Leadership

Ayla’s founders and executives are veteran Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who have dedicated themselves to making the Internet of Things a reality. As thought leaders in the world of IoT, they are not only shaping Ayla’s Agile IoT Platform, but the entire industry and what it means to build a connected device.

  • David Friedman

    Co-Founder,

    Chief Executive Officer

    David Friedman

    Co-Founder , Chief Executive Officer

    Prior to founding Ayla Networks, David served as Vice President, business development for ZeroG Wireless, a company providing low-power Wi-Fi products to the embedded space. In that role, David forged partnerships with leading micro-controller companies, and built relationships with OEMs serving a variety of markets including health, fitness, home controls and smart energy.

    Prior to ZeroG, David was an early employee at Matrix Semiconductor, serving in various sales and marketing roles before Matrix was acquired by SanDisk. In earlier roles, David helped drive pricing strategy at Intel, and was an analyst in the mergers and acquisitions group at Chase Bank. David has an MBA from the University of Michigan and a BA from Colgate University; he holds five US Patents.

  • Adrian Caceres

    Co-Founder,

    Chief Technology Officer,

    VP of Engineering

    Adrian Caceres

    Co-Founder , Chief Technology Officer , VP of Engineering

    Adrian is passionate about connected products and has made connectivity the core of his professional career. Adrian came from Amazon’s Lab126 where he was the technical lead for the Kindle wireless software team and helped launch the very first Kindle with Wi-Fi. Prior to Lab126, he worked on Dell cell phones, Zing media players, Atheros wireless chipsets, Nokia routers/firewalls, and Sun workstations. He graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

  • Phillip Chang

    Co-Founder,

    VP and GM of Greater China

    Phillip Chang

    Co-Founder , VP and GM of Greater China

    Phillip has 25 years of experience building and growing companies in Taiwan, China and the United States. Prior to founding Ayla, Phillip was at ZeroG Wireless, where he was responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with Asian manufacturers, suppliers, and customers, working with some of Asia’s largest contract manufacturers and technology providers. Phillip has also served as an executive vice president at Broadweb, a networking security vendor, CEO of Linkpeople, an early social network application developer, and founder of Macsense, a third party developer of Mac peripherals.

    A recognized business leader in Asia, Phillip has been called upon to instruct local corporate groups and support start-up fund raising activities in Taiwan and Shanghai. In 2004, he was honored to be a representative of Taiwan’s Information Telecommunication and Communication delegation to APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Conference) in Seoul, Korea. Phillip has a BA from UC Berkeley, an MS from Stanford University and is completing a doctorate in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in his spare time. Before beginning his career in business, he was a world-class athlete, participating as a member of Taiwan’s Olympic swimming team.

  • Tom Lee

    Co-Founder

    Tom Lee

    Co-Founder

    Thomas H. Lee received the S.B., S.M. and Sc.D. degrees in electrical engineering, all from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1983, 1985, and 1990, respectively.

    He joined Analog Devices in 1990 where he was primarily engaged in the design of high-speed clock recovery devices. In 1992, he joined Rambus Inc. in Mountain View, CA where he developed high-speed analog circuitry for 500 megabyte/s CMOS DRAMs.

    He has also contributed to the development of PLLs in the StrongARM, Alpha and AMD K6/K7/K8 microprocessors. Since 1994, he has been a Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University where his research focus has been on gigahertz-speed wireline and wireless integrated circuits built in conventional silicon technologies, particularly CMOS.

    He has twice received the “Best Paper” award at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference, co-authored a “Best Student Paper” at ISSCC, was awarded the Best Paper prize at CICC, and is a Packard Foundation Fellowship recipient.

    He served for a decade as an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer of the Solid-State Circuits Society, and has been a DL of the IEEE Microwave Society as well. He holds 57 U.S. patents and authored The Design of CMOS Radio-Frequency Integrated Circuits(now in its second edition), and Planar Microwave Engineering, both with Cambridge University Press. He is a co-author of four additional books on RF circuit design, and also cofounded Matrix Semiconductor (acquired by Sandisk in 2006). He was the founder of ZeroG Wireless.

    In early April of 2011 he was awarded the Ho-Am Prize in Engineering (colloquially known as the “Korean Nobel”).

  • Michel J. Maeso

    VP of Worldwide Sales

    Michel J. Maeso

    VP of Worldwide Sales

    In the last 10 years, Maeso has generated over $1.3 billion in shareholder value for Cloud-based technology companies. Most recently, Maeso was the Chief Revenue Officer for July Systems where he was responsible for global sales, marketing, customer service and field operations. Prior to July Systems, he was vice president of sales and field operations for Cotendo, a leader in Cloud based web and mobile performance solutions. Akamai (AKAM) purchased Cotendo for over $290 million in 2012. From 2007 to 2009, he served as Funambol’s senior vice president of worldwide sales. Under his leadership, the firm grew its network into the world’s largest open-source mobile sync cloud and powered the operations of Sprint, Telecom Italia, NEC, AOL, Samsung, Nokia, and British Telecom. Previously Maeso was the Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing with VitalStream which successfully sold to Internap INAP for $242 million. Then with Packet Design as Vice President of Global Sales, and Speedera. When he joined the latter as vice president of sales, the company was worth approximately $13 million. Two years later, Speedera was purchased by Akamai in a deal that was valued at $800 million within a year.

  • Steve Ruiz

    VP of Human Resources

    Steve Ruiz

    VP of Human Resources

    Steve Ruiz has spent 25 years as a human resources and staffing expert. He will use his experience and contacts to double Ayla’s workforce by next year, and he will help shape Ayla’s company culture as it moves beyond the startup phase.

