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Velodyne Acoustics Names New GM in Corporate Shuffle

Velodyne Acoustics has named George Ross as general manager, previously director of marketing for the audio company's real-time LiDAR sensors. Ross will oversee operations for the company’s LiDAR and audio lines of business.

Velodyne Acoustics has named George Ross as general manager, previously director of marketing for the audio company’s real-time LiDAR sensors. Ross will oversee operations for the company’s LiDAR and audio lines of business. Marta Hall, Velodyne president, will focus her attention on sales and marketing for the company’s audio division.

George Ross, General Manager, Velodyne

Velodyne is known worldwide for its high-performance audio equipment and LiDAR sensors for autonomous vehicle applications, and for work in marine technology and vessel stabilization.

The organizational shifts will consolidate all product development and operational decisions at the company’s home office in Morgan Hill, CA, ensuring tight design and quality control of audio products and relocating some audio management from China. Engineering and manufacturing will occupy a newly-expanded clean room in Morgan Hill, using robotics, state-of-the-art calibration techniques, and strict process controls. After assessing the current requirements of both audio and LiDAR product lines, the company identified redundancies in several functions across operations and eliminated some positions. The combined engineering team will provide comprehensive solutions for both product lines, leveraging a broad knowledge and experience base.

“The success we’ve achieved in the LiDAR Division has been tapped to reorganize the audio division,” said David Hall, Velodyne founder and CEO. “We’re looking for increased efficiency and tight control of product quality built by contract manufacturers, which is where George shines. He’s an expert in manufacturing best practices, lean manufacturing techniques, and quality system development. He has helped to grow LiDAR revenue year to year, controlling costs while expanding product range and operations capacity. Velodyne is now appropriately staffed to continue our aggressive pursuit of new LiDAR solutions and audio products while strengthening operational effectiveness across the company. With a tightly focused business plan, we will continue our rapid implementation of enhancements in both product lines in 2014 and in the years to come.”

Ross, who has served as Velodyne’s director of manufacturing and an integral member of Velodyne’s management team since 2010, will be responsible for managing all LiDAR and audio operations, including the supervision of the manufacturing, product development, quality, purchasing, and cost control.

With more than 25 years of management experience, Ross has deep expertise in operational scale-up, quality control, tooling and fixtures, and materials flow for high-precision devices. He led the successful launch of the company’s latest LiDAR sensor, the HDL-32E, and managed a strategic collaboration with Caterpillar on the rugged HDL-64E S3 sensor. Ross’s track record includes driving product refinement through customer feedback and sustained process improvement. Before joining Velodyne, he worked as director of operations at St. Jude Medical and served in a similar capacity with SurgRx, Boston Scientific, and several start-ups in the medical device industry.

With these organizational changes, Velodyne is positioned for growth in audio, Hall said. The company recently reached agreement with The PowerHouse Alliance, a consortium of regional wholesale distributors, to provide audio/visual installers and retailers in all 50 states with convenient access to the Velodyne’s full line of high-performance, low distortion subwoofers.

Since 2007, Velodyne has emerged as a leading developer, manufacturer and supplier of real-time LiDAR sensor technology used in a variety of commercial applications, including autonomous vehicles, vehicle safety systems, 3D mobile mapping, 3D aerial mapping and security. Velodyne 3D LiDAR sensors are used by virtually every car manufacturer and tier 1 supplier, as well as companies like Google.