Applied Insight Ramps Up Focus on Technology Innovation with Expanded Leadership Team

WASHINGTON--()--Applied Insight, a market leader in solving complex technology challenges for federal government customers, backed by The Acacia Group, announced today it is expanding its leadership team to intensify its focus on mission-enabling technology innovation. John Hynes, formerly CEO, takes on the new role of executive chairman. Former chief technology officer Dede Dascalu becomes CEO. Benjamin Laibson, founder and CEO of Digital Age Experts LLC, AI’s most recent acquisition, has stepped into the role of chief product officer. Adam Gruber, formerly director of engineering at aiLabs, becomes chief technology officer. Applied Insight also welcomes Josh Tambor as chief financial officer.

“Applied Insight has gained terrific momentum over the past 18 months, through both acquisition and strong organic growth,” said Hynes, who has led the integration of the company’s four acquisitions. “We’ve developed a unique portfolio of groundbreaking technologies, strengthened our team of highly skilled engineers and cemented our trusted relationships at the heart of the national security community. Now that we’re strongly united as one team, it’s the right time to accelerate our strategy to bring our mission-focused technologies to a wider customer community. That drive will be led by a visionary CEO and a team with a great track record in delivering growth through innovation. As executive chairman, I’ll be providing strategic counsel to the leadership and working to enhance our senior-level relationships with customers and partners. I’m proud to have played a role in shaping such an outstanding team and delighted to be working with them on the next stage of our development.”

Dascalu is widely recognized in the national security community as a leading cloud expert. He joined AI through its 2018 acquisition of cloud infrastructure business Stratus Solutions, which he led to great success as CEO. As AI’s CTO, Dascalu led the development and rollout of the company’s award-winning cloud management technology, Altitude, which today supports thousands of cloud users across government and industry. He also established aiLabs, the company’s dedicated R&D program, which continues to deliver new and unique solutions to complex customer technology challenges.

“I feel honored to be leading such a talented team at AI. With our collective expertise in cloud, analytics, cyber and mission IT, we’re uniquely placed to support customers in those areas of technology with the greatest potential for gaining true mission advantage,” said Dascalu. “One of my first priorities as CEO is to build on our entrepreneurial culture. We’ll be increasing our investment in R&D to both expand our product portfolio and grow our capacity to find new ways of solving real customer problems at the pace of the mission. Within aiLabs, we’ll extend our technical training program to broaden the skills base of our engineers. Also, we’ll be further empowering our customer-facing teams to identify and deliver on opportunities where our technical skills and products can deliver rapid, real and sustained value, supported by an expanding team of solutions architects.”

For The Acacia Group, AI’s lead investor, these leadership changes accelerate its strategy to build a world-class technology business creating innovations that move the needle in federal mission support.

“It’s fantastic to have such an experienced team to drive AI’s continued market expansion. They are all commercially proven leaders with an outstanding track record at the front line of new technology development,” said Gavin Long, partner at The Acacia Group. “Together, they represent some of the best minds in the industry in cloud computing, advanced analytics and cybersecurity, all areas experiencing growing demand across the federal community.”

The new members of the AI leadership team are:

  • Adam Gruber, CTO. As a highly accomplished specialist in designing enterprise cloud computing and cybersecurity solutions, Gruber is ideally placed to direct AI’s technology vision and development road map and to lead the aiLabs team. He led the development of Altitude and was a technical program manager on multiple government programs across the intelligence, defense and federal civilian communities. Among his multiple advanced technical certifications, Gruber is an Amazon Web Services ambassador within the AWS Partner Network. He joined AI through the company’s acquisition of Stratus Solutions.
  • Ben Laibson, CPO. Laibson will draw on his track record as a successful entrepreneur and cloud product developer in the role of CPO, working closely with the CTO and the aiLabs team to expand AI’s product portfolio. As founder and CEO of DAE, he invented the methodology behind SHIFT, DAE’s groundbreaking cloud emulation platform that solves major low-to-high side development and integration challenges for the national security community. Laibson has also worked extensively with Amazon Web Services since the start of its public sector engagements, supporting cloud-native and cloud-migration projects within the national security community.
  • Josh Tambor, CFO. Tambor will play a crucial role in delivering on AI’s strategy, including overseeing the company’s financial planning and ensuring a competitive approach to product and services pricing. He brings nearly 30 years of experience in financial management as well as mergers and acquisition roles within the federal government technology and services market, including previous positions with RSM US as senior director of transaction advisory services and director of government contract consulting. Prior to RSM, Tambor was chief financial officer at CCE Inc.

About Applied Insight

Applied Insight leaves no stone unturned to solve complex technology challenges for Federal Government customers. We practice accountable innovation, designing solutions that account for the customer’s mission and the user’s reality right from the start. With proven capability in cloud, analytics, cybersecurity and mission solutions, our approach to technology empowers people to collaborate more effectively in delivering services vital to the nation. To learn more about AI, visit or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About The Acacia Group

The Acacia Group is a team of operational investors with a long track record in the U.S. technology and services markets. We see value in technologies that enable people to collaborate in sustaining our society, from our security and economy, to our institutions and infrastructure. We invest in entrepreneurs who share that mission, bringing the capital, experience and relationships to enable them to take their business to new heights. For more information, please visit The Acacia Group or follow us on LinkedIn.


Media Contact: Kristina Messner (Focused Image for Applied Insight), 703-678-6023,


Media Contact: Kristina Messner (Focused Image for Applied Insight), 703-678-6023,