Kairos replaces founder Brian Brackeen as CEO
The company has replaced Brackeen, who founded Kairos in 2012 with Melissa Doval, who joined Kairos as a consultant in May, and became CFO In June. Doval will take over as interim CEO.
Steve O’Hara, chairman of the Kairos board, said, “The Board sees tremendous growth opportunities on the horizon for Kairos and we felt like now was the right time for leadership change. With Doval at the helm, we expect the entire talented Kairos team to remain on its path of industry-leading innovation and growth as we evaluate candidates for the permanent CEO position.”
The board has tasked Doval with managing the company’s day-to-day operations until a permanent chief executive is appointed, as well as supporting the overall strategic vision of steady continual growth.
“Although Brian was the face of the company, there is still a team that is essentially the heartbeat of the company,” Doval told the Herald in a phone interview. “We’re working tirelessly to continue business as usual.”
“The company I founded is trying to remove me as the CEO,” Brackeen said in an email to the Herald. “This is a delicate time for all of those involved, including the management, employees, and investors. While I disagree strongly with this action, there is not much more I can share publicly. My legal counsel has instructed me not to speak about this matter at this time. The truth from me will follow in due course.”
Kairos acquired startup EmotionReader earlier this year to expand its IP opportunities and support the refinement of its algorithms. At the time, Brackeen said that he expected Kairos’ token sale to raise close to $30 million by the end of Q3, but the last dated update to the page for the ICO on the company’s website seems to be for the generation of tokens on July 31. The first $10 million portion of the offering is closed, and the rest was also due to close on July 31, but the status of the process in unclear.
Brackeen has also been an outspoken advocate for limitations on the use of facial recognition by law enforcement, and under his leadership Kairos declined to provide its technology to police body camera maker Axon, according to a June report.
This article was updated at 10:53 EDT October 3, 2018 with a statement from the chairman of the Kairos board and more information on Doval’s expanded role at the company.