IonQ’s Dr. Chris Monroe is leaving the company to return to ‘academic, research, & policy pursuits’
IonQ announced earlier this week that Dr. Chris Monroe, Chief Science Officer and co-founder of the company in 2015 along with Jungsang Kim, is leaving the company to return to “academic, research, and policy pursuits.”
Dr. Monroe also was CEO of IonQ for about nine months just before the company hired current president and CEO Peter Chapman. Through his tenure at IonQ, Dr. Monroe continued to hold academic positions as a professor at the University of Maryland and, since 2021, as the Gilhuly Family Distinguished Presidential Professor of Physics and Electrical Computer Engineering at Duke University.
After Monroe leaves IonQ, “He will continue to lead research in quantum computing technology, educate the quantum workforce, and advise quantum institutes across the world,” according to a company statement.
Monroe’s departure comes as IonQ and many other quantum technology firms, many of which began as spin-outs from university research and continued to have strong ties to academia, have begun to evolve into more commercial operations.
Chapman said, “Chris has been a pioneer working on all aspects of ion trap quantum computers, from the demonstration of the first quantum logic gate in 1995 to the invention of the first scalable quantum computer architecture. Under his support and leadership, IonQ was granted exclusive ion trap intellectual property licenses from the University of Maryland and Duke University – two distinguished research universities pushing the frontiers of quantum computing. Chris has also helped guide the company to build scalable quantum computers that will drive commercial advantage. We are grateful to Chris for his many contributions and wish him the best.”
“It has been a privilege to work alongside so many exceptionally talented engineers and scientists,” said Dr. Monroe. “We have brought forward several first-in-class quantum technologies, culminating in a clear roadmap that is poised to drive commercial advantage in the future. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished so far and want to thank everyone at IonQ.”
Monroe has at times been a public spokesman for IonQ–such a when he was among the first to make a public call for more quantum workforce training way back in 2018–but Chapman and CTO Kim have been front and center more often in recent years.
Dan O’Shea has covered telecommunications and related topics including semiconductors, sensors, retail systems, digital payments and quantum computing/technology for over 25 years.