SEATTLE – Lumotive, a leading developer of solid-state lidar systems for automotive, industrial and consumer applications, today announced the appointment of Dr. Sam Heidari to the position of CEO. Heidari brings extensive executive operational and director-level experience in the semiconductor industry to the highly regarded start-up. Lumotive has pioneered a next-generation approach to 3D sensing which allows lidar systems to scale in size, cost, range, and performance to enable a wide range of applications.
Dr. Heidari takes the helm from Dr. Bill Colleran who guided the company from its initial technology development, customer engagement and funding stages and is departing as part of a planned succession. Heidari’s appointment coincides with the successful launch of the company’s Meta-Lidar™ platform at recent industry events in Europe and the US, culminating with recognition by Fierce Electronics as the Sensors Converge 2021 Start-up of the Year.
“Lumotive’s technological vision and innovative use of metamaterials hold great promise for products that help mobilize and automate the world,” said Bill Gates, an early investor in Lumotive. “I look forward to seeing Sam Heidari lead Lumotive in its next phase of growth and commercial success, and I am grateful for Bill Colleran’s leadership to bring Lumotive to this point.”
“It’s an exciting time for Lumotive as we prepare our first product shipments in 2022 and advance the more than a dozen active engagements we have with top-tier product developers in the mobility, industrial automation and consumer markets,” said Heidari. “I would like to thank the entire Lumotive team for establishing a strong foundation for the company, and the industry is taking notice of the disruptive technology we are developing. Now is the time to scale to meet the pent-up market demand across multiple sectors for a more flexible solution, leveraging the unique advantages that our Light Control MetaSurface™ (LCM) differentiator provides.”
“The lidar market has been too narrowly defined by high profile participants with a singular focus on the long-range sensing needs of the autonomous vehicle market,” said Conrad Burke, investor from MetaVC Partners and member of the Lumotive board of directors. “While transportation is still an important application area, Lumotive’s innovative CMOS manufacturing approach democratizes lidar and uniquely positions the company to address additional market opportunities in robotics, drones, autonomous ground vehicles (AGVs), as well as the consumer mobile and AR space that other players cannot for both technical and economic reasons. We are excited to have the experience and relationships that Sam brings to lead Lumotive to the next stage of its growth, evolution and leadership in this dynamic area.”
“As we push toward the commercialization of our next generation lidar technology, Sam’s management and operational experience will be a critical asset. Lumotive is well-positioned to be a disruptive force in a dynamic and fast-moving space, so aligning our resources for success is critical. I’m looking forward to working with him as we grow the team, develop our initial markets, and enable the first deployments of our solution in the coming year,” said Dr. Gleb Akselrod, co-founder and CTO of Lumotive.
Dr. Sam Heidari has a 20-year career of management experience in the semiconductor industry and currently serves as Chairman at SiTune Corporation and Aerial Technologies as well as a board member of Haila and Big Stream. He has held executive positions at Quantenna Communications (CEO and Chairman), Doradus Technologies (CEO), and Ikanos (CTO). Dr. Heidari has served on the Global Semiconductor Alliance Board of Directors and on the advisory board for both the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Departments at the University of Southern California. Named the 2014 Executive of the Year by the Golden Bridge Awards, and the 2017 Executive of the Year by UBM, Dr. Heidari is a senior member of the IEEE and holds about 50 U.S. and international patents. He earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Southern California, and a B.S degree from Northeastern University, all in Electrical Engineering.
Founded in 2018, Lumotive is a leader in next-generation, all-silicon lidar systems, developing high-performance solutions for industrial automation, robotics, automotive and consumer electronics applications. The Seattle-based company’s Meta-Lidar™ Platform leverages revolutionary beam-steering technology based on patented Light Control Metasurfaces™ and implemented in standard semiconductor manufacturing processes to deliver an unprecedented combination of high performance, cost, reliability and size. Lumotive’s random access beam-steering chips enable the industry’s first software-defined lidar with region-of-interest scanning, object tracking and advanced perception capabilities. Lumotive’s investors include Bill Gates, Quan Funds and MetaVC Partners. The company has received significant industry acclaim including being named the 2021 Start-up of the Year by Sensors Converge/Fierce Electronics. It has also been featured in the following rankings: Built In Seattle’s Best Small Companies to Work For, JMP Securities Efficient Fifty list of the most interesting private companies in industrial and energy technology, and EE Times’ Silicon 100: Emerging Startups to Watch.
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