It’s an exciting day at Lytro – we have appointed a new fearless leader! Jason Rosenthal joins us as CEO, bringing with him a treasure trove of strong operations, product strategy and engineering expertise. Jason developed a passion for visual storytelling at an early age when he started making stop motion animation films with his Dad’s super 8 camera and spent hours trying to recreate the attack on the Death Star scene from Star Wars in his back yard. Later in life, he worked on some of the earliest immersive 3D attractions at industry pioneer Iwerks Entertainment. As a photography enthusiast himself and as an early customer of the Lytro camera, Jason will help Lytro continue marching down the path of revolutionizing photography.
Jason comes to Lytro with more than 20 years of experience at important companies that helped shape tech history. He’s held leadership positions at HP, Opsware (formerly Loudcloud), AOL and Netscape. He also served as CEO of social media pioneer Ning, which was acquired by Glam Media. Jason joins Lytro from Silver Lake, a global technology investment firm, where he was an Operating Executive.
We are excited about where Jason’s talents will take us…and the future of light field technology. And we extend our deepest thanks to Charles Chi, who served as our interim CEO during our search for Jason and who will stay deeply involved and remain on our board of directors, representing Greylock Partners. Our founder and former CEO Ren Ng, who has transitioned to Lytro’s executive chairman, continues to focus his energies on the product roadmap and helping us advance light field science.
In 2006, I started this company with the goal of bringing my PhD on light field cameras out of the research lab and into the hands of everyday photographers. Lytro achieved that goal this year when we started shipping the Lytro camera to consumers. The last two years have been a very exciting and dramatic period of growth for Lytro. We launched the company out of stealth, raised approximately $50M, grew a team of over 80 people, and shipped a truly revolutionary product. The most rewarding part for me has been to finally see everyday people shooting their own light field pictures out in the world. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve and grow as CEO with this amazing team.
With these major milestones behind us, we have entered a new chapter for Lytro. I have decided to step aside as CEO and take on a new role that will let me concentrate on innovation as Executive Chairman. I will remain a full-time employee, 100% focused on Lytro. In my new role I will shift attention from day-to-day operations, to focus again on product vision, technology, and strategic direction for the company. I am very excited to have the opportunity to focus on these areas where I am most passionate.
Charles Chi will be taking over as interim CEO. Charles has been our Executive Chairman for the last two years, by my side every day, and he has perfect knowledge about the business. He is a close friend, and I am grateful to him for serving in this critical role of running day-to-day operations and giving me the opportunity to focus on my passions. I know that he will do an outstanding job.
And we are searching for a permanent CEO to take Lytro into the future! We are looking for a leader with the talent to amplify what we’ve started, the experience to lead our talented and ambitious team, and a desire to transform photography in profound and lasting ways.
Founder and Executive Chairman of Lytro