Palo Alto, CA — Autonomous vehicle technology company Nauto, whose artificial intelligence-powered system and data platform is helping improve fleet safety today and informing the development of self-driving technology in the auto industry, has named ex-Microsoft executive Sanket Akerkar as Senior Vice President, Global Fleets and Insurance, and Jennifer Haroon, most recently from Waymo, as Head of Corporate Development and Business Operations. Both will be based in Nauto’s Palo Alto headquarters and will report to Nauto CEO and Founder Stefan Heck.
Mr. Akerkar is spearheading Nauto’s global growth among its key commercial fleet and insurance business lines in North America, Japan, Europe, and additional regions around the globe. Most recently, he was Vice President of Microsoft’s Global Enterprise Sector, where he oversaw sales, services and marketing for its largest global commercial relationships and was responsible for $5 billion in annual revenue and 900 sales and technical professionals around the world. He joined Microsoft in 2003 and while there, assumed roles with increasing regional and global responsibility, including Global lead of Enterprise Sales Excellence, Chief Evangelist for the U.S., and Managing Director of Microsoft India. Prior to that he spent 6 years with McKinsey & Company. He earned a Masters in Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a Bachelors of Science in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering from Cornell University.
In her new role, Ms. Haroon will lead Nauto’s corporate development initiatives, including partnerships and acquisitions, and overseeing their management and execution through Nauto’s business operations. She joins Nauto from Waymo, where she spent three years as Head of Business Operations and was the first business hire in what was formerly known as the Google Self-Driving Car Project. Prior to Waymo, she held several significant strategy and operational roles at Google from 2008 to 2014. Before Google, she was with The Boston Consulting Group in San Francisco and Stockholm. She earned a Masters in Business Administration from the Walter A. Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley and a Bachelors of Science from Duke University.
“Nauto’s value to our clients and partners increases exponentially with scale, and we now have executives who are uniquely skilled and experienced in leading global expansion and operating within and on behalf of some of the world’s most dynamic and respected companies,” said Dr. Heck. “From our time together at McKinsey through his tenure at Microsoft, I always valued Sanket’s insight and respected his leadership ability and performance. Jennifer is truly a veteran in the autonomous vehicle space, and brings an incredible network, business acumen, drive and creative thinking to Nauto. We’re fortunate to have them lead our growth and to help us realize our mission to deliver smarter, safer driving around the world.”
“Nauto is truly transforming transportation and informing some of the biggest innovations in business today with an unmatched ability to generate precise insights and understand human driving behavior,” said Akerkar. “I’m excited to join Stefan, Jennifer and the rest of the Nauto team in expanding our business worldwide.”
“In founding Nauto, Stefan conceived of an ingenious approach to realizing safer and more efficient driving by starting with an after-market solution that can be networked across a range of vehicles to have a positive impact today,” said Haroon. “It’s exciting to be working with Nauto’s key strategic automotive and other partners to deliver Nauto’s game-changing solutions and insights.”
Nauto is an automotive data platform, powered by artificial intelligence and an after-market dual-camera device, which can equip any vehicle or fleet with sophisticated safety and networking features, such as the ability to detect distracted driving and provide constructive feedback to drivers. The resulting insights give Nauto-enabled fleets the ability to improve safety and operations, as well as save lives and reduce liability and expenses. Because Nauto learns from other drivers, the road and conditions around vehicles in the Nauto network, fleets equipped with Nauto can automatically capture and upload video of significant events and insights in real time to help fleet managers improve overall driver performance and enhance the safety and efficiency of an entire fleet. Nauto’s scoring system, called VERA (Vision Enhanced Risk Assessment) includes a risk rating for the frequency and severity of distraction events. Nauto’s strategic partners include Allianz Insurance, Toyota and BMW and its backers include Softbank, Greylock Partners, Playground Global, Draper Nexus and Index Ventures. Nauto’s team of data science and machine learning Ph.D’s, world class engineers, insurance and fleet industry veterans are developing Nauto’s products and deploying them to professional fleet and insurance industry customers. More information about Nauto is available at www.nauto.com, or on LinkedIn, Facebook and @NautoDriver on Twitter.
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