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Leadership team

Our leadership team have decades of experience in the technology sector, as well as a wide range of related skills from right across the business spectrum.

Sunit Saxena, Chairman, CEO & President

Sunit has over 30 years of extensive and wide-ranging experience in the silicon chip and other industries. Prior to co-founding Altierre in 2002, he was an Exec. Officer/COO/Exec VP of various companies including Alliance Semiconductor and Sandcraft Inc and has managed very large P&L’s in the most competitive sectors of the silicon industry.

He has run far flung high volume Worldwide Operations & Engineering shipping over 150 million chips and modules annually out of several countries. He has set up several satellite centers on tightly managed budgets. He has successfully engineered and delivered product to most Tier 1 companies, including IBM, AT&T, HP, Cisco, Siemens, etc. and the Dept of Defense. Sunit has close top level relationships with manufacturing partners across Asia, including Taiwan, China, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Korea, etc. He was key in the growth of Altera from its early days to a highly profitable, several hundred million dollar business.

He has been instrumental in several startup companies ranging from the biotech to medical and defense industries and has designed complex projects like tank gunner training systems and 3-D medical image scanning platforms. He has worked with a vast array of silicon product types and technologies ranging across wireless, memories, microprocessors, networking chipsets, PLD’s, etc.

He holds an M.S. in Computer Engineering from Syracuse University & an M.S. in Solid State Physics from IIT Delhi, India. Sunit was selected for the National Science Talent scholarship and was ranked in the top 30 in the nation.

Anurag Goel, CTO & VP Software Development

Anurag Goel has over 30 years experience in systems engineering, product design, development, product management, product evangelism and marketing of robust enterprise scale software products.

His technology experience ranges from computer image processing & pattern recognition, hardware interfaces, CAD/PLM and enterprise software. Prior to co-founding Altierre in 2002, he worked as product architect and group manager for EDS /PLM, McDonnell Douglas, Medstone and Amada.

Early in his career at EDS/PLM, he was the Technical Manager of the Geometric Modeling and Feature Modeling products, managing local software teams as well as extended offshore teams in Israel and India. Later, he was one of the chief architects of EDS/PLM’s KBE products where he single-handedly designed & developed a Java-based interpretive KBE language, a remote KBE client and framework for the KBE Engine application server. This work was adopted later as the next generation KBE/CAD product. At EDS/PLM, several products were designed under his stewardship and are currently in use at companies such as GEAE, Pratt & Whitney and GM.

He later founded Afferent Technologies to build the next generation KBE/PLM product. At Medstone, he developed a Stereoscopic Vision System that was key in the success of the company’s lithotripter product. At Amada, he developed a prototype six-axis YAG-laser machining center, worked extensively on a linear-motor platform based CO2-laser machining system, developed CO2-laser welding system and developed a large library of pattern recognition software for punch-press and laser-cut parts.

He holds an MS Mechanical Engineering/Mathematics from UC Irvine and a BS from IIT Kanpur, India. A compulsive inventor, he has, taken up the NASA challenge to create the space-warp drive.

Shan Kumar, CFO

Shan Kumar has over 30 years of experience in finance and marketing strategy with top tier US retailers.

He was most recently the VP of Category Marketing and Planning at Albertsons. He initiated the company’s first ever collaborative marketing planning with suppliers (came to be known as ACBP)and develop multi-year product segment business plans. He led the company’s efforts to streamline category management with changes to organizational structure, incentives and new pricing & promotional planning tools.

He also led the centralization of the pricing function and establishing pricing strategies. He deployed the Khimetrics price optimization tool successfully in two divisions. Prior to Albertsons he was at Safeway for 16 years where he successfully led their SCOP category management efforts to establish marketing strategies by product lines and growing identical store sales.

He has held progressively senior positions in Corporate Marketing Planning, Financial Planning and Analysis and Corporate Strategy divisions. He has an MBA in Finance from the Wharton Business School.

Rob Crane, SVP Global Sales

Rob Crane serves as Senior Vice President Global Sales for Altierre, he has responsibility for all customer facing sales activities globally.

Rob has a long and impressive track record of delivering growth for large, medium sized and growth phase technology companies. In addition to leading significant sales organizations at Oracle and SAP focused on the Retail Vertical as well as other vertical markets, Rob has also led sales teams at early and growth phase companies such as Anaplan, Reflection and Interactions. Rob is passionate about achieving rapid growth in early stage technology companies and working with organizations to drive operational efficiency and growth.

Rob graduated from the University of Leeds, UK and Nottingham Law School, he resides in the East Bay with his 2 children.

Guillaume Vicot (Altierre France), General Manager, EMEA

Guillaume joined Altierre’s management team as GM of EMEA after 17 successful years in the Auto-ID industry, barcode scanning and mobile computing. With PSC / Datalogic he grew with the company, starting as junior sales in 1999 and most recently, served as VP Sales Western Europe and Africa. He was key in the growth of that company, achieving revenues well over $100M, across a very broad cross section retail chains in Europe, Middle East and Africa. In this function he developed a strong team of over 100 people, as well as a tactical go to market strategy, in order to compete with industry giants.

Guillaume has many top level strategic relationships with retailers across several countries and is now working to position the company as a natural leader in the important EMEA market.

Niclas Qvist (Altierre France), VP Partner Management & Marketing

Niclas has an international background, multi-lingual, and experience in doing business in a number of continents where he has successfully built partner networks and sales teams. With 15 years’ experience in growing sales and marketing globally he holds deep expertise in Digital, Wireless and IT solutions for retailers. He was EVP Marketing at NASDAQ -listed company Pricer for many years. Niclas has held several VP level positions, specializing in business transformation, channel management and solution selling across Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe.

