Marco Bill-Peter, Red Hat’s SVP for Customer Experience and Engagement Joins Auterion’s Board of Directors.
May 22, 2019 – Zurich, Switzerland – Today, we are very excited to announce that Marco Bill-Peter, SVP at open source company Red Hat has joined Auterion’s Board of Directors. Marco will be the fourth board member alongside co-founders Lorenz Meier and Kevin Sartori, and Oliver Heimes from Auterion’s lead investment firm Lakestar.
Marco currently serves as Red Hat’s SVP for Customer Engagement and Experience. He is closely involved with the engineering side at Red Hat and has an ongoing commitment to open source. Marco is a software and customer service expert, having been cited by Economist Research, and he has keynoted at several Red Hat conferences, and Industry conferences such as TSIA, CSI and more. His 30 years of software industry and 13+ years of experience within the open source community will guide strategic direction for our enterprise products as we continue our mission of collaborating with the developer community to provide the world’s best software infrastructure for autonomous robots.
We are happy to have him, and pleased to share this Q&A about his background and role with Auterion.
- Marco, tell us more about yourself?
I was born in Switzerland, studied micro-mechanical engineering and realized early software development was my real passion. As a consequence, my first job was as a developer for a small, but innovative software firm focused on transforming the textile industry with CAD/CAM solutions. From there I started an exciting adventure working at Digital Equipment Corporation DEC/Compaq/Hewlett Packard, focused on enterprise clients across various industries and with stints in Europe, Asia, Africa, and finally a move to the US. In 2005 I realized that large IT vendors focused too much on lock-in and missed completely the open source trends like Linux and the LAMP stack. As a consequence, I decided to join the small Red Hat company in 2006. My experience with enterprises helped to shape Red Hat’s focus on our clients, which was critical to becoming the company it is today.
- What made you believe in the potential of Auterion?
Clearly the people – yes, the industry is obviously booming and the vision of how drones can be used is limitless. I started to believe in the potential of Auterion after meeting the founders and the team. I was able to experience the positive energy and passion from the first time I stepped into their office in Zurich. Meeting with Auterion’s customers after a while made it clear to me that with the talent, the open source software approach, and this fast-growing industry is an extraordinary combination that has massive potential.
- Why do you think open source will have an impact on the transformation of the drone industry?
I’m a strong believer of open source because history has shown that an open and community-driven approach is the quickest way to innovate. Today’s technological and business challenges are too big for one company to solve alone. That’s true in every industry, and in particular in industries that require reliable and safe systems. The cloud industry and the fast-evolving drone industry are perfect examples. The transparency created by using an open source development process gives a massive advantage to address security and safety concerns apparent in these industries.
- Coming from Redhat, how do you think your past experience in open source technologies will be able to guide and shape Auterion?
I have been successful in the past in two aspects: listening to clients and laser-sharp focus. Being in a booming, and fast-changing industry requires Auterion to focus and creating a product which provides value to clients. Additionally, the experience being at a company growing from a few hundred employees to over 13’000 and experiencing double-digit revenue growth for more than 15 years will help Auterion in their growth journey. I’m excited to guide the founders and the team in the upcoming years.
- How is Auterion different from anything else that is out there?
I believe the Auterion team is perfectly positioned to become a catalyzer in the industry because of the following reasons:
- The team: with its legacy in the industry that spans over a decade, the Auterion team is trusted for its expertise. Many Auterion engineers were part of the beginnings on PX4 and today they are the largest contributors to the open source code. That speaks for an unprecedented level of experience the team can provide.
- Open source approach: The drone industry is going through the same growth and challenges that the server and cloud industries went through in the mid-2000s. Open source software enabled companies to leverage the best technology using open standards and saving costs while innovating quicker compared to proprietary solutions.
- The ecosystem: we have seen how important tight ecosystems are for business. PX4, which can be compared to the Linux Kernel, is the center of a growing ecosystem that enables suppliers, OEMs, and service providers to work together more efficiently and reducing transaction costs.
Thanks, Marco. Welcome to the team!