Jeff Glasson, CTO of TWAICE, answers 3 questions for Luke Webber (Partner at Albany) on his career as an experienced technology leader.
Before moving to Germany, Jeff was a career Silicon Valley tech person. He held technical engineering roles at HP, Apple, and NeXT where he worked mainly on operating systems. After making the move to management at NeXT to lead the OS group, Jeff held leadership positions at Apple, VMware, and Cloudera responsible for many different software technologies, and managed global engineering organizations. Most recently, Jeff was the VP of Engineering at Contentful in Berlin, where he led scaling the engineering organization from about 40 to over 100 employees in 2.5 years. Jeff holds a BS in Computer Engineering from the University of California, San Diego.
Outside of work, Jeff loves skiing, great food and wine, and playing board games. He is married with two sons.
What attracted you to your current organisation?
When I started looking for a new position, I had a few key requirements. First and foremost, I wanted to lead a team in a company “that matters”. I have led many engineering teams and delivered many commercially successful products, but at this point in my career, I wanted to make sure my next job left a really positive impact on the world. I was also looking for a smaller company where I could help grow and scale the organization. The other major requirement was the culture of the company. How people treat each other, openness in communication, and teamwork are critical for me. Culturally, TWAICE is perfect and really takes core values seriously and the products we are building will drive a positive impact on the environment by accelerating the electrification of transport and helping drive renewable energy generation.
What part of being a CTO excites you the most?
I love the balance of driving new technology and applying that towards business goals. To me the biggest difference of a CTO vs. a VP of Engineering is the addition of needing to also understand strategic business goals and drive technology to achieve those. I have always been most excited when building products that really have an impact on our customers and users.
What do you view as the main tech challenge in your sector in the coming years?
Battery analytics is a new market. There are many challenges ahead. I’ll list a few. First, as the market matures, we need to be extremely aware of changing customer value priorities. What’s selling now may be quickly commoditized or become much less critical to our customers. Second, the innovation curve of batteries themselves is extremely steep. This means that we need to stay deeply involved with the research community and quickly support new technologies and battery chemistries in our software. Finally, scaling our software platform. The amount of batteries in the world is slated for exponential growth through at least 2030. Our software needs to be able to scale by orders of magnitude.