auto industry power players 2x1

Summary List Placement

While CEOs and founders get most of the attention in the startup world, even the best leaders need a strong team behind them.

In the autonomous-vehicle industry, it can be difficult to identify the most important supporting players from the outside. Most companies are still testing and refining technology that could be years from widespread use, so it’s not always clear whose products are working and whose aren’t.

To identify the unheralded stars, we surveyed analysts, venture capitalists, industry experts, and autonomous-vehicle companies to nominate essential employees who aren’t CEOs.

From a list of more than 40 people, Insider selected those who appear to be having the greatest influence on their companies and the industry as a whole.

These are 11 of the autonomous-vehicle industry’s power players.

Lia Theodosiou-Pisanelli, head of partner product and programs, Aurora

A former trade negotiator for the Obama administration, Lia Theodosiou-Pisanelli is now Aurora’s head of partnerships, product, and programs. During her tenure, the Amazon-backed startup has signed deals with blue-chip companies like Toyota, Paccar, and Volvo.

Theodosiou-Pisanelli and her team are responsible for defining the products Aurora builds for its growing list of partners and running the programs that deliver them. She’s also helped coordinate the integration of Uber ATG’s workforce into Aurora’s following Aurora’s 2020 acquisition of the unit.

Before joining Aurora, in 2019, she was Lyft’s director of business development and strategy, where she focused on automated-driving technology.

Andrej Karpathy, senior director of AI, Tesla

Andrej Karpathy is a key figure behind the development of Tesla’s Autopilot driver-assistance system. As Tesla’s senior director of artificial intelligence, Karpathy oversees Autopilot’s neural networks, which allow the system to learn to make better decisions by studying videos and images captured by Tesla vehicles.

Though some have criticized Tesla for releasing new Autopilot capabilities in an unfinished form and for declining to develop …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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