Tasktop Technologies has assembled a leadership team that combines excellence in technical leadership and technology company management experience.
Mik Kersten, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder
Dr. Mik Kersten is the CEO of Tasktop Technologies, creator of the Eclipse Mylyn open source project and inventor of the task-focused interface. At Tasktop, Mik sets the strategic direction of the company as well as drives many of Tasktop's key partnerships and key customers accounts. He also is very active in maintaining the company culture and values. As a research scientist at Xerox PARC, Mik implemented the first aspect-oriented programming tools for AspectJ. He created Mylyn and the task-focused interface during his PhD in Computer Science at the University of British Columbia. Mik has been an Eclipse committer since 2002, is a 3-time elected member of the Eclipse Board of Directors and serves on the Eclipse Architecture Council. Mik's thought leadership on task-focused collaboration and improving the software economy makes him a popular speaker at software conferences, and he was voted a JavaOne Rock Star speaker in 2008 and 2009. Mik has also been recognized as one of the top ten IBM developerWorks Java technology writers of the decade. He enjoys building tools that offload our brains and make it easier to get creative work done. Follow @mik_kersten on Twitter.
Neelan Choksi, President and Chief Operating Officer
Neelan Choksi is Tasktop's President & COO overseeing sales, solutions, marketing, finance, and business development, helping Tasktop get its innovations into the hands of those who need it the most. Choksi is also a mentor at Capital Factory, an Austin-based incubator. Choksi also serves as a trustee at TechGirlz, a non-profit working to get adolescent girls excited about technology. Neelan has extensive technology management experience and recently served as the Chief Operating Officer of Lexcycle, the company behind Stanza, which became the most popular ebook reader for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch. Lexcycle was acquired by Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) in 2009. Prior to Lexcycle, Neelan served as the COO of SpringSource, the venture backed open source infrastructure software company behind the Spring Framework. SpringSource was acquired by VMware (NYSE: VMW) in 2009. Before joining SpringSource, Neelan served as co-founder and President of SolarMetric, a leading object relational mapping provider, which was acquired by BEA Systems (NASDAQ: BEAS) in 2005. At BEA, Neelan was instrumental in the open sourcing of the acclaimed object/relational mapping tool Kodo as OpenJPA. Prior to SolarMetric, Neelan worked for Andersen Consulting Strategic Services (NYSE: ACN) and Exxon Research & Engineering (NYSE: XOM). Neelan is a graduate of MIT (and was part of the often-publicized MIT Blackjack team) and holds graduate degrees from Stevens Institute of Technology and the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. Follow @neelan on Twitter.
Gail Murphy, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Science Officer, and Co-Founder
Dr. Gail Murphy is a leading researcher on software evolution and tools. She brings to Tasktop her years of experience as a software developer and as the principal investigator of a large research group. In recognition of her research, Gail has been a keynote speaker at several software engineering conferences and has also received both national awards, such as the NSERC Steacie fellowship, and international awards, such as the AITO Dahl-Nygaard Junior Prize, a University of Washington College of Engineering Diamond Award and an ACM Distinguished Scientist award. She also holds an appointment as a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia where she works on human-oriented software development tools to make software developers more efficient and effective.
Dave West, Chief Product Officer
Dave West is the Chief Product Officer at Tasktop. In this capacity, he engages with customers and partners to drive Tasktop's product roadmap and market positioning. As a member of the company's executive management team, he also is instrumental in building Tasktop into a transformative business that is driving major improvements in the software industry. As one of the foremost industry experts on software development and deployment, West has helped advance many modern software development processes, including Agile and Lean methodologies, process improvement, and project and requirements management. He is a frequent keynote at major industry conferences and is a widely published author of articles and research reports, along with his acclaimed book: Head First Object-Oriented Analysis and Design, that helped define new software modeling and application development processes. West's experience includes traditional and object-oriented development for enterprise applications and executive consulting, where he implemented new development processes and tools for IT organizations in Europe and North America. He led the development of the Rational Unified Process (RUP) for IBM/Rational, later adding componentization, SPEMM and support for Agile development. He also managed the development of IBM solutions to support efficiencies in the financial services, product development and government industry sectors. After IBM/Rational, West returned to consulting and managed Ivar Jacobson Consulting for North America. During the past four years he served as vice president, research director at Forrester Research, where he worked with leading IT organizations and solutions providers to define, drive and advance major Agile-based methodology breakthroughs in the enterprise. West holds a B.A. in computing and business from Huddersfield University in the UK and a M.Sc. in computer science from Southbank University (UK).
