Thalmic Labs has picked up some heavyweight senior talent in its quest to bring the MYO gesture control armband device to market. Both are ex-BlackBerry, and both bring a lot of experience in the management of a consumer devices company, and in the supply chain for producing said devices.
Thalmic’s newest employees are Mike Galbraith, former SVP of Operations at BlackBerry, and David Perston, former Senior Director of New Product Introduction Outsourcing at the smartphone-maker. Galbraith becomes CFO of MYO, and Perston takes on a role as VP of Manufacturing. Given that arguably the two biggest challenges facing hardware startups are working out finances and managing the supply chain and production process, having some folks with experience in those roles is likely a good thing.
Galbraith comes direct from BlackBerry, which is just the most recent example of corporate shake-up and high-level departures at BlackBerry. BlackBerry just lost three executives last week, in fact, according to a report from the CBC confirmed by the company. As Chris reported at the time, BlackBerry seemed to be framing the departures as part of its aggressive reorganization and turnaround plan, but the recent announcement that it’s looking for suitors as well as considering going private offers good reason to believe top talent is leaving of its own volition.
“What really attracted me to Thalmic Labs was the innovative solution that Stephen, Aaron and Matthew are creating that has the potential to take human computer interaction to a whole new level,” Galbraith offered when asked why he chose Thalmic for his next destination. “I firmly believe there are boundless opportunities with MYO’s unique position within the dynamic wearable computing space. I was also impressed with Stephen, Aaron and Matthew’s vision for MYO and beyond, in developing integrated solutions to enhance how we engage with things in our world.”
Perston, who left BlackBerry back in 2011 after nearly 15 years at the company, said that his “first love is startups” and cited the team and the product itself as his main motivation for joining. In both cases, it seems clear that Thalmic has gained from BlackBerry’s misfortunes of late.
The new hires and rapid growth of the Thalmic team, which is on track to surpass 50 employees by the end of the year, reflects the unintended bounty that could befall the Kitchener-Waterloo region as BlackBerry continues to struggle. It’s likely there will be a lot of talent injected into the market for the growing startup scene in the area to take advantage of, and that’s something investors are taking note of.