Wave Computing Gets a New CEO

Article By : Junko Yoshida

Art Swift has been named Wave Computing's CEO. He succeeds Derek Meyer, who will continue to advise the company

Wave Computing announced the appointment of Art Swift, currently president of Wave’s MIPS IP licensing business, as the company’s new chief executive officer. He succeeds Derek Meyer, who will continue to advise the company.

Art Swift

Art Swift, Wave Computing CEO (Source: Wave Computing)

Meyer told EE Times that he isn’t retiring. “I am a stakeholder and a believer in Wave Computing.” He revealed his ambitions for a possible startup “as a customer of Wave.”

As Wave transitions from startup to a growth phase, Swift told us, “I am now in charge of commercializing the technologies. My job is to execute on Wave’s vision of the future of AI, with a single platform that scales from the edge to the data center.”

Wave Computing Launches IP for AI

The succession plan was an idea Meyer discussed and “informally agreed” to with Swift six months ago when he recruited Swift to Wave Computing. “I think this was even mentioned in my offer letter to Art,” said Meyer. He stressed, “Art did everything I hoped he would do.” Meyer proposed the transition to Wave’s board of directors and got its approval.

Meyer explained, “I have seen enough startups whose transition from the early startup phase to the company expansion had gone horribly wrong,” when a founder stayed on as CEO.

Today, Wave Computing employs about 270. Meyer said. “It would take someone like Art, who has skills and experiences to run and grow the company from a few hundreds to several hundreds of people. He flourishes in that kind of environment."

For Swift, Wave Computing is his seventh stint as president or CEO of a public, private or non-profit organization. “I was once CEO at Transmeta, with hundreds of employees, and I also ran a department with more than 300 people at Cirrus Logic.”

Noting that “Derek put Wave on a good footing,” Swift told us, “I am ready to run Wave in a ‘go-to-market’ phase.”

Meyer became CEO of Wave in May 2016. He raised more than $200 million, including the most recent Series E funding round last year at $86 million.

Meyer explained, “I'm a startup guy. When I took the job at Wave, I knew my shelf-life as a successful CEO would be limited.” Asked to define “a startup guy,” he explained, “I enjoy having close relationships with everyone in the company. When the company was still small, I used to do a ‘dinner with Derek,’ once a week, with a different set of five people. But when your company has more than 250 people, my ability to communicate directly with everyone goes down.”

He added, “There is nothing wrong with having a layer of management. A big company would need that. But I am a run-fast guy, and I knew it won’t be for me.”

Meyer and Swift met in 1994 when Swift took over for Meyer as director of marketing with Sun Microsystems. “We’ve known each other for a long time, we’ve talked everything from systems, IP and AI, and I always wanted to work with Art.”

Krishna Raghavan, former chief financial officer and chief operating officer at MIPS Technologies, will assume Swift’s current role as president of Wave’s MIPS IP business, guiding the growth and delivery of Wave’s AI-enabled MIPS IP products. Raghavan brings to the job 20 years of experience in financial management, product development and delivery.

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