Leadership

  • John Walecka

    John Walecka

    Partner, Redpoint Ventures

    John Walecka is a Partner of Redpoint Ventures and is passionate about companies with disruptive products and innovative business models.

    John is very active in Redpoint's investment efforts around companies using big data insights to create new business applications, as well as innovative technologies for building cloud infrastructure and services.  He is on the boards of the following companies: Quantifind (social media predictive analytics platform), Datameer (big data BI tools around Hadoop), Lastline Security (cloud based malware products), Moogsoft (big data applications applied to agile service management), InterMolecular (data driven combinatorial materials discovery platform) and Avnera (cool audio products).

    John received a B.S. and an M.S. in Engineering from Stanford University and a M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

  • Manpreet Khaira

    Manpreet Khaira

    Chairman, President, and CEO

    Manpreet Khaira is the Chairman, President and CEO of Avnera.

    Manpreet has 17 years of experience in the semiconductor industry.

    Manpreet co-founded Avnera in early 2004. Prior to Avnera, Manpreet was the founding CEO of Mobilian Corporation, which was acquired by Intel Corporation in 2003. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Manpreet held various engineering and management positions at Intel.

    Manpreet is a recipient of the distinguished President of India Gold Medal from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, India. Manpreet received his Master’s degree in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University.

  • Michael Class

    Michael Class

    Vice President, Sales

    Michael has been in semiconductor sales for over 25 years. Previously he spent 5 years at SEQUANS Communications, a Paris based 4G wireless communication company startup offering WiMax and LTE products, where he was the first VP WW Sales responsible for achieving the company's initial $50M in revenue.

    Before this Michael was VP WW Sales at EXAR, a public company and leading supplier of wire line communication solutions. He has a BSEE from Lehigh University and MBA from LaSalle University.

  • Umesh Padval

    Umesh Padval

    Operating Partner, Bessemer Venture Partners

    Umesh Padval is an Operating Partner based in BVP's Menlo Park office.

    He brings to BVP's portfolio companies close to 25 years of experience in marketing, sales and general management in the high tech industry.

    Umesh has management experience in a variety of markets including computing, mobile communications, and consumer digital entertainment. Most recently, he was Executive Vice President of the Consumer Products Group at LSI Logic. He joined LSI Logic via its acquisition of C-Cube Microsystems, a public company where he served as President & CEO. Previously Umesh held management positions at VLSI Technology, as executive vice president of their consumer and computing products groups. He began his career at Advanced Micro Devices. Umesh also has extensive global experience, having established R&D centers in both China, and India, starting in the late1990s.

    In addition, Umesh has served on the boards of C-Cube Microsystems, Elantec Semiconductor and Pictos Technologies, and currently serves on the boards of Entropic Communications and Monolithic Power Systems. He holds a bachelor's in Technology from Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, and a master's degree in Engineering from Stanford University.

  • Raj Garg

    Raj Garg

    Vice President, Operations

    Raj has over 25 years of experience in RF and Mixed Signal Semiconductor components. Before co-founding Avnera, Raj was Director RF, Mixed Signal ASICs at Maxim Integrated Products where he was responsible for business development, engineering and profitability of the product line. Prior to that, he held various engineering and management positions at Tektronix.

    Raj received his Bachelor's degree in Materials Science from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur and his Master's degree from Ohio State in Ceramic Engineering.

  • Thomas Irrgang

    Thomas Irrgang

    Chief Technology Officer

    Thomas has spent his 25-year career in the audio industry and developed a deep understanding of audio technology and business. Prior to Avnera, Thomas spent 15 years at Analog Devices where most recently he was the technology and business manager for the SigmaDSP group. While in Europe, he spearheaded the creation of the European consumer team and held the roles of business development manager and field applications engineer.

    Thomas received a MSEE from the Fachhochschule in Munich. Additionally, he has completed courses in acoustics as well as management and business. Thomas is a member of the AES.

  • John H. F. Miner

    John H. F. Miner

    Managing Director, Pivotal Investments

    John Miner is a venture capitalist and a managing director at Pivotal Investments, focused on investing in companies developing clean technologies for the sustainable economy.

    He is the former President of Intel Capital, Intel's strategic investment arm, and was an Intel corporate vice president.

    Prior to Intel Capital, John has been instrumental in leading Intel's entry into new market segments as an Intel Vice President and General Manager of the Communications Products Group, the Enterprise Server Group, and General Manager of Intel's desktop motherboard and PC building-blocks business. John joined Intel in 1983.

