Airware, the drone data analytics firm, has announced a number of new hires with backgrounds at Autodesk and VMware, adding to its executive team and board of directors. These include a VP of Product, VP of Engineering and a COO. These complement the management who were performing related functions and they are still with the firm. The move is similar to one recently announced by Kespry which brought in a new CEO in February followed by new VPs for engineering, product, and marketing. The move reflects the further growth and maturation of the drone data analytics market.
Here is a quick rundown of the new members of the Airware team:
Yvonne Wassenaar joins the company as Chief Operations Officer, Rick Baker as VP of Global Sales, Andrew Mackles as VP of Product, and David Arsenault as VP of Engineering. The company has also added Martin Casado, cofounder of Nicira Networks and general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, to its board of directors. Airware has added these key leaders to expand the market category it has pioneered and to support increased enterprise adoption, particularly of its vertical solutions in insurance, aggregates, mining, and construction.
Wassenaar joins Airware as its first Chief Operations Officer to focus on scaling Airware’s operations globally and leveraging her understanding of enterprise needs to accelerate adoption of Airware’s technology. She has over 25 years of experience in helping organizations grow their operations, solutions portfolios, and customer segments throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Wassenaar previously served as Chief Information Officer at New Relic, a leading digital intelligence company, delivering full-stack visibility and analytics to enterprise customers, where she guided the company’s growth strategy and the development of its supporting unified technology and data platform. Prior to that, she served as SVP of Operations at New Relic, prepared the company for its IPO, and led key growth initiatives. She also held multiple leadership positions at VMware.
Baker has joined Airware to lead global sales, including direct engagements with large enterprises and enablement of partners and channels like the Cat dealer network. He has more than 20 years of experience helping enterprises successfully adopt new technologies that drive business transformation, growth, and scale. As the global head of sales strategy at Citrix, Baker helped the company grow from $800M to over $3B. At Savo, he led customer portfolio growth from 32 customers to over 200 with a retention rate of 98%. He has been a part of over 42 acquisitions, helping bring to market solutions combining the best of developed and acquired technology. Baker also brings years of experience working with Cat dealers on every continent and has a wealth of international experience driving global sales organizations including opening and growing offices in APAC and EMEA.
Mackles has joined as VP of Product and leads Airware’s vision and roadmap for planning, capturing, processing, and analyzing aerial data. He brings more than 20 years of product management experience at platform companies including Salesforce, Autodesk, and Microsoft, with a focus on helping enterprise customers get business value from disruptive, data-intensive technologies. At Autodesk, he led product for Autodesk’s geospatial and infrastructure division and managed a diverse AutoCAD portfolio which included desktop, cloud, and mobile solutions. He also led Autodesk’s marketing technology initiative including unified customer profile, customer engagement platform, and the first predictive analytics models. During his time at Salesforce, he led go-to-market for IoT Cloud, the company’s platform for event-based customer engagement.
Arsenault joins as VP of Engineering, bringing 35 years of experience leading software development teams, including 16 years at Autodesk as an architect and engineering leader where he worked closely with Mackles and Airware’s VP of Professional Services, Don Weigel. During his tenure, Arsenault led engineering initiatives for Autodesk’s core product, geospatial products and platforms, mobile applications, and cloud platforms and services. He also served as chief architect for Autodesk’s geospatial business unit and re-architected the geospatial product line to be an extensible, performant, and interoperable platform. He has over 15 years of building and engaging talented, multicultural, and geographically dispersed engineering teams in regions including North America, Europe, and Asia. Most recently he served as VP of Product Development for Blackboard where he moved their flagship product, Learn, from a hosted enterprise to an AWS product.
“We couldn’t be happier to welcome such seasoned enterprise leaders to Airware as we continue to expand our offerings, grow our customer base, and ensure our customers’ success in deploying commercial drones at scale. Yvonne, Rick, Andrew, and Dave have decades of experience helping large enterprises adopt and benefit from transformational technologies,” said Jonathan Downey, founder and CEO of Airware. “Each has been pivotal to the growth of highly successful organizations, and we look forward to leveraging their enterprise experience as we continue to scale the industry’s leading aerial business intelligence platform.”
Airware also announced the appointment of Martin Casado, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, as a new member of the board of directors. A pioneer in Software Defined Networking, Casado cofounded Nicira Networks, which was acquired by VMware in 2012 for $1.26B. He brings considerable expertise in category creation, scaling enterprises, building sales organizations, and developing enterprise customer programs. Casado will be replacing Andreessen Horowitz’s Chris Dixon, who served on the board of Airware for the last four years.
“Airware has carved out its own market category – a feat very few companies successfully achieve – and will continue to own the market,” said Casado. “I look forward to working alongside Jonathan and his experienced team to further establish Airware as the defacto drone solution for the enterprise.”