Richard McKern, Vice President, Sales
Richard brings extensive experience in building sales and sales organizations for enterprise software companies from the ground up. At Tasktop, Richard manages Tasktop's direct sales team and is actively involved in many of Tasktop's key accounts. Most recently, he served as Regional Director Eastern North American Sales for SpringSource, the open source infrastructure software company behind the Spring Framework, which was acquired by VMware (NYSE: VMW) in 2009. Prior to SpringSource, Richard served as Vice President of Sales for SolarMetric, a leading object relational mapping provider, which was acquired by BEA Systems (NASDAQ: BEAS) in 2005. At BEA he grew product revenue by over 200%. Prior to SolarMetric, Richard was Director of Strategic Sales for OPNET Technologies (NASDAQ: OPNT) where he saw the company through their 2000 IPO (cited as Ninth Best IPO of 2000 by ipo.com). A member of the MIT Blackjack team, Richard graduated from MIT with Bachelor of Science degrees in both Chemical Engineering and Science Journalism.
David Green, Vice President, Engineering
David Green is Vice President of Engineering at Tasktop Technologies. Prior to Tasktop, David was a founding member of MAKE Technologies where he held the positions of CTO, Vice President of Technology and Principal Tools Architect. At MAKE David pioneered a model-driven approach to legacy modernization on the Eclipse platform, integrating business requirements, semantic code generation and data transformation. David is an Eclipse committer, and creator of Mylyn WikiText, a framework and tools for integrating wiki formatting into the Eclipse platform. David is well known for his widely read blog Green's Opinion, apps for iPhone and Android, and speaking engagements at conferences such as JavaOne and EclipseCon.
Brian Barry, Board Member
Brian Barry is currently CEO of Bedarra Research Labs (www.bedarra.com) and CTO of Open Health Tools (www.openhealthtools.org). From 1991-2002 he served variously as Chief Scientist, CEO, President and CTO at Object Technology International, Inc. Under his leadership OTI developed the Eclipse Platform, the IBM VisualAge family of products and the virtual machine technology underlying IBM Websphere. He was a cofounder of both the Eclipse Foundation and Open Health Tools.
Dr. Barry has over 25 years of experience in the design and implementation of component-based and object-oriented systems. He has published a number of research papers and articles on a wide variety of technical subjects, including simulation, OO applications, systems integration, embedded systems and software engineering, and is a frequent speaker on software technology. He has served on the Program Committees for software conferences such as OOPSLA, ECOOP, AOSD, Software Composition, and Agile Development, was a co-author of the ANSI Smalltalk standard, and actively participates in a research review boards and committees. He holds a Ph.D. from Queen's University.
Stephen Smith, Board Advisor
Stephen has over twenty years of experience in information technology as a programmer, project manager, and technology licensing manager. He has been involved in company start-ups, financing and acquisitions. Stephen co-founded Webnames.ca in 2000 where he continues to serve as CEO and Chair of the Board. Stephen also founded Flintbox in 2003, which became an international resource used by technology transfer professionals to commercialize university research. Flintbox was sold to Wellspring International in 2010. Stephen was a co founder of New Media BC, was a finalist in the Ernst & Young's 2005 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards for Information Technology in the Pacific Region, was a recipient of Business in Vancouver`s Top 40 Under 40 Award for Outstanding Achievement (2005) and received an exceptional innovation award from CIPA in 2007. Stephen is on the board at Paragon Testing Enterprises, is a board observer at Tasktop Technologies and is active with AceTech. He has acted as a mentor and judge to new entrepreneurs in the New Ventures BC Program since 2006.
Rod Johnson, Board Advisor
Rod Johnson is currently a Senior Vice President at VMware. Rod is the creator of the influential Spring Framework and co-founder of SpringSource, where he served as CEO until its acquisition by VMware in 2009. Rod has over 15 years technology, management and business experience. Rod is one of the world's leading authorities on Java development. His "Expert One-on-One J2EE Design and Development" (2002) was one of the most influential books ever published on enterprise Java and the sequel, "J2EE without EJB" (2004, with Juergen Hoeller) completed laying out the vision for modern enterprise Java. Rod is a thought leader on open source development and business models, and a popular speaker at conferences around the world. Rod holds a BA with Honors in Computer Science, Mathematics and Musicology as well as a PhD from the University of Sydney.