DUBLIN, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AEye, Inc., (“AEye”) the global leader in active, next generation lidar solutions, today announced it has added General Counsel Andrew Hughes and Chief of Staff Brent Blanchard to its executive team, bringing additional domain and public company experience. This follows the appointment of former Velodyne COO Rick Tewell to the role of Chief Operating Officer, as the company scales operations to meet growing demand for its lidar systems in the automotive, mobility and industrial markets.
“We are gratified that we are in a position to attract some of the top talent in the industry to AEye. Andrew, Brent and Rick bring outstanding leadership and domain expertise that will be foundational as AEye grows its operation and transitions to a public company,” said Blair LaCorte, CEO of AEye. “Our groundbreaking active lidar is the best product platform on the market. These executive appointments put the framework in place to ensure that, as we double in size and move into productization and mass production, AEye will scale seamlessly to meet demand for its high performance, active lidar systems.”
Hughes and Blanchard both bring decades of leadership experience at high-growth companies to AEye. Hughes has served as general counsel at several public Fortune 1000 companies, where he was responsible for negotiating domestic and international technology-related transactions, mitigating risk and legal exposure, and ensuring public company compliance. Most recently, he served as vice president and general counsel (US) at Renesas Electronics Corp., an automotive and industrial technology company with annual revenues of $6.7B in 2020. Prior to that, he served as general counsel at power management semiconductor solutions company, Intersil Corp. as well as at three other technology-driven companies, including Ikanos Communications.
Blanchard has a long track record of building high-performance teams that deliver unprecedented growth and global market expansion. Prior to AEye, he was VP of global sales, data and devices at TE Connectivity, where he was responsible for delivering more than $1 billion in revenue and leading a 300-person global organization driving interconnect component sales at cloud, enterprise, telecom, and consumer OEMs. He also served as senior director of worldwide channel sales at LSI Corporation, senior director of Flash customer success at Seagate Technology, and chief of staff for Intel’s Enterprise Group, while working closely with the GM on running marketing, strategies, budget and operations for a $25 billion business.
The expansion of AEye’s executive bench comes at a time of rapid growth, technological advancement and business expansion for the company. AEye is hiring in the U.S. and abroad, and across all departments, including engineering, testing, business development, and operations. At the same time, AEye’s product has achieved groundbreaking, independently verified performance metrics that top the lidar industry, and the company is working alongside manufacturing and go-to-market partner, Continental AG to jointly develop an ultra-long range, high performance lidar for automotive and commercial vehicle applications.
“From its inception, AEye has focused on building a company that fuels innovation to solve the most difficult challenge to autonomy - perception,” said founder and CTO, Luis Dussan. “It’s gratifying to see the productization of our remarkable design and IP, and the outstanding talent and industry partners our company has attracted as a result. These executive hires are part of growth levers that will truly take us to the next level, delivering on AEye’s long-standing goal of providing safe, reliable autonomy for machines, big and small.”
AEye’s active lidar system overcomes the pitfalls of conventional lidar with a uniquely intelligent approach called iDAR™ (Intelligent Detection and Ranging). This high-performance, active, intelligent lidar boasts a bi-static architecture - which keeps the transmit and receive channels separate: as each laser pulse is transmitted, the solid-state receiver is told where and when to look for its return – enabling deterministic artificial intelligence to be introduced into the sensing process at the point of acquisition. Ultimately, this establishes the iDAR platform as active – allowing it to focus on what matters most, while simultaneously monitoring the vehicle’s surroundings, resulting in greater reliability, safety, and performance at longer range and lower cost.
AEye is the premier provider of high-performance, active lidar systems for vehicle autonomy, advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), and robotic vision applications. AEye’s AI-enabled and software-definable iDAR™ (Intelligent Detection and Ranging) platform combines solid-state active lidar, an optionally fused low-light HD camera, and integrated deterministic artificial intelligence to capture more intelligent information with less data, enabling faster, more accurate, and more reliable perception. The company is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and backed by world-renowned financial investors including Kleiner Perkins and Taiwania Capital, as well as GM Ventures, Continental AG, Hella Ventures, LG Electronics, Subaru-SBI, Pegasus Ventures (Aisin), Intel Capital, SK Hynix and Airbus Ventures.