Like many Canadian tech companies, Untether AI started 2024 with a new CEO. Why is that?
“To compete in any field of technology, and especially AI, you have to be global.”Chris Walker
Ask new CEO Chris Walker, and you won’t get a clear answer on how things went down at the company—the best I got on this week’s podcast was a “happy convergence” of asking for and being asked to take the job—but you will get one on why he came out of retirement to join Untether.
A former Intel VP with just under 30 years of experience (!) at the company, Walker retired in 2022, only to join Untether AI as president a year later. Why?
Because in his 30-plus year career, Walker has seen a variety of tech transformations, each of which offered big rewards for those who found themselves on the winning side. Today, he sees multiple tech transformations colliding at once. The current AI market is both emergent and convergent.
So what does Walker bring to the party? Along with new board director and senior technical advisor Amir Salek (ex-Google and Nvidia), experience with commercialization and scale.
But commercialization and scale are historical sore points for Canadian hardware companies, and require a significant amount of capital—just ask Untether AI’s former CEO.
Walker acknowledges on the podcast that the company will need to raise additional capital (worth noting that the ex-CEO of CPPIB—an investor in the company—just launched a $500-million USD AI growth fund). But he’s also clear that Untether AI, with its novel at-memory computing architecture, isn’t going after the whole pie, just little slices—each of which is a multibillion-dollar market.
Can Untether AI successfully embrace its “scaling moment?”
Let’s dig in.
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