Oosto says changes reflect macroeconomics, not shift in facial recognition customer focus
A series of personnel changes by Oosto may have more to do with the macroeconomic environment than any shift in focus towards serving governments across the Middle East, Israeli publication Globes reports.
The SoftBank portfolio company has reduced its headcount by 10 of 95 employees, according to the report, but the downsize is notable because of who they are.
Three Vice Presidents, VP of Finance Osnat Levy, VP of AI Mario Savvides and VP of Research Jarno Ralli, along with CMO Dean Nicholls, have all left the company since the start of the year. Savvides is also a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, which Oosto had a partnership with until it was terminated earlier this year, as confirmed to Biometric Update last week. The report confirms information recently shared with Biometric Update by a source. Both the source email and the Globes article suggest the company is targeting government contracts in the Middle East region.
Oosto has also won new contracts to deploy facial recognition for customers in Dubai and Qatar, according to Globes.
Back when it was known as AnyVision, Oosto navigated controversy over the alleged use of facial recognition in the West Bank, after which it spun off its defense-oriented business in a joint venture with Rafael.
Globes states that several companies SoftBank is invested in have made significant management changes over the past several months, as the Japanese financial and internet services giant copes with recent financial losses.
“The company has made a number of changes in its workforce to adapt to macroeconomic trends, just as many other companies have done,” Oosto told Globes in a statement. “At the same time, the company did not change its areas of focus, including the markets and customers it addresses, which include, among others, financial institutions, ports, entities in the field of hospitality, and more. The company has not established any new security activities. SoftBank is an important and significant investor in the company, which invested in the company in 2021. The company is under the management of Avi Golan, who has served as CEO since November 2020.”