Valens, the developer of high-speed connectivity technology for the audio-video and automotive markets, and its Board of Directors announced today that Dr. Peter Mertens has been appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors. Gideon Ben-Zvi, who has been the company’s Interim CEO since February 2020, has now been appointed as the company’s official CEO.
“While Valens is leading significant progress in several different markets, its innovative approach to solve the challenges in the automotive industry is what steered me to accept the position of Chairman of the Board,” said Dr. Peter Mertens. “Valens’ groundbreaking technology will be an important enabler for the fully connected and autonomous car. I am excited to be part of this journey.”
Peter brings more than 35 years of experience in the automotive industry, having held senior positions with major OEMs, including CTO at Volvo Cars for six years, General Motors Global Line Executive for eight years, various management positions at Mercedes Benz, and member of the Board of Management of Audi AG, responsible for Technical Development and Design. Peter also served as member of the Board of Directors of several companies, such as Polestar SE, Zenuety SE, Audi Sport GmbH, Audi China, Volkswagen Financial Service, Recogni Inc. and Faurecia. He is the founding Chairman of AID/Argo AI Europe, one of the most advanced supplier of autonomous driving technology.
“In the two months as Interim CEO, the Valens’ team impressed me deeply with its talents and capabilities, which I see as the basis for the company’s success and remarkable potential for growth,” said Gideon Ben-Zvi. “I welcome this appointment as the company’s CEO, and I am excited to lead Valens towards extraordinary achievements during these exciting and innovative times. I am grateful for having Peter join us as Chairman of the Board, a true testament of his faith in the company and its technology, and I look forward to his contribution to our success.”
Gideon is a serial entrepreneur, having founded four companies, with three successful exits so far. He has previously served as CEO in different companies and is currently engaged as partner in Aviv Venture Capital, one of Valens’ investors. Gideon has also been active as an angel investor over the years. He has been an active member of the Valens’ Board of Directors since 2011, and as such is deeply familiar with the company and its business.
These appointments are strategically well-timed, as Valens is significantly expanding its position both in the audio-video and automotive markets. In the past year, the company’s leading technology has been chosen as the base for the MIPI® Alliance’s A-PHY standard for in-vehicle connectivity. Valens’ first MIPI A-PHY-compliant products will be available by H1 2021. In addition, Valens has engaged in several strategic partnerships with leading OEMs and Tier-1s, and its first automotive chipsets are currently being embedded in Daimler’s cars. In the audio-video business, the company has recently released Stello, its third-generation product family. The Stello family is the first chipset ever to enable long-distance, uncompressed distribution of HDMI 2.0 (4K@60 4:4:4), which further advances its leading position in this market.