Velodyne Lidar Announces Leadership Transition

News Source: 
Provides Progress Update on Growth Strategy
 
SAN JOSE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jul. 19, 2021– Velodyne Lidar, Inc. (NASDAQ: VLDR, VLDRW), the leading lidar company, known worldwide for its broad portfolio of breakthrough lidar technologies, today announced that Dr. Anand Gopalan has informed the Board of Directors that he is stepping down as CEO and a member of the Board, effective July 30, 2021. In connection with this announcement, the Board has created an Office of the Chief Executive (OCE), comprising several members of Velodyne’s senior leadership team:Jim Barnhart, Chief Operating Officer;Drew Hamer, Chief Financial Officer; Kathy McBeath, Chief People Officer; and Sinclair Vass, Chief Commercial Officer.
 
With support from the Board of Directors, the members of the OCE will continue to execute the Company’s growth strategy developed by Dr. Gopalan and the executive team. The Board has also retained an executive search firm to conduct a comprehensive search to identify a successor. Dr. Gopalan intends to continue supporting the Company in an advisory capacity following his departure.
 
Velodyne remains the only lidar company today with both the breadth of product portfolio and the manufacturing capability to deliver low-priced lidar with multiple specifications at scale for many real-world applications. Recently, the Company:
 
  • Has delivered continued strong growth in its sales pipeline, and conversion into multiyear agreements remains steady across all key markets, including ADAS, last-mile delivery, autonomous vehicles and industrial robotics;
  • Is experiencing increased customer traction within all operational regions and market segments;
  • Began building out its local technical support, inventory and RMA infrastructure in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region to support customer needs;
  • Established a center of excellence in India and is growing its local engineering teams to support ADAS applications in South Korea; and
  • Continues expanding its global footprint and reaching new shipping targets to meet the demand for its products and solutions.

In addition, Velodyne’s previously disclosed guidance for 2021 revenue – between $77 million and $94 million – and business outlook remain unchanged. Velodyne will report second quarter financial results for the period ended June 30, 2021 following the close of the market on Thursday, August 5, 2021. On that day, management will host a conference call and webcast at 1:30 p.m. PT (4:30 p.m. ET).
 
“Velodyne Lidar is on the cutting edge of innovation in the lidar industry, executing a clearly defined, long-term growth strategy for the benefit of our shareholders and stakeholders,” said Dr. Joseph B. Culkin, PhD, Chairman of Velodyne Lidar’s Board of Directors. “Anand and the Board have established a best-in-class management team that continues to expand Velodyne’s leadership position, setting production records and delivering significant progress on our growth plans. Leveraging our deep bench of talent across the organization, we are confident Velodyne will continue growing its robust pipeline and meeting the expanding demand for our products and solutions. Velodyne not only has an ambitious strategy and product roadmap in place, but also has a dedicated team prepared to realize the compelling opportunities ahead.”
 
Dr. Gopalan stated, “I am honored to have led Velodyne through a pivotal time in the Company’s history, and believe that now, with it well positioned as a public company, is the right time to transition to the next phase of leadership. I am confident that Velodyne’s talented team – guided by Jim, Drew, Kathy and Sinclair, as well as the team of world-class engineers under Chief Technology Officer Matt Rekow – will take the Company to its next level of success. Velodyne is ideally positioned to succeed, and I am pleased to continue to provide support as an advisor during the transition.”
 
Dr. Culkin continued, “Jim, Drew, Kathy and Sinclair possess decades of collective experience, and we are confident they are the right leaders to continue overseeing and implementing Velodyne’s growth strategy. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank them for assuming these additional roles and express our collective confidence this is the right team to lead us through this transition and accelerate value creation for our employees, customers and investors. I would also like to thank Anand for his innumerable contributions as CEO, and for leading Velodyne to where it is today as a publicly traded industry leader. We look forward to his continued support during this transition.”
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