Achronix Management Team

Meet the seasoned management team leading Achronix.
Robert Blake Robert Blake, President and Chief Executive Officer

Robert Blake has worked in the semiconductor industry for over 25 years. Prior to Achronix Semiconductor he was the Chief Executive Officer of Octasic Semiconductor based in Montreal, Canada. Mr. Blake worked at Altera in a variety of sales, marketing and general management roles. As Vice President of Product Planning he was responsible for defining Altera’s programmable logic product solutions. He has been developing ASIC and programmable logic for high speed telecom and network applications for over 17 years. Prior to Altera, he worked at LSI Logic and Fairchild where he developed ASIC technology. He holds a MEng. in Business and Microelectronics and BSc. in Applied Physics & Electronics from the University of Durham in England.

Mahesh Karanth Mahesh Karanth, Chief Financial Officer

Mahesh Karanth has more than 30 years of financial experience at multi-national public and private companies. He has a proven track record of financial leadership with considerable experience in IPO, M&A, fund raising, investor relations, business planning and compliance. At Achronix, Karanth oversees all business operations, leading the finance, business operations, human resources, facilities and information services teams. Prior to joining Achronix, Karanth served as CFO of Rockley Photonics, which he took public in 2021. Karanth has also held senior leadership positions at Enlightened, InvenSense, Telsima, Hewlett Packard and Compaq, and he was a partner at Ernst & Young. He holds bachelor's and master’s degrees from Bangalore University. Karanth is a certified public accountant (CPA), chartered accountant (FCA), and company secretary (ACS).

Steve Mensor Steve Mensor, Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Planning

Steve has over 25 years in senior management roles in the FPGA industry. Prior to joining Achronix, Steve was Sr. Director of Marketing at Altera where he was responsible for FPGA Product Marketing, Customer and Channel Marketing, IP Marketing, Strategic Partnerships, and Corporate Marketing. During Steve's tenure at Altera, his contributions and leadership helped Altera grow its revenue from fifty million dollars per year to over two billion dollars per year. Steve holds an MBA from Santa Clara University and a BSEE from UC Santa Barbara.

Pohan Chiang Pohan Chiang, Vice President of Worldwide Sales

Pohan has over 30 years of experience in semiconductor sales across multiple vertical markets and applications. Prior to joining Achronix, Pohan held various senior sales management positions at Marvell, Cavium, QLogic, Vixel, and Western Digital. These positions include Vice President of Worldwide OEM sales, Vice President of Asia Pacific and Japan Sales, and Vice President of Business Development. Most recently, he was the Vice President of Marvell Sales and China Country Manager based in Shanghai where he successfully accelerated the business growth through strategic design wins and market share gain while managing through the integration of multiple acquisitions and divestiture. Pohan holds a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of California, Irvine.

Dr. Virantha Ekanayake Dr. Virantha N. Ekanayake, Founder and Chief Technology Officer

Virantha N. Ekanayake has been developing multi-GHz custom and reprogrammable asynchronous logic for over 12 years. Prior to Achronix, Dr. Ekanayake was an Assistant Professor in the Department of ECE at Johns Hopkins University where he headed the Asynchronous VLSI and Architecture group before joining Achronix full-time in 2006. From high-level system specification to back-end custom and semi-custom circuit design, he has been involved in the reprogrammable fabric design for several FPGAs in advanced nodes ranging from 90nm down to 28nm and 22nm, and has numerous patents and publications in this field. Dr. Ekanayake holds a B.A and B.E. in Electrical Engineering from Dartmouth College, as well as an M.S. and Ph.D. from Cornell University in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Dr. Kamal Choudhary Dr. Kamal Choudhary, Senior Vice President Software Engineering

Recognized as an industry veteran and renowned in the field of FPGA architecture and EDA software, Dr. Choudhary is the Vice President of Software Engineering at Achronix Semiconductor. He has over 14 years of experience in the programmable logic field and holds more than 24 patents in various areas of FPGA hardware, architecture, testing, and software algorithms including placement, mapping and synthesis. Prior to joining Achronix, Dr. Choudhary was a Distinguished Engineer at Xilinx. During his tenure he held numerous R&D positions and played vital roles such as Virtex FPGA Architect and has received numerous awards from Xilinx for his innovation and technical contributions. Before Xilinx he was a Postdoctoral Research Scholar in Electronics Research Lab, University of California at Berkeley focused on performance driven placement, compaction, logic synthesis and other FPGA advancements. Dr. Choudhary holds a Bachelors of Technology in Electrical Engineering and Masters of Technology in Computer Science from the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay, India. He has a Ph.D in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Chris Pelosi Chris Pelosi, Vice President Hardware Engineering

Chris Pelosi has worked in the semiconductor industry for over 15 years, with experience across all aspects of chip development. Prior to joining Achronix, Chris was an engineer at Nvidia, where he worked on the design and verification of next-generation GPUs, and was the post-silicon validation lead for many production devices. Chris joined Achronix in 2008 and has been involved with the design, implementation, and productization of every Achronix FPGA to date, on process nodes ranging from 65nm down to 7nm. Chris holds a B.S. from Cornell University and a M.S. from the University of Michigan, both in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Raymond Nijssen Raymond Nijssen, Vice President and Chief Technologist

Mr. Nijssen has over 20 years of experience in the FPGA and EDA industries in various technical and management positions. Mr. Nijssen joined Achronix as Chief Software Architect to manage the software development group, define the foundations and algorithms of the software system, and architect key aspects of the company’s FPGA architectures. In his current role, he is responsible for the productization of the company’s current products and R&D for new technologies for future products. Prior to Achronix, Mr. Nijssen was at Tabula where he was responsible for placement and timing analysis of a time-multiplexed FPGA technology. Prior to Tabula, he was one of the first engineers at Magma Design Automation, and held multiple leadership positions in charge of routing and placement, data models and customer deployment of Magma’s Blast Plan Pro hierarchy hierarchical virtual prototyping and floorplanning products for very large ASIC designs. Mr. Nijssen received his MSEE degree from Eindhoven University of Technology in The Netherlands, and after that followed its postgraduate program studying EDA for VLSI. He holds several patents related to P&R and asynchronous circuit technologies.

Randolf Jurrat Randolf Jurrat, Vice President of Operations

Mr. Jurrat is responsible for all aspects of manufacturing and delivery of Achronix products. He brings over 20 years experience in New Product Introduction (NPI) engineering, global supply chain management, supplier relationships, import/export compliance, logistics as well as product- and reliability engineering. He also leads the quality organization driving continuous improvement to the highest quality standards for design, manufacture, training, measurement, post-sale customer support and reliability engineering. Mr. Jurrat joined Achronix in 2008 after serving in a variety of process manufacturing technology, supply chain management, manufacturing and product and test engineering and quality management positions most recently at ChipX, Infineon and Siemens Automotive. He holds a M.S. in Electrical and Microsystems Engineering from the University of Applied Sciences in Regensburg, Germany and Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado.