Pasqal names Catherine Lefebvre to lead North America expansion

By Dan O'Shea posted 06 Jun 2022

Paris-based quantum computing firm Pasqal formally announced an executive appointment that attendees of the recent IQT Quantum Enterprise event in San Diego were well aware of: Catherine Lefebvre is now leading North American business development for the company.

In addition to naming Lefebvre Vice President, Strategic Business Development North America,  Pasqal also announced new office openings in Boston, where Lefebvre will be based, and in and in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. 

“The aim of our North American presence is to be able to better service our existing and future North American clients with the aim of delivering near-term quantum advantage in multiple sectors,” Lefebvre said. “As a result of that, our staffing in North America will increase over the next months and years.”

She added that she sees “broad corporate interest in quantum computing in North America,” and that Pasqal’s existing base of customers and partners in the region provides a solid stepping stone for future growth. 

“Our biggest challenge therefore is to reach more potential clients and partners to explain about the superior scalability and the superior performance of our analog computational mode so that they realize that quantum advantage is just around the corner and that quantum computing is therefore a technology worth engaging with already today,” Lefebvre said. “We will continue to work together with the whole ecosystem to accelerate the adoption of this emerging technology.”

 Prior to joining Pasqal, Lefebvre served in multiple roles, including as U.S. and Canada Innovation Ambassador for quantum technology company M Squared; advisor in quantum technologies at Quebec Ministry of Economy and Innovation; and as Science Liaison Officer for Element AI (acquired by ServiceNow), a global developer of AI solutions. Lefebvre has a background in research with a Ph.D. in molecular physics and quantum chemistry with training in science diplomacy.

IQT Quantum Enterprise attendees knew about Lefebvre’s new role a few week ago, as she spoke on a panel session about use cases for in the oil and gas industry, and talked about how excited she was to talk to companies in a broader energy sector that is ripe for quantum experimentation and adoption.

Lefebvre was one of two female executives that came to San Diego with news of a new role and responsibilities. Nadia Carlsten also talked about her move from Amazon to Sandbox AQ to become Vice President of Product there. These hirings are representative of a growing group of women executives in the quantum sector.

Lefebvre said of her own appointment, “I’m honored to bring all my experience in quantum research, scientific liaison and strategic partnerships as well as science diplomacy to this great mission. There is so much to build in the quantum ecosystem and there’s room for everyone to contribute and make it more diverse, not only in terms of gender but also in terms of expertise and background.”

Pasqal’s Canadian office is located in the Quantum Innovation Zone in Sherbrooke, which brings together researchers, startups and investors to cultivate the local quantum ecosystem and accelerate the development and adoption of quantum technologies. Known as Pasqal Canada, the new subsidiary will allow Pasqal to collaborate with both academic institutions and industry to grow its business in Canada and develop new commercial applications in such areas as smart cities, energy and materials science.

Pasqal’s customers include Johnson & Johnson, LG, Airbus, BMW Group, EDF, Thales, MBDA and Credit Agricole CIB.

Dan O’Shea has covered telecommunications and related topics including semiconductors, sensors, retail systems, digital payments and quantum computing/technology for over 25 years.

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