Menlo Micro has reinvented one of the most fundamental building blocks of electronic systems – the electronic switch. The company’s Ideal Switch platform is a game-changer for those who design electronic systems, with a market opportunity of more than $20 billion. It has the potential to serve multiple industries, including next generation 5G mobile networks, industrial IoT markets, battery management, home-automation, electronic vehicles, and medical instrumentation.
The electromechanical switch technology hasn’t experienced innovation in the past 25 years. As a result, the size, weight, cost, and performance of electronic switch technologies has hindered the system designer’s ability to create high performance and reliable products ranging from battery chargers to electric vehicles.
Menlo Micro has lifted these limitations by developing unique materials, designs, and processing techniques to create an environment for RF MEMs switch design and fabrication of high-stress conditions for products that require decades of useful life.
The Ideal Switch operates up to 1000x faster than a typical mechanical switch, can handle hundreds of watts of power and is built in a structure smaller than a human hair.
One key application Menlo Micro targets for its Ideal Switch technology is mobile infrastructure. Menlo Micro’s switch is a new product for the wireless telecom market, with the potential to reduce the overall cost of deploying wireless networks. It will result in better access and higher bandwidth for consumers both at home and on mobile devices.
Menlo Micro is backed by GE Ventures, with strategic investments from Corning, Microsemi, and Paladin Capital Group. GE has invested over 12 years of R&D into Ideal Switch technology, producing 60 patent families and a series of GE-qualified products. Menlo Micro focuses on bringing this unique solution to the broader market, expanding development of the technology and its reach across industries.
HOW WE GOT HERE.
Our lineage of innovation & entrepreneurship starts with the “Wizard of Menlo Park” himself, Thomas A. Edison. Born out of a decade-long effort at General Electric’s Global Research Center, Menlo Micro is bringing to the market a series of technology innovations that have enabled us to reinvent one of the most essential and fundamental building blocks required for nearly every electronic system imaginable…. the switch.
EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP TEAM
RUSS GARCIA CEO
EVP Microsemi, CEO WiSpry, CEO uNav, TI, Silicon Systems, Hughes
Russ has more than 30 years of experience in the electronic systems and semiconductor industries with a proven track record in executive leadership positions in both public and private companies.
As CEO of Menlo Micro, Russ oversees the corporate direction and strategy of the company, focusing on leadership, technology innovation and customers. Prior to Menlo Micro, Russ founded nGeniSys, an investment and consulting firm focused on the electronics, semiconductor and telecommunications industries.
He is also an Executive in Residence for GE Ventures and holds advisory and board of director positions at several venture-backed companies. Prior to Menlo and nGeniSys, he held the position of EVP of Marketing for Microsemi, where he led the integration of Actel, Zarlink and Symmetricom, representing over $700M USD of M&A over a 4-year period. His leadership of those acquisitions led to operating income improvements in each case from low single digits to all greater than 25% operating profit. One of those integrations resulted in greater 40% operating margin. Prior to Microsemi, he was the CEO of two start-ups, WiSpry, a RF MEMS company and uNav Microelectronics, a fabless semiconductor company, where under his leadership, u-Nav developed and introduced the first “single-chip” GPS semiconductor device. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Marketing for Silicon Systems and Texas Instruments Storage Product Division.
Chris Keimel Co-Founder, CTO
Former Senior Research Scientist at GE Global Research Center
Chris is a Co-Founder of Menlo Micro and has been at the heart of developing Menlo’s MEMS switch technology since its conception at GE Global Research.He is responsible for Menlo’s technical strategy and leading its R&D activities. Prior to joining Menlo, Chris was a Senior Engineer at GE Global Research where he led its Metal MEMS Technology development for more than 12 years. He also has published more than 15 journal articles (Nature, APL, etc.), been granted more than 25 patents, organized symposiums on MEMS as part of the Materials Research Society conferences, given numerous invited talks on MEMS technologies and is a reviewer for technical journals. Chris holds a BS in Material Science from Cornell and a MSEE from Princeton.
Chris Giovanniello, Co-Founder, SVP of Worldwide Marketing
Chris has more than 20 years of experience in electronic systems and semiconductor industries.
As SVP of Worldwide Marketing, Chris oversees all aspects of technology innovation and leads product development efforts. Prior to Menlo Micro, Chris was Vice President, Business Development for GE Ventures. At GE Ventures, Chris was responsible for developing new programs and monetization strategies for key technologies developed at General Electric’s R&D center in Schenectady, NY. He employed strategies such as licensing, joint ventures, acquisitions and spinouts for programs covering wireless, semiconductor, MEMS, and thermal management technology segments.
Prior to GE, Chris served in a variety of management and leadership positions over an 18-year career at Teradyne, world leader in semiconductor test equipment. In his most recent role at Teradyne, he was responsible for building a new Services Solutions Business for Teradyne’s Global Service Organization, a full-vertical supply-chain offering targeting emerging fabless semiconductor companies. Prior to that, Chris alternated between multiple assignments in Europe, where he managed large teams of field application engineers, and management positions within Teradyne’s product development organizations, defining and developing new product roadmaps. Chris holds a BSEE from Tufts University and an Executive MBA Certificate through Teradyne's Executive Leadership Program.
