Why a small Waterloo company needs a world-class Board of Directors

Posted by & filed under on June 29th, 2012.

You can’t do it alone! Starting and growing a company requires dedicated founders, strong internal leadership, and exceptional employees. But it doesn’t stop there. Having outside advisors and external board members brings vital experience, fresh perspectives, and guidance that’s critical to success.

At our Annual General Meeting in June, our shareholders re-elected our lead investor and external board member, Jim Estill, and welcomed three new external board members to our team: Dr. Savvas Chamberlain, Dr. Larry Cornett, and Dr. Paul Hofmann. They join our founder, Peter Sweeney, and myself on our Board of Directors.

Savvas Chamberlain and Jim Estill are two exceptional entrepreneurs who built successful companies from the ground up. These two great Canadian success stories are also investors in Primal.

Jim Estill

Jim Estill is a technology entrepreneur, time-management guru and CEO of CanRock Ventures – an early stage venture fund. Jim started EMJ Data Systems, a technology distribution company, from the trunk of his car during his final year of Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo. He took EMJ public in 1994, and grew sales to $350 million before selling it to SYNNEX in 2004. Jim then ran divisions of SYNNEX for nearly five years, growing sales to more than $2 billion.

Savvas Chamberlain

Dr. Savvas Chamberlain is an accomplished scientist, inventor, academic, and entrepreneur. He’s a member of the Order of Canada, a Fellow of IEEE and The Canadian Academy of Engineering, and was awarded the Ontario Premier’s Catalyst award for lifetime achievement in innovation. Savvas founded DALSA Corporation in 1980 where he was the CEO from its inception until August 2007. Under his leadership DALSA became a leading international player in digital imaging, growing to 1,100 employees and revenues over $210 million by the end of 2010, before it was acquired by Teledyne Technologies Incorporated.

Larry Cornett

Dr. Larry Cornett, who resides in Silicon Valley, brings a wealth of consumer Internet experience from his senior roles at IBM, Apple, eBay, and Yahoo. Most recently, Larry was the Vice President of Consumer Products for Yahoo! Search.

Paul Hofmann

Dr. Paul Hofmann, who also resides in Silicon Valley, brings deep technical and market expertise to Primal. Paul is Chief Strategy Officer at Saffron Technology. Prior to joining Saffron in 2012, Paul was VP Research at SAP Labs in Palo Alto. He is an expert in AI, machine learning, and semantics.

We also thank our two outgoing external board members whose terms ended this year. John Cronin has been invaluable in helping us set and execute a world-class IP strategy. John is staying on as an advisor to Primal. David Thomson, as an expert in hypergrowth markets, instilled his 7 essentials for exponential growth in our corporate DNA.

Along with these exceptional board members, we have a team of advisors and a seasoned group of investors who are available anytime we need their guidance.

Peter and I are fortunate and humbled to have attracted such a great team to Primal. It’s easy to become insulated in your own little world when you run a company. A strong inside-outside team can make a powerful difference for long term success!

If you’re interested in joining our exceptional team, please check out our career opportunities.

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