    Most recently, Ruiz was senior director of human resources at Intel spinoff GainSpan Corporation, a 200-person company that provides ultra low-power Wi-Fi connectivity for the IoT. Before joining GainSpan, Ruiz was senior director of human resources at ZeroG Wireless, a low-power Wi-Fi semiconductor vendor with 50 employees.

    Before that, he ran a successful consulting business offering both human resources and staffing services to start-up companies in the semiconductor industry. His consulting business predated the Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs) that now dominate technology industry human relations services, making Ruiz a true pioneer in his field.

  • Bill Podrasky

    VP of Business Development

    Bill Podrasky

    VP of Business Development

    Bill is a technology industry veteran, with over 20 years in key roles at successful Silicon Valley companies. Prior to joining Ayla Bill was SVP of Business Development at Stream Technologies a global IoT connectivity platform provider. Before Stream Bill was EVP of Global Sales at Electric Imp an IoT cloud and hardware connectivity platform company. Previous to Electric Imp, Bill was Head of Global Business Development at Jasper Wireless a cloud-based IoT/M2M platform provider serving mobile network operators around the world. Before Jasper, Bill was Head of Global Business Development at Danger Inc. (acquired by Microsoft in 2008) a mobile software developer. Prior to Danger, Bill was a Regional Manager at Concentric Network Corporation (acquired by XO Communications in 2000).

  • Mike Merit

    VP of Customer Success

    Mike Merit

    VP of Customer Success

    As the head of the Customer Success Team at Ayla, Mike helps ensure Ayla’s customers get the right resources they need to design, launch and grow successful IoT product lines.  To accomplish this the Customer Success Team engages customer facing resources spanning from customer tech leads to 24/7 customer support to management of our customers strategic growth.

    Mike brings a diverse experience to Ayla, always focused on creating talented client facing teams that help customers succeed with emerging technology.

    Prior to Ayla, Mike was the Chief Evangelist and VP of Customer Success at Kollective the leader in enterprise SaaS provider for software defined networking and live video broadcast solutions for the largest companies on the planet. 

    Before joining Kollective, Mike was an Account Director at cutting-edge interactive agencies like Evolution Bureau and Organic (part of Omnicom) where he worked on amazing brands like Sprint, NetApp and Sephora. 

    Earlier in his career, Mike held product management and client management stints at high tech companies like CNET, NBC Internet and Macroplay.com  

    Mike holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from UC Berkeley and can karaoke Neil Diamond songs upon request.

  • Edith Hsu

    VP of Finance

    Edith Hsu

    VP of Finance

    Edith is a seasoned accounting and finance professional with over 15 years of experience with much of it in the technology sector.  Prior to joining Ayla, Edith was the Senior Director of Accounting and Finance at 99Designs, a leader in graphic design marketplace.  In that role she was responsible for Finance, Payments, and Administration for a global organization with offices in the US, Australia, Germany, and Brazil.  Before 99Designs she led the accounting organization at Adbrite.  Earlier roles also include stops at eBay, Palm, and Arthur Anderson. 

    Edith has a B.A. in Business from the University of Washington, an MBA from Santa Clara University, and is also a CPA in California.  

  • Thomas Clark

    Chief Financial Officer

    Thomas Clark

    Chief Financial Officer

    In more than 20 years as a financial executive, Tom Clark has successfully steered the financial strategies of companies across a variety of industries. Prior to joining Ayla, he was CFO at Openwave Messaging Inc., the market leader in white-label email solutions. Clark orchestrated financial strategies that increased profitability by $30 million in less than 18 months and negotiated the sale of Openwave to Synchronos Technologies.

    Before Openwave, he was director of finance operations for Marlin Equity Partners, a private equity firm, where he focused on acquiring enterprise software companies and managing a portfolio of Marlin-owned companies. Earlier, he served as CFO and managed the worldwide finance operations of CollabNet, a leading provider of enterprise cloud development and agile application life management (ALM) products and services. Before CollabNet, he worked for seven years at ProBusiness Services, now Automatic Data Processing (NYSE:ADP), where he was instrumental in identifying new market opportunities to accelerate top-line financial growth.

     Clark began his career with KPMG LLP, a leading U.S. audit, tax and advisory firm. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in California, and he earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration, with an emphasis in accounting, from Saint Mary’s College of California.

  • Jessica Zhou

    General Counsel

    Jessica Zhou

    General Counsel

    Jessica Zhou brings to Ayla more than 15 years of experience in legal counsel, compliance and helping fast-growing technology companies scale and expand internationally. Prior to joining Ayla, she was general counsel of Weebly Inc., a global SaaS company and leading platform for website creation and management, e-commerce, integrated marketing and data analytics. While there, she drove the company’s worldwide legal and compliance strategy, grew the intellectual property (IP) portfolio, defined the government and regulatory practice, and helped the company expand into new markets.

    Before that, Jessica served as general counsel and chief compliance officer for Canadian Solar Inc. (Nasdaq:CSIQ), one of the world’s largest solar companies, and for Ubiquiti Networks Inc. (Nasdaq:UBNT), a leader in wireless networking and telecommunications. At Canadian Solar, she helped the company successfully scale its worldwide operations, establish multiple new international subsidiaries, raise capital in excess of $500 million from public capital markets, and grow the company’s revenue from $600 million to over $2 billion during her tenure.

    Earlier in her career, Jessica was an attorney at Latham & Watkins LLP, a leading global law firm. She has done a significant number of mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings (IPOs), follow-on offerings and other capital markets transactions, advised public companies in corporate governance and SEC reporting, and represented private companies in venture financings and matters relating to their operations.

     Jessica received her JD degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School and bachelor’s degree from Beijing University.