life-changing potential of the autonomous revolution.
David Hall is a pioneer in the self-driving industry, having invented real-time 3D LIDAR for autonomous vehicles. His business experience in relation to developing and producing self-driving technology is unsurpassed. Hall's background as an innovator within this field grants him a unique perspective on its related challenges, solutions, and potential implications.
Marta Thoma Hall, President & CBDO
Marta Thoma Hall is President & Chief Business Development Officer of Velodyne LIDAR Inc. at Velodyne LIDAR Inc. Marta Hall was President of Velodyne Acoustics starting in 2008 when the LIDAR business was in its infancy, just beginning to sell into the 3D mapping market and to Caterpillar and Google for navigation and autonomy. Marta helped build and manage the LIDAR business with CEO, David Hall, as it grew from 85 employees to 600 employees on three sites. Currently, Velodyne sensors have been installed in thousands of vehicles around the world, traveling millions of real-world miles. Velodyne is the industry standard for localization and environmental perception, providing the core technology for dozens of autonomous vehicle programs in over 10 countries.
Marta Hall's vision is to expand the use of high quality, low cost LIDAR to produce and equip every car with LIDAR sensors across the world. A dramatic improvement in transportation can take place with LIDAR technology applied to Autonomy and ADAS systems. There can be a significant reduction in transportation accidents, saving lives and property. Many pedestrian, bicycle, and car deaths can be prevented. The Velodyne team is working to reduce the cost of the LIDAR so it will be affordable for every vehicle.
Before working at Velodyne LIDAR, Thoma Hall managed an Art and Construction Business installing installations for cities nation-wide. She brings problem solving and creative thinking to Velodyne. In the newest business journals such as the Harvard Business Review, Strategy + Business, and Inc. are reports that conclude Creatives,(CMO and CBDO type) are needed for success, offering vision and strategy. Thoma Hall's vision, creativity, strategy, and passion are strengths she brings to Velodyne.
Mike Jellen, President & CCO
Mike Jellen, President & Chief Commercial Officer of Velodyne LIDAR, Inc. is a seasoned industrial automation executive with extensive global growth and manufacturing experience. As President and CCO, Jellen is responsible for overseeing all daily sales business operations of Velodyne.
Jellen has over a twenty year history in robotics software and automation business, which supports his drive for deep understanding of autonomous vehicle customer requirements. With his attention to growth and rigorous business process improvement, Jellen has accelerated Velodyne, from a market leading innovator with recognized customers worldwide, to a sophisticated organization known for industry-leading business practices.
Jellen earned a BSEE in electrical engineering from Marquette University and an MBA from Boston University and specializes in business and engineering executive leadership in the US, EU, China, Japan and Korea. Jellen served most recently as Vice President of Adept Technology, Pleasanton, Calif., a leader in robotics and vision technology. Prior to Adept, Jellen worked 10 years with Danaher Corporation in successive roles of increasing responsibility, including Vice President & General Manager, Vehicle Systems Business in Stockholm, Sweden. As GM, Jellen oversaw a $100 million business with sales, marketing, R&D and operations in the U.S., the European Union and China. Earlier posts within Danaher included Vice President, Asia; Vice President, Strategic Accounts and Controls; and General Manager, Technology Business.
Anand Gopalan, CTO
Anand Gopalan is Velodyne LIDAR's Chief Technology Officer. In this capacity he is responsible for developing ASIC technology that will power Velodyne's next generation LIDAR products.
Anand is a seasoned semiconductor executive with experience building and leading world-wide engineering organizations for the development of products in consumer, networking and enterprise domains. He has grown and managed organizations through deep and dynamic business model transitions and successfully delivered on a wide array of high-speed mixed signal, optical and RF products.
Anand comes to Velodyne from Rambus where he was the VP of Engineering responsible for all chip and IP development activities for the Memory and Interfaced Division. In that capacity he was responsible for a global engineering team spread across multiple locations in North America and India that developed a variety of IP and products for Tier 1 ASIC and OEM customers. Prior to Rambus Anand spear-headed world-wide analog/Mixed signal design at Megachips Inc.
Anand holds a BE degree in Electronics from Mumbai University as well as MS and PhD from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Electrical engineering and Microsystems engineering.
Rick Tewell, COO
Rick Tewell is Chief Operating Officer at Velodyne LIDAR, where he leads teams focused on developing the various automated manufacturing technologies used to produce world-class LIDAR sensors. These technologies range from automated test solutions and robotic material handling to fully robotic assembly stations.
Rick brings more than 30 years of embedded engineering and executive level engineering management experience to Velodyne. Over the last two decades, Rick has had a specific focus on automotive electronics as well as GPU/graphics pipeline technologies. He was one of the pioneers in early digital video, founding a company that developed the first IEEE-1394/Firewire software solution for Windows PCs, which allowed a wide range of digital video devices – digital cameras and camcorders – to be connected to PCs for photo and video editing.
In previous roles Rick was Director of Engineering at Fujitsu Semiconductor, Engineering Manager for Tegra Automotive at NVIDIA, and responsible for worldwide software engineering for i.MX/Kinetis at Freescale/NXP managing a large global team. Rick was most recently CTO at VeriSilicon, where he was responsible for worldwide ASIC system solutions.
Bob Brown, CFO
Bob Brown is the Chief Financial Officer at Velodyne LIDAR, responsible for the company's financial strategy as it scales manufacturing capacity and drives worldwide growth. Bob brings with him a deep understanding of market forces gained over a 30+ year career in the hardware and semiconductor sectors.
Before joining Velodyne LIDAR in August of 2017, Bob was Executive Vice President and CFO of VeriSilicon, a provider of ASICs, semiconductor design services, and IP licensing, where he established strong financial practices and helped drive the company’s growth and acquisition strategy. Prior to that, he was the Vice President of Business Development at Cadence Design Systems, where he managed all M&A activity, equity investments, and inbound IP licensing. Prior to Cadence, Bob was Vice President and Treasurer at LSI Corporation (acquired by Avago Technologies), where he led the Treasury, Tax, and Corporate Development functions. Earlier roles included VP, Financial Planning, and Treasurer at GetThere (IPO on Nasdaq; acquired by Sabre) and various finance positions at HP.
Bob earned his Bachelors in Finance from Miami University and his MBA from the University of Michigan.
Mircea Gradu, Senior VP of Validation
Mircea Gradu, PhD., is Senior Vice President of Validation at Velodyne LIDAR, bringing over 25 years of experience in the automotive and commercial vehicle industry that includes deep technical knowledge of design, development, manufacturing, safety, and cybersecurity. Mircea is responsible for the development and manufacturing of world-class products compliant with the international quality standards and satisfying customer needs. He is building a strong validation organization, with continuous process improvements and an expansion of the quality team’s skill set for timely delivery of all quality objectives.
Mircea started his career at Daimler-Benz AG in Stuttgart, Germany, and most recently led engineering and quality at Hyundai Motor America. At Hyundai, he led the development and implementation of product strategy to improve both the initial quality of Hyundai models and vehicle durability. Other past experience includes key executive roles at Chrysler Group and the Timken Company. Mircea has also been awarded 56 patents on mechatronic automotive systems, published over 40 technical papers, and is the 2018 President of SAE International. He was named one of the 50 most influential automotive executives by Motor Trend in 2012 and received the SAE Ed Cole Award for Innovation in 2008.
Mircea holds a master's in mechanical engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of Stuttgart.