SVP, Manufacturing Operations
Jeff is a seasoned Senior Executive with over 30 years of international semiconductor manufacturing and direct operational management both in front and backend.
He has resided in several countries including the Philippines, United Kingdom, South Korea, Malaysia, Finland, Hong Kong, and the U.S. He is an accomplished business leader and entrepreneur having successfully led both funding and exit events.
He has initiated and driven successful start-up companies and operations, which have resulted in steep growth and sustainable profitability. He is a strategic leader with a consistent record of building organizations and delivering results in the most challenging environments. Jeff is a native Californian and a Florida Institute of Technology alumnus. Jeff has been married to his wife Sara for almost 30 years and they have four children.
SVP, Worldwide Sales
Lew brings more than thirty years of sales and business development experience in the semiconductor industry, with a strong focus on mobile communications and power.
Prior to Menlo Micro, Boore served as Vice President of Sales for Silanna Semiconductor, selling the company’s specialty RF switches for the telecom sector, resulting in a rapid and successful trade sale to Qualcomm. Boore also served as Vice President of Sales at Cavendish Kinetics where he helped pioneer the use of tunable capacitors as broadband antenna tuners in mobile phones. In addition, Boore also led the WiSpry sales team where he received the world’s first commercial orders for MEMS-based tuners.
As Menlo’s first CFO, Mark is responsible for building-out and managing Menlo’s corporate infrastructure consisting of its finance, accounting, legal, and IT functions.Mark has over 20 years of experience managing, advising and investing in public and venture-backed technology companies across the hardware and enterprise software segments including RF MEMS (WiSpry) and next-generation semiconductor packaging (INCEP). In addition to his operational experience, Mark has experience in the private equity and investment banking industries. Mark earned his MBA in finance from USC’s Marshall School of Business and holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Loyola University of Chicago.
SVP Human Resources
John brings over 35 years of high technology experience to his role at Menlo Microsystems in start-up, private, and publicly-held companies.
He has a broad background with prior experience in marketing and manufacturing positions. As a Human Resources executive he has successfully help lead various companies through phases of high-growth and rapid transformation. John was born and raised in Southern California and has a Master’s degree from the University of Southern California.
SVP, Product Development
Pete joined the Menlo Micro team in April 2019. He brings over 40 years of industry experience and has held senior positions in engineering and management including design engineering, operations, marketing, technology development, and new business development roles.Prior to Menlo Micro, Pete led program management for SpaceX Avionics developments. His roles included SVP of Development at WiSpry and Vice President of Product Development & Operations at uNav Microelectronics. He currently holds thirteen patents relating to mass storage electronics and MEMS technology. Pete earned his Bachelors and Masters degrees in Electrical Engineering from UCLA.
VP, Quality Assurance
Ajit joined Menlo Micro team in May 2020. He brings over 30 years of hi-tech manufacturing industry experience and has held senior positions in quality, engineering and technology development.Prior to Menlo Micro, Ajit led global quality for Zebra Technologies. Prior to that, his roles included Division Quality Manager at Samtec and Director of Engineering at Anaren. He has spoken at leading conferences on Quality and Customer Experience. He has published papers in technical journals and was awarded a patent relating to Flip Chip design. He is the author of a book titled “Customer Facing Processes and Customer Experience”. Ajit earned his Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering with a specialization in semiconductor processing from the University of Kansas.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
RUSS GARCIA, CEO
Russ has more than 30 years of experience in the electronic systems and semiconductor industries with a proven track record in executive leadership positions in both public and private companies. As CEO of Menlo Micro, Russ oversees the corporate direction and strategy of the company, focusing on leadership, technology innovation and customers.
Prior to Menlo Micro, Russ founded nGeniSys, an investment and consulting firm focused on the electronics, semiconductor and telecommunications industries. He is also an Executive in Residence for GE Ventures and holds advisory and board of director positions at several venture backed companies. Prior to Menlo and nGeniSys, he held the position of EVP of Marketing for Microsemi, where he led the integration Actel, Zarlink and Symmetricom, representing over $700M USD of M&A over a 4-year period. His leadership of those acquisitions led to operating income improvements in each case from low single digits to all greater than 25% operating profit. One of those integrations resulted in greater 40% operating margin.
Prior to Microsemi, he was the CEO of two start-ups, WiSpry, a RF MEMS company and uNav Microelectronics, a fabless semiconductor company, where under his leadership, u-Nav developed and introduced the first “single-chip” GPS semiconductor device. Prior to that, he was Vice President of Marketing for Silicon Systems and Texas Instruments Storage Product Division.
