Growth

Power Moves: A new CEO for a young startup and a chief commercial officer for a growing robotics firm

Recent leadership changes and awards play a role in Pittsburgh's tech momentum this fall. Here are four key announcements to be aware of, plus two notable awards for local tech companies.

Thoro.ai CEO Patrick Mondi.

(Photo via LinkedIn)

Power Moves is a column where we chart the comings and goings of talent across the region. Got a new hire, gig or promotion? Email us: pittsburgh@technical.ly.


Thoro.ai, a Carnegie Robotics spinoff that uses autonomous robotics for cleaning and disinfection applications, announced that Patrick Mondi would take on the role of CEO. Prior to this new role, Mondi was the global head of supply chain, logistics and workplace at transportation company Lime, and also spent time in business development and strategic initiatives at Uber Advanced Technologies Group, which was eventually acquired by Aurora.

Thoro.ai is the result of a partnership between Carnegie Robotics (which is itself a Carnegie Mellon University spinoff) and Nilfisk, a cleaning equipment company.

“Our mission is to create reliable, cost-effective, industrial-grade robotic solutions that enable the equipment to function as an extension of the cleaning workforce,” said Carnegie Robotics CEO John Bares in a statement upon Thoro.ai’s formation in September 2020. “Thoro technology is about being ‘thorough’ — using robotics and artificial intelligence to ensure a new standard of clean in public spaces.”

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IAM Robotics, a Lawrenceville-based company that specializes in developing autonomous robotic solutions for manufacturing and warehouse environments, recently appointed Jay Link as its new chief commercial officer.

Previously, Link worked as the chief revenue officer for Seegrid, another warehouse-focused robotics company based near the Pittsburgh International Airport. Link also held executive roles at Berkshire Grey in Boston and Lanyon in Dallas.

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“Jay has a visionary mindset and well-rounded experiences across disciplines and industries, putting him in a position to really think outside the box in developing commercial strategies,” said Lance VandenBrook, CEO of IAM Robotics, in a prepared statement. “We look forward to building lasting relationships and pursuing new deployment opportunities as Jay helps to open those doors.”

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Finch Fulton. (Photo via LinkedIn)

Finch Fulton, the VP of policy and strategy at autonomous trucking company Locomation, was recently named to the board of the Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE). The organization brings together people across the private sector and nonprofits with a vested interest in the autonomous vehicle industry to discuss how that technology should integrate with society. Prior to joining Locomation, Fulton worked on transportation policy for the U.S. Department of Transportation.

““I’m honored to join PAVE’s board,” said Fulton in a prepared statement. “This is a pivotal time in the development of automated vehicles. We must be a source of truth about the safety, accessibility, environmental and economic benefits this technology can bring, if they are developed and integrated into the existing transportation system the right way.”

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Smith Micro Software, a McCandless-based developer of tech for mobile services, announced James Kempton as its new CFO. Prior to Smith Micro Software, Kempton held executive positions at L.B. Foster Company and Caliburn International. He also worked in various positions at Michael Baker International for nearly 12 years.

“We are very pleased to announce Jim’s appointment as our new CFO,” said William W. Smith, Jr., president and CEO of Smith Micro Software, in a press release. “Jim brings a successful track record of proven leadership and extensive expertise and experience in financial matters that will help continue to drive Smith Micro’s strong business case.”

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Driver management software company Idelic announced that it had been named on the 2022 FreightTech 100 list published by industry news and market data company FreightWaves. The list recognizes companies that are innovating the freight industry.

Others given the award included Waymo, Amazon Freight and Pittsburgh-based Locomation, among many more. The list of 100 will narrow to 25 for an even more prestigious award in November.

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And last week, Bridgeville software company Accion Labs announced that it was awarded one of the 2021 Stratus Awards for cloud computing from the Business Intelligence Group. In a press release, Accion said the award focused on its Maze product — a “decentralized application development framework” that makes it easier to build secure and functional apps.

“We are thrilled to have been selected as a Stratus award winner for 2021,” Accion Labs CEO Kinesh Doshi said. “We have always been investing and excited about innovative projects that make a positive societal impact, so to be recognized for a product that drives this impact is just amazing.”


Sophie Burkholder is a 2021-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Heinz Endowments. -30-
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