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Georgia Tech, WHEN Group, and Okta add biometrics, cybersecurity, brand expertise

Expanding technical and marketing teams
Categories Biometrics News  |  Trade Notes
Georgia Tech, WHEN Group, and Okta add biometrics, cybersecurity, brand expertise

It was an eventful week for the appointment of biometric and marketing talents to new positions. The School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at Georgia Tech has hired voice biometrics pioneer Larry Heck, and Dr. August Hanning has been appointed by WHEN Group as a member of its Advisory Board. Also, Okta has hired John Zissimos as its new Chief Digital Officer (CDO).

Larry Heck joins ECE to advance voice biometrics

Larry Heck has joined the ECE team as a Professor, Rhesa ‘Ray’ S. Farmer Chair, and a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar.

The academic has served on the ECE advisory board since 2013, almost 30 years after earning M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Georgia Tech.

Heck‘s graduate and doctoral studies focused on artificial intelligence, speech and language processing. He led the creation of Windows’ Cortana and has in the past three decades contributed to substantial advancements in the field of voice biometrics, including the development of the technology that eventually became Nuance Verifier.

According to Raheem Beyah, dean of Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering and Southern Company chair, Heck will now reportedly advance those fields further by “expanding his exploration and by preparing the next generation of leaders.”

WHEN Group appoints Dr. August Hanning to Advisory Board

Hanning is the former director of Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND), and state secretary of the German Federal Interior Ministry.

His appointment to WHEN Group’s Advisory Board will support the company as it expands its portfolio of security monitoring solutions, which include consumer solutions with behavioral analytics.

“I am excited to join a company whose cutting-edge technology positions it as a leader in developing a new generation of cybersecurity technology,” Hanning said, commenting on the news.

“With the constant rise in cyber-attacks and data breaches across the globe, cybersecurity plays a critical role in securing global enterprises and their infrastructure, as well as national governments. I look forward to applying my expertise to drive the Company’s global growth and help position WHEN Group as a world leader in cybersecurity.”

Okta selects John Zissimos as new CDO

Okta has appointed John Zissimos as its first CDO. The executive will be in charge of the digital identity solutions provider’s brand strategy and campaigns and will report to Kendall Collins, Okta’s chief marketing officer.

Before joining Okta, Zissimos worked as a vice president of Creative, Brand, Media, and Customer Programs at Google and chief design officer at Salesforce.

“I’ve long admired the company’s culture, values, and effective method of empowering people and teams,” Zissimos commented.

“In doing so, Okta has become the most trusted platform to secure every identity and I look forward to building on its strong brand foundation to create work that inspires and drives value for customers and workforces worldwide.”

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