- By Alex Gaw
- February 11, 2022
Priya Vijayarajendran, the prominent artificial intelligence (AI) executive who led data and artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives at Microsoft, is joining ASAPP as chief technology officer (CTO) effective March 1.
At ASAPP, Vijayarajendran will join an executive team that includes Ryan McDonald, ASAPP chief scientist, and Tim Stone, who holds concurrent positions at ASAPP as chief operating officer (COO) and chief financial officer (CFO). Both were hired during the past year from high-profile jobs elsewhere—McDonald as research scientist from Google, and Stone as CFO from Ford.
ASAPP founder and CEO Gustavo Sapoznik expressed delight at the prospect of Vijayarajendran joining his team. “At ASAPP, we believe that everything we do is a result of the people we have on our team. Given that the vast majority of our people work in our technology team, the individual leading that team serves a critically important role,” Sapoznik said. “I’m thrilled to have Priya, who has a tremendous amount of experience leading teams that build transformational software, join our team as our new CTO.”
Passion at the Core
Vijayarajendran is currently vice president of Microsoft’s Worldwide Data and AI Business, a division that consists of Microsoft’s Azure Data, AI/Machine Learning, Internet of Things (IoT), and SQL Server products. In her present capacity, Vijayarajendran is responsible for driving the end-to-end business, sales, partner, and go-to market strategy and product leadership across Microsoft’s worldwide commercial business and global sales and marketing organization. She also manages the data and AI global blackbelt teams at Microsoft. Prior to her work at Microsoft, Vijayarajendran spent nearly 17 years at German enterprise resource software (ERP) behemoth SAP.
In making the move to ASAPP, Vijayarajendran is profuse with her thanks for Microsoft and says she is leaving with a “treasure chest of memories and lessons.” At the same time, the new work that awaits her at ASAPP fills her with excitement, as she returns to her engineering roots.
“I am a firm believer in pursuing one’s passion and beliefs,” Vijayarajendran said. “I am a technologist at heart and passionately believe in artificial intelligence that is designed to augment human capabilities. The opportunity to lead engineering as ASAPP CTO provides the challenge again to build something that I know is going to make a lasting impact on the future of work.”
ASAPP: AI as Foundation for Research
Headquartered in New York City, ASAPP is an AI-research-based firm focused on CX. The privately held organization offers a customer experience platform (CXP) that gathers insights on the optimal way agents assist customers and offers automation across any channel. The company lays emphasis on AI, leveraging AI-native technology, machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP), and self-learning engines.
Since its founding in 2014, the company has attracted additional financing from various notable investors, including John Doerr, March Capital, JC2 Ventures, Fidelity Investments, Dragoneer Investment Group, and Telstra Ventures. Last year, the research firm announced partnerships with global consulting firm EY and digital outsourcing services provider TaskUs, while also cementing deals with DISH Network, JetBlue, and American Airlines.
The most recent infusion of new capital for ASAPP came in May 2021 during a Series C funding round, which raised $180 million. ASAPP total funding today stands at approximately $400 million.
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