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IonQ lures Amazon, Google execs, names Singh to board

IonQ, a leading quantum computing company, discusses its finances with IQT News
By Dan O'Shea posted 16 Dec 2021

As quantum technology companies continue to search for talent at all levels amid a labor shortage, IonQ just added two big names to its roster.

The College Park, Maryland-based company Wednesday announced the hiring of Ariel Braunstein, who previously led Google’s augmented reality and virtual reality product management, as IonQ’s new Senior Vice President of Product Management. The company also announced Dean Kassmann, formerly the vice president of R&D at Amazon’s Blue Origin, as IonQ’s new Vice President of Research and Development.

The hirings look to have taken effect last month, according to the LinkedIn profiles of Braunstein and Kassmann. Both appointments should serve as a reflection of IonQ’s rising position among quantum computing firms, and of quantum as an increasingly commercially-viable industry.

In addition to these hirings, IonQ also added another very big name to its board of directors: Arm EVP and CFO Inder M. Singh. Singh also has served in senior finance jobs at firms such Unisys, Comcast, Cisco and AT&T/Lucent Technologies.

Update, 5:19 p.m. ET, Dec. 15: IonQ confirmed to IQT News that Braunstein and Kassmann were hired directly away from their former employers, as the timing of the hirings and LinkedIn profile timelines seemed to suggest. That speaks even louder to the attractiveness of the quantum start-ups may hold for seasoned tech executives–even at corporate giants that have their own quantum efforts well underway.

As Peter Chapman, President and CEO, IonQ, told IQT News via email, “IonQ’s achievements so far are the culmination of several decades worth of experience and expertise from individuals not afraid to take on the challenges of today with the solutions of tomorrow. Today’s hires will play an integral part in IonQ’s mission of developing the world’s best quantum computers, and attracting talent from the likes of Amazon and Google is testament to the caliber of work we’re doing in College Park – even as Amazon, Google and Microsoft explore quantum computing applications themselves.”

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