I have been thinking a lot recently about what I’m actually good at. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes it’s not so easy to have the kind of self-awareness to know what these are.
One of the things I’ve consistently done well in my career is find, recruit, fund, and motivate exceptional people who want to build awesome world-changing stuff, like quantum computers, robots, and embodied AI.
The title of this post is sometimes attributed to Vinod Khosla. But it’s also been a central belief of mine pretty much since I started my career many, many, (many) years ago.
A company is both a set of people and a cult-like super-organism formed of those people. Those two things (the talents of the individual people and the culture of the organization) are different. But they both depend primarily on people. Technology, products, markets, and other things companies tend to dwell on are a derivative of the people in the company. If you have the right people doing the right things then you will likely be successful. Even if your mission is to be the first to build human-like intelligence. I think that perhaps the reason I’ve been successful in my career is because I am good at this part of company building.
Obviously, as a company grows, ‘the right people doing the right things’ requires evolving the team, as the things you need to do to be successful change. At Sanctuary, we are going through a phase of company growth that is both exhilarating and challenging — moving from initial development of prototypes and proof of concept systems to deploying them in customer environments, and then scaling into those environments.
We got to this point in a new category (AI-enabled General Purpose Robots) because we were able to assemble a collection of world-class superstars, including people who have founded, run, and exited from important deep tech businesses, young undiscovered talent, and world class executives who have left some of the largest companies in the world — Amazon, Dyson, HP, IBM, Microsoft, and Samsung — to join our mission.
But now we face new challenges as Sanctuary GPRs attempt to solve real world problems for our customers. It is astronomically awesome to be able to deploy and scale this type of technology into the real world. But that awesomeness comes with very different kinds of problems to overcome. To take on those challenges, I am pleased to announce that both Matt Meeks and Vincent Clerc have joined us. Matt joins us as VP of Customer Experience, and will be responsible for designing and running our Customer Experience processes. Vince joins as VP of Hardware and Manufacturing, and takes on responsibility for those parts of the organization as we scale.
Matt Meeks, VP of Customer Experience
Matt Meeks joined Sanctuary as VP of Customer Experience in Spring 2023, bringing more than two decades of experience in team building and organizational leadership. His decorated career spans military operations, robotics, automation, and customer enablement. In his role, Matt manages customer experience initiatives and leads the deployments of Sanctuary's AI technology to customer sites.
Previously, Matt was the Senior Systems Lifecycle Manager for Robotic Fulfillment and Managed Customer Success at Amazon Robotics. There, he enhanced Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), system performance, and productivity, contributing to a 4X increase in the Global Robotics customer base over two years.
Matt excels in dynamic environments and is devoted to the development of people and teams. He holds an MS in Systems Engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School and a BS from Georgia State University. Outside of work, Matt enjoys time with family and friends, snowboarding, golf, and classic sports cars.
Vincent Clerc, VP of Hardware and Manufacturing
Vincent Clerc joined the Sanctuary team as VP of Hardware and Manufacturing in the summer of 2023. Vincent uses his expertise to lead the company’s growing manufacturing division, with responsibilities that include overseeing hardware development associated with the manufacturing and scaling of the company’s general-purpose robots. For over 25 years, Vincent has played a pivotal role in the growth of many successful technology companies of varying sizes, including Dyson, Softbank Group, and Terramera. Vincent has held senior roles in engineering, R&D, and mechatronics and is widely known for being one of the makers of Pepper, a semi-humanoid robot primarily used for customer service experiences, while the Nao and Romeo humanoid robots have also been released under his supervision.
Vincent holds a dual Ph.D. in Robotics and Signal Processing from Pierre and Marie Curie University (now a part of the Sorbonne University group) and a Dual Master’s in Mechanics and Electronics from ESME-Sudria. He is currently a board member of the Industrial Advisory Board for SFU Mechatronics School of Engineering and, in his spare time, enjoys outdoor activities, martial arts, and anything sci-fi related.
As Sanctuary pushes toward mission success, the types of job openings we have are expanding into new fields. Please visit sanctuary.ai/careers/ to see all of our current openings and follow us on LinkedIn. For a deep dive into the happenings at Sanctuary, please tune into the Sanctuary AI Ground Truth podcast, hosted by Suzanne and me.
Co-Founder and CEO
Sanctuary AI is on a mission to create the world’s first human-like intelligence in general-purpose robots that will help us work more safely, efficiently, and sustainably, helping to address the labor challenges facing many organizations today. Sanctuary AI's growing list of customers and investors represents a wide variety of industries across Canada, the U.S., and other countries around the world.
Join us and work with world leaders in the fields of artificial intelligence, cognition, and robotics—all working together toward a common goal. Visit our careers page to learn more.