He has also an entrepreneurial background where he founded and managed several companies in the retail space. Niclas Qvist graduated in year 2000 with a Master in Science, Industrial Engineering & Business Management, from Linköping University Sweden & Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Arts et Métiers France.

Jean Michel Luquot, Vice Président Sales EMEA

Jean Michel  has over 30 years’ experience in sales and marketing of B2B technology solutions for retailers. He was most recently Director of Sales for Europe and Large Accounts Director at Pricer in Europe, where he led sales management for France, Belgium, Spain and Italy and managed key retail accounts worldwide.

Previously he worked in several sales and marketing positions at  Packard Bell , Gateway and mostly at Apple, beginning with launching the Macintosh personal computer in the French market , continuing at the Marketing Director position and ultimately serving as Large Accounts Director with responsibility for key retail accounts. Jean Michel is  graduated as an Engineer, and has an MBA from INSEAD.

Ravi Bhatnagar, VP Digital Systems and Digital IC Development

Ravi has over 30 years of experience in designing integrated circuits. In the 80’s he led the development of the PC AT chipset at Chips and Technologies (acquired by Intel) that gave birth to the IBM PC clone market. This enabled the widespread use of the IBM PC. At Chips and Technologies he was Vice President of the $190M personal computer division at where he successfully led a team of 150 developers to develop the first clean-room 486 class microprocessor outside Intel. This was fully compatible with the Intel instruction set as well as Windows applications software.

Later, he was the Vice President of the Personal Systems division at Cirrus Logic, where he successfully designed and put into production several products including an ARM based network computer, ARM based Smart phone, ARM based PDA, and an ARM based ATM SOC. These products had successful design wins at Apple and Motorola. Ravi later started LinkUp, a Smartphone and PDA applications processor company, which he successfully merged into Neomagic Corp. At LinkUp, Ravi developed close working relationships with Intel and several offshore companies from whom he successfully raised 3 rounds of funding for the company.

After the merger, he was Senior VP at Neomagic, where led the joint program development with Analog Devices for the final form factor GPRS smart phone. He also led the Windows CE strategy for Neomagic with Microsoft. Most recently Ravi was the Senior Vice President of development at Nethra Imaging. At Nethra, he led the design of several high performance, low power and low cost image processing chips to enable high quality images on inexpensive cell phone cameras.

Ravi has a BSEE from IIT Kharagpur in India and an MSEE and Computer Science from University of California, Berkeley.

Ken Cioffi, VP RF Systems and RFIC Development

Dr. Ken Cioffi has been in the wireless communications area for over 25 years holding numerous engineering, management and executive positions and has successfully designed over 40 RF integrated chips.

He was previously VP of Product Development at Discera where he developed the first MEMS-based clock oscillator product for RF systems. Prior to that, he was in charge of IC development at Tropian where he worked on polar transmitter and receiver IC’s, servicing the cellular standards GSM, EDGE, and UMTS.

He was VP of hardware engineering at Movi7 working on multi-protocol radios. Dr. Cioffi was the CTO and VP of research and Development at Wireless Access (acquired by Glenayre Corp.). At Wireless Access, he was in charge of systems development, RF, analog and digital IC design as well as all operational activity related to ICs for all 2-way paging products. He started his career designing ICs for wireless communications at Rockwell. He is the author of several papers and patents in RF systems and IC’s.

Dr. Cioffi has BS, MS, and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

David Wetle, VP Systems Engineering

Dave has been in the communications industry for over 30 years holding numerous technical leadership and executive positions delivering commercial networking solutions.

He was most recently VP of Engineering at Luxim Corporation which was successfully acquired and merged into LUMA.  At Luxim, Dave significantly improved the reliability of the plasma light source and high power RF ballast, and reduced product cost through the introduction of Luxim’s first ever ASIC.

Prior to that, he was VP Hardware Development in charge of WCDMA/Wimax CPE and Base Station hardware at Soma Networks. Dave led the hardware development for Hammerhead Systems on a carrier grade networking switch, earning full NEBS level certification.  He has also held Engineering VP positions in integrated media access, optical switching utilizing MEMS, and VoIP.

Dave started his career as an ASIC designer, and later co-authored the ATM Forum IMA specification.  He received his BSEE from San Jose State University and an MSEE from Santa Clara University, and most recently earned a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt from Villanova University.

Dave Diffenderfer, VP Operations

Dave has over 25 years experience in operations and has held Vice President level positions managing teams of 600 people, specializing in global manufacturing, supply chain management and worldwide outsourcing across North America, Latin America, Asia and Europe.

Since joining Altierre in 2010, Dave has managed the explosive manufacturing ramp of Altierre’s chips, networking equipment and digital signs. Prior to that, he was Vice President at ProWorks/Creation Technologies and Executive Director of Materials and Manufacturing for Pemstar/Benchmark Electronics.

Dave has extensive experience in both new product introduction (NPI) and volume manufacturing. He has a diverse background building high volume consumer products and low volume, high mix, complex systems. He has architected and successfully managed complex manufacturing and supply chain strategies for many leading OEM’s including Cisco, Nortel, IBM, HP, Sony, Logitech, Motorola, Ericsson, in Networking, Computer Products, Wireless Telecom, Semi Equip and Entertainment markets.

Dave has a proven track record implementing world class pricing programs and cost reduction strategies working with both direct component manufacturers, worldwide distribution networks and offshore assembly contract manufacturers.

Dave also specializes in business planning ERP/MRP system architecture. This includes ground up implementation and design of web based planning collaboration tools. He has also successfully implemented lean manufacturing principles and quality management system certification programs to achieve ISO9001, Environmental 14001, Medical 13485, Aerospace and Automotive AS9100.

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