Managing Director, 40 North Ventures
Marianne is a Managing Director at 40 North Ventures. She believes firmly in the ability and opportunity for digital + deep customer insight + new business models to drive fundamental change across industries and throughout the economy.Prior to joining 40 North Ventures, Marianne was President, GE Ventures where she led the investing team and before that was a Partner at Mohr Davidow Ventures. She has also been a start-up executive, management consultant, and development engineer. Her career has focused at the intersection of technology, market and impact from both a start-up and large company perspective. She enjoys helping start-ups attack markets, partnering with, or navigating around large companies for success.
Marianne holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and a B.A.Sc. in Engineering Physics from the University of British Columbia, where she is also on the Advisory Board. She enjoys exploring the outdoors with her husband and two daughters.
Paul Conley, PhD
Managing Director, Paladin Capital Group
Dr. Paul Conley is a leading investor and serves as an active Director on many of Paladin’s portfolio company boards including semiconductor chip company Menlo Micro.Paul joined the Paladin team after more than 15 years of previous R&D and entrepreneurial experience. As founding CEO of BrightScale, he led the commercialization of a patented multi-core microprocessor technology in the HDTV market. As founding CEO of Appfluent Technology, he led the commercialization of patented in-memory distributed database technologies in the enterprise IT market. Prior to taking the entrepreneurial route, he spent nearly a decade in multidisciplinary R&D roles in the areas of high-performance computing, applied physics, and biomedical engineering, including postdoctoral positions at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Paul earned a PhD in Computational Physics and an MS in Bioengineering from UCSD, as well as an MS and BS in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the University of Virginia.
Broadcom - Former Chairman
EvoNexus - Chairman Emeritus
Kari-Pekka 'KP' Wilska
Nokia – Former President, America
GE Global Research – Former Vice President Advanced Technology
Vertical Venture Partners – Partner
Micro Linear – Former CEO
IXYS – Former Board of Directors
RS Bioventures, LLC – Director
GE Ventures – Former Managing Director
MaxLinear – CFO - Chief Strategy Officer
Microsemi – Former EVP, Chief Strategy Officer
VP & GM Corning Advanced Optics, Corning Inc.
David Velasquez was appointed General Manager of Advanced Optics in August 2019. In this role, he is responsible for leading the division, which includes the Optical Materials and Technologies, Precision Glass Solutions (PGS), Corning Laser Technologies, Specialty Glass, and Iris® Glass business units.Prior to this role, Velasquez had served as Division Vice President and General Manager of PGS since May 2017. As the leader of this newly formed business unit, he was responsible for consolidating a handful of separate Corning businesses and innovation programs targeting the semiconductor and consumer electronics markets, and for growing Corning’s glass wafer and panel sales in emerging applications including sensors, augmented reality, and advanced packaging. Velasquez joined Corning in 2001 as a Strategic Planning Manager in Corning Optical Fiber. He later moved into product line management and assumed responsibility of the product line portfolio in 2007. From 2010 to 2015, Velasquez led marketing and commercial operations for the Corning® Gorilla® Glass division. He built the analysis, forecasting, customer service, product line management, marketing communications, and branding functions as the business ramped to $1B in sales in two years. During his tenure, Velasquez helped oversee the transition of five generations of Gorilla Glass and the commercialization of multiple Glass+ offerings. In 2015, Velasquez was appointed Commercial Director of the Advanced Optics division. There, he drove initiatives such as the Keene, N.H. facility turnaround, targeted sales growth in China, next-generation semiconductor equipment capabilities and product profit and loss management. Velasquez earned a bachelor’s degree in systems engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and his Master’s in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.
SVP, Analog Microchip Technology
Rich Simoncic has served as Senior Vice President, Analog Power and Interface Division since September 1999.From January 1996 to September 1999, he served as Vice President, Memory and Specialty Products Division. From October of 1995 to January 1996, he served as Vice President of Yield and Manufacturing Engineering. Mr. Simoncic holds a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from DeVry Institute of Technology.
Former Chairman & CTO, pSemi
Jim Cable has more than 25 years of experience in semiconductor research, development and production, including pSemi Corporation (formerly Peregrine Semiconductor), Hughes Microelectronics Center, Hughes Technology Center and TRW.
Cable most recently served as the chairman and CTO of pSemi and as the global semiconductor R&D director for parent company, Murata Manufacturing, until his retirement in Dec. 2019. Cable joined pSemi in 1996 and held positions as COO and vice president of technology and engineering, before becoming CEO in 2002. From 2002 to 2017, Cable served as the company's CEO where he led the team through an IPO and championed the 2014 acquisition to Murata Manufacturing.
Under his engineering leadership, pSemi pioneered stacked CMOS RF switch integration, solved insurmountable circuit linearity problems and ultimately manufactured high-performance, multi-throw-count CMOS RF switches that support more than 40 different communications bands and will become even more mission critical in 5G. Cable is a co-inventor on over 70 semiconductor and technology patents, including breakthroughs in CMOS RF switch linearity and integration that are used by most modern cellphones today.
He received his B.S. in physics from UC Riverside and his master's degree and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from UCLA.