BrainChip appoints former Exar CEO to lead company

October 10, 2016 // By Peter Clarke
Lou DiNardo
Louis DiNardo, formerly CEO of Exar Corp. has been appointed CEO of BrainChip Holdings Ltd., a company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and the parent of BrainChip Inc. (Aliso Viejo, Calif.).

DiNardo replaces company founder Peter Van Der Made, who has been serving as interim CEO. Van Der Made now returns to the CTO role where he oversees the development of the company's Spiking Neuron Adaptive Processor (SNAP) neuromorphic computation hardware.


Peter Van Der Made, founder and CTO of BrainChip.

The SNAP technology has the ability to autonomously learn and associate information and differs from many forms of machine learning that require extensive training before being able to operate with real-world information. BrainChip Inc. was included in v17.1 of the Silicon 60. EE Times' list of emerging semiconductor and electronics companies (see EE Times Silicon 60: 2016's Emerging Companies to Watch ).

DiNardo has a track record both in the management of technology businesses but also in venture capital. He is currently a board member of NYSE-listed Quantum Corp. and Conexant, a privately held fabless semiconductor company based in California, USA.

Previous to this appointment DiNardo served as CEO of Exar Corp. here he helped achieve 16 consecutive quarters of revenue and earnings-per-share growth (see CEO interview: Exar's 'reboot' almost done, says DiNardo ).

Prior to Exar, Mr DiNardo served as a partner at Crosslink Capital from 2008 to 2012 and as the managing director at Vantage Point Venture Partners from 2007 to 2008. DiNardo was also CEO of Xicor Corp. from 2001 to 2004 when it was taken over by Intersil and he held senior positions there before becoming president and COO.

DiNardo will be paid an annual salary of US$400,000 plus options covered by the company's long-term incentive plan. These options include 50 million shares exercisable at A$0.225. A quarter of these shares will vest each year over four years. DiNardo also receives rights to 2 million shares based on achieving certain milestones in funding, licensing and sales agreements. Under the above arrangements, 55.8 percent of Mr DiNardo’s options and performance rights will be "at risk" the company said.