Tech billionaire Romesh Wadhwani has been spending his time over the last four years working in a third–or, more accurately, an additional–but not the only one: building SymphonyAI’s operations. SymphonyAI is an enterprise AI company targeting retail, consumer goods manufacturing, financial services, and manufacturing. In turn, a subsidiary venture, ConcertAI, focused on the life sciences and healthcare. This morning, Wadhwani is 74 years old and informs Forbeshe’s going to step down as the CEO of SymphonyAI in favor of Sanjay Dhawan, the chief executive officer of the Clarence, a publicly-traded company for automotive AI. Clarence until the end of last month. Wadhwani is expected to remain chairman. The shift in the top of the pyramid, which is the culmination of the series of managerial changes, which include an interim CFO and new CTO, is part of the considerations for the following public offer.
“A lot is dependent on the market conditions. This is an opportunity that we would like to think about and be prepared for.”
Wadhwani, the Indian native and a Carnegie Mellon Ph.D. who is worth $3.5 billion in the estimation of Forbes, according to Forbes, came in the U.S. to do his Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon with less than $2.50 in his wallet. ” he said to Forbes in an online interview five years back. “It was never an easy journey. I’ve had to overcome thousands and thousands of challenges throughout my business career.”
He made his fortune by selling B2B software company Aspect Development for $9.3 billion in shares in 1999 to i2 Technologies in 1999. He built his private equity company Symphony Technology Group into a formidable portfolio. However, in 2017, after stepping from the position of Chief Executive Officer for Symphony Technology Group and at an age that many people might be contemplating retiring, he decided to launch Los Altos, California-based SymphonyAI. The time was when breakthroughs in cloud computing and massive data sets had led to an explosion in artificial intelligence-related startups and applications. Wadhwani has publicly stated that he will invest $1 billion of his fortune to grow the business, but it’s not yet time to make that investment.
Wadhwani states that SymphonyAI revenues in the last year amounted to 220 million (with ConcertAI adding another $130 million) and are projected to reach $300 million by the end of the coming year (with an additional $200 million to ConcertAI). He also notes that his overall company AI business, which includes SymphonyAI, currently run by Dhawan, as well as ConcertAI, where an executive in the field of life sciences, as well as shareholder Jeff Elton, is CEO, is more than C3.ai, which fellow billionaire tech Tom Siebel founded.
SymphonyAI’s major corporate customers are looking to get an advantage using its technology. For example, in the retail sector, supermarket giant Albertson’s uses SymphonyAI to monitor its items and forecast future demand. In the manufacturing industry, customers like Cargill and 3M depend on it to enhance the efficiency of their processes and equipment. As for banking, banks (that Wadhwani declines to name) are turning to technology to combat money laundering. To expand the number of companies that comprise SymphonyAI, Wadhwani has made several acquisitions, such as industrial IoT company Savigent (in 2020) and AyasdiAI which is a partnership with banks and various banks (in 2019, in).
Dhawan was 58 years old. He was previously with Wadhwani as the CEO at Symphony Teleca, one of the Symphony Technology Group companies, before its sale to Harman for $830 million in 2015. Clarence later spun off the company away from Nuance to become a publicly-traded company in the year. So the abrupt demise of Clarence (market size $3.1 billion) in mid-December was unexpected to markets.
“Approaching 300 million dollars in revenues is only an initial goal for us. There are enormous opportunities for AI change that I imagine for the next 10-years.”
The company announced in December that SymphonyAI announced Vijay Raghavendra. He was the former CTO and co-founder of the real-time intelligence platform Inkiru, which was purchased from Walmart in 2013 as its CTO. SymphonyAI also announced Wayne Kimber, previously senior vice director of finance at
Malwarebytes has joined as its new CFO.