Velodyne, a leading manufacturer of lidar laser sensors, announced that CEO Anand Gopalan would be stepping down. The news comes as the sensor company has been embroiled in a bitter war between its founder, David Hall, and the company’s board of directors.
Gopalan, who previously served as Velodyne’s chief technology officer before taking the reins from Hall in January 2020, is stepping down as both CEO and a member of the board effective July 30th, the company said.
But rather than name a replacement, Velodyne is setting up something called “Office of the Chief Executive” comprised of several members of the company’s leadership team, including chief operating officer Jim Barnhart, chief financial officer Drew Hamer, head of human resources Kathy McBeath, and chief commercial officer Sinclair Vass. The move may be temporary, though, as the board is also retaining an executive search firm to find a replacement for Gopalan.
For the last several months, Velodyne has been a company at war with itself. In April, the board ousted Hall as chair of the company’s board, and his wife, Marta Thoma Hall, as its chief marketing officer, citing “inappropriate behavior” by the couple. Marta Hall remains a member of Velodyne’s board of directors, while David Hall resigned his position on March 2nd.