QCI: Strategy, tech path won’t change with new COO/CTO on board
Quantum Computing Inc. (QCI) has a new CTO–who also will serve as COO–but don’t expect any radical changes in the company’s strategy or technology direction, according to QCI Chairman, president and CEO Robert Liscouski.
The company this week announced that William McGann, previously a member of the QCI board of directors, was appointed COO/CTO of the Leesburg, Virginia firm.
“There is no current intent on changing the strategy, direction or product roadmaps at this time,” Liscouski told IQT News by email. “There will always be a need to continually evaluate priorities for execution and deliverables within the strategy framework – especially in a dynamic and evolving market like quantum computing. The role of the COO/CTO is to drive the growth strategy as part of the senior leadership team and continually evaluate changes in the market to ensure alignment of the business with customer expectations.”
QCI named Michael Booth as its CTO back in June 2019, but with the McGann appointment Booth is moving to the position of senior scientist, according to McGann who also commented to IQT News via email.
“The CTO position along with the underlying organizational operation is being changed to better align with the company’s stated mission,” he stated.”QCI will always seek to best utilize the talent inside the organization. As a small company, it is even more imperative that QCI have a strong vision for key personnel retention as it executes the business strategy. As such, Mike will serve as a Senior Scientist on the team. In this new role, Mike will support the mission of driving success with key accounts with the emerging professional services organization. Mike will also use his considerable experience and domain expertise to support the advanced technology direction with myself as CTO and the new structure.”
Steve Reinhardt, who was named vice president of product development at the same time that Booth became CTO a year and a half ago, will now report to McGann. “Steve Reinhardt will be a direct report to me as CTO and will support the transformation of the Engineering / Technology organization to a more focused, execution-driven team with pivotal roles for Advanced Technology / Engineering Development / and Systems Architecture,” McGann said. “We endeavor to always recognize talent from within as well as external talent needed to support the Company’s mission and drive rapid growth in the markets we serve.”
The McGann appointment comes almost six months after QCI listed its shares on Nasdaq, making it among the first quantum computing firms to do so. About two months later, the firm faced heavy scrutiny from financial research firm Nanalyze over data from its public financial documents, as well as its relationship with an earlier CTO (previous to the Booth hiring.)
The quantum software market is quickly getting crowded with a variety of startups. QCI was among the earliest, but now it needs to carve out a place for itself in a more competitive field.
“The main differentiation in the QCI value proposition is to provide robust software solutions that are quantum ready, and more importantly, agnostic to quantum hardware,” Liscouski said. “Among the key initiatives for success is to bring quantum to customers today. We are ready to solve big problems in constrained optimization and community detection with both hybrid and pure quantum approaches. The ability to create the ‘agnostic path to quantum’ for customers without the need to expend significant resources on internal quantum expertise is paramount in the early journey of success for QCI.”