Leading The Way
Meet Velodyne's leadership team.
Image provided by Phoenix Aerial Systems
David Hall, Founder & CEO
David Hall, founder and Chief Executive Officer, is the technology visionary behind Velodyne LiDAR, Inc. Hall built his first amplifier at the age of four and has been developing groundbreaking products ever since. In 1983, he introduced a revolutionary technology in subwoofer design, which served as the driving force behind the ULD-18. It incorporated a patented, accelerometer-based High Gain Servo System to control woofer cone movement. The ULD series was the first of many acclaimed subwoofer series over the past 30 years. Hall is equally comfortable writing computer code as he is at working in a machine shop.
Hall has continued his role as visionary, working tirelessly to bring his creative ideas to life. In addition to audio technology, he continues to pioneer the laser imaging space that many of the autonomous vehicles use today. He is currently developing self-stabilizing marine technology.
Hall graduated from Case Western Reserve University with B.S. in engineering. He is the father of three children and still enjoys a love for cycling and motorcycles. Hall continues to hold the world runner-up robot war championship title.
Marta Thoma Hall, President & CBDO
Marta Thoma Hall, President & Chief Business Development Officer of Velodyne Lidar Inc. worked with David Hall for over eight years building and growing the Lidar business. She manages the work in all areas of Velodyne, providing insight and stability as the company expands and experiences rapid growth. Areas of expansion include Engineering, Sales, Operations, Manufacturing, Production, Finance, and more. As David Hall is continually inventing new Lidar products, all departments and teams have grown to meet the growing demand. Thoma Hall works alongside David Hall and a close-knit team of C-Staff to grow the company.
Thoma Hall’s vision is to expand the use of high quality, low cost, high value Lidar to produce and equip every car with Lidar sensors world-wide. She believes a dramatic improvement in transportation can take place by providing Lidar technology, so important to systems for advanced safety and autonomous driving. A prime project is working with third parties testing Lidar safety systems to provide analysis and comparisons for customers and consumers.
She believes that with the Velodyne Lidar vision fulfilled, the world will experience a significant reduction in transportation accidents, lowering insurance costs, significantly lowering loss of life. Many pedestrian, bicycle, and car deaths can be prevented.
Thoma Hall brings business experience, keen intellect, and a passion for art and design. As a nationally recognized public artist, her sculptures can be viewed in cities across the US and overseas. She has brought her aesthetic and love of fine art to Velodyne's celebrated and legendary technology.
Hall graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.A. in fine arts. She learned extensively about economics from her father, who was a Professor of Economics at the University of Tehran.
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.
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.
Frank Blohm, COO
Frank Blohm is Chief Operating Officer at Velodyne LiDAR. He is a dynamic leader and change agent who brings over 25 years of experience running manufacturing, operations, and supply chains for companies like Extreme Networks, Lucent Technologies, Octel Communications, and Sanmina. At Frank's most recent position, Extreme Networks, he was the Executive Vice President of Operations and responsible for supply chain, SI&OP, manufacturing, operations, services, sales operations, real estate, IT, quality, corporate services, and business process transformation. With his extensive background, Frank will help Velodyne deliver on its operations and rapid growth plans for the HDL32, HDL64 and VLP16 product families.
Frank received his Supply Chain Certification from San Jose State University and he is an active member of APICs and ISM. Frank has a passion for boating and spends his spare time on his jet boat.
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.
Rick Tewell, Senior VP of Advanced Manufacturing
Rick Tewell is Senior Vice President of Advanced Manufacturing 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.
Alex Korzh, General Counsel
Alex Korzh joined Velodyne as General Counsel where he is responsible for all legal functions including intellectual property, contracts, employment and litigation. Alex has experience working on these issues with technology companies ranging in size from startups to Fortune 500 companies.
Prior to joining Velodyne, Alex was a commercial and intellectual property litigator at Hopkins & Carley in San Jose, CA. In that role, Alex litigated numerous patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret and commercial cases for technology companies in both state and federal courts leading to many successful resolutions through settlements and favorable Court rulings. Alex has also prosecuted patents for several technology companies and helped them implement and develop their patent and intellectual property strategies. He also has experience drafting and negotiating various commercial agreements.
Alex has an Electrical Engineering degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law.