    John is currently a member of the board of LSI Inc., Avnera and END Outdoor. He is a former director of Unicru (purchased by Kronos) and of Pacific Broadband (purchased by Juniper). He is also an investor in and advisor to numerous early stage enterprises and a Trustee for the Providence St. Vincent Medical Foundation.

    John holds a BSEE from Tulane University and MBA from the University of Oregon.

  • Chris O'Connor

    Chris O'Connor

    Vice President, Engineering

    Chris has over 27 years of experience in the RF and analog mixed-signal IC business. He has conceived, architected, and defined numerous IC's for various high volume wireless markets.

    Prior to joining Avnera, Chris was a RF IC Systems Engineer at Maxim Integrated Products. Earlier in his career, Chris was RF Application Engineering Manager at TriQuint Semiconductor as well as an IC design engineer at Analog Devices.

  • Rob Chandra

    Rob Chandra

    President & Chief Executive Officer, Avid Park Capital

    Rob Chandra is a President & Chief Executive Officer of Avid Park Capital, an investment management firm, based in Palo Alto, California.

    Avid Park is the manager of a long short portfolio focused on US publicly traded companies. The firm uses a proprietary investment strategy developed in collaboration with three finance professors. 

    Prior to founding Avid Park, Rob spent nearly two decades as a venture capitalist. During this time, he was an investor in 25 start-ups which went public or were acquired by other public companies. In his last year as a full-time venture capitalist Rob was ranked #28 on the Forbes Midas List of top venture capitalist (http://www.forbes.com/lists/midas/2012/rob-chandra.html). While a partner at Bessemer, Rob served on the firm’s investment & management committees, co-led the firm’s limited partner fund raising activities and also helped the firm establish an investment practice in India. He remains a Senior Advisor to the firm and continues to serve on the board of several portfolio companies. He occasionally makes some select venture investments and is a personal investor in Lending Club and Twitter.

    Rob currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Berkeley Endowment Management Company which manages endowment gifts provided to the UC Berkeley Foundation. He serves on the Board of Trustees at the Menlo School. He is on the faculty at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business where he teaches an undergraduate course on alternative investing (venture capital, hedge funds, and private equity) and co-teaches an MBA course on entrepreneurship with Professor Toby Stuart. 

    Prior to entering the venture capital profession in 1996, Rob was an engagement manager with McKinsey & Company. Rob worked for Accenture in their San Francisco and London offices. He began his career with IBM. Rob holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.A. from UC Berkeley. Rob enjoys playing golf, skiing, surfing and reading. Rob has managed to catch a baseball game in all 30 major league stadiums.

  • Charles Saxe

    Charles Saxe

    Fellow, Mixed Signal Design

    Chuck has worked in the development of integrated circuits for over 30 years and has developed more than 200 ICs.

    Prior to joining Avnera, Chuck worked at Tektronix for over two decades. For 17 years, he managed an IC design group that developed about 25 custom IC's per year. Chuck was also a Senior Fellow at Tektronix. In 2001, he joined Network Elements Inc. and became Director of Silicon Integration.

    Chuck is a recipient of the Tektronix Howard Vollum award for engineering excellence. Chuck holds 13 U.S. patents, individually and jointly, for technologies used in digital oscilloscopes to acquire or process high-speed signals. Chuck received his bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland and his master's degree in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1978.

  • Wai Lee

    Wai Lee

    Fellow, Analog Design

    Wai has 25 years of experience in Analog design. Wai previously worked at Hewlett Packard Labs, Analog Devices and Crystal Semiconductor division of Cirrus Logic. At Crystal, he served as the Director of Engineering for the Industrial Product Division overseeing the development of some of the most accurate ADCs in the industry today.

    Wai developed the original concept for the high-order delta-sigma technique that is widely used today and is the standard architecture used in PC sound and digital audio data converters. He received his bachelor's and master's degree in Electrical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He holds more than 30 issued patents and has over 16 publications. He was a recipient of the IEEE Darlington award in 1990 and has served on numerous ISSCC paper committees.

  • Sydney Newton

    Sydney Newton

    Vice President, Finance

    Since 2012, Sydney has been serving as the Senior Director of Business Development, focused on new customer acquisition and strategic partnerships. During her tenure, several marquee brands have adopted Avnera's technology.

    In addition to her business development role, Sydney is also the Vice President of Finance. As one of the first employees of Avnera, Sydney has managed the administration of Avnera from its earliest stage including Finance, HR, IT, and Administration. Prior to joining Avnera, Sydney was a Financial Analyst at Mobilian Corporation. She played a key role in the exit of Mobilian.

    Sydney earned her Bachelors degree in Economics from Brigham Young University. She also holds a Post-Baccalaureate degree in Accounting from Portland State University.