The Avalanche leadership team is comprised of seasoned veterans with an extensive track record of developing, manufacturing and marketing revolutionary memory and storage technologies and generating billions of dollars in revenue. Many of the most successful companies in the industry are represented, including Lexar, Micron, NetApp and Seagate. The team has amassed more than 300 patents in storage, memory, architectures and controllers.
Petro Estakhri – CEO/President/Founder/Director
Petro Estakhri co-founded and has served as Chief Executive Officer for Avalanche Technology since August 2006. Previously, Estakhri served as the Chief Technology Officer and chairman of Lexar Media, Inc. which he founded in 1996. Lexar Media was a pioneer in flash memory technology for the digital photography, consumer electronics, and communications markets. It grew from a private startup to the 55th largest company in Silicon Valley prior to its acquisition by Micron Technology, Inc. in June 2006. Prior to that, Estakhri served as the Senior Director of Mass Storage Controller Engineering at Cirrus Logic, Inc after cofounding the group and held leadership positions at IBM and National Semiconductor. Estakhri has served on several Boards, including SiliconStor, a company that Estakhri cofounded in 2002 which was sold to LSI, Apixio Inc. a Health Services provider which was sold to Centene corporation, primaryio Inc. Hybrid Cloud Management and others. Estakhri is a coauthor of more than 120 patents relating to magnetic media, flash storage controllers and systems architecture. Estakhri holds a B.S. and an M.S. in electrical and computer engineering from the University of California at Davis.
Bob Netter – Chief Financial Officer
Bob Netter brings more than 40 years of executive-level financial experience from companies that span a variety of manufacturing industries and markets, including semiconductors, electronics, chemicals and professional/consumer audio. Netter has worked with or consulted with companies internationally, including Europe, Japan, and Australia. Netter has had both line and staff experience including being CFO with four high growth companies. For the previous five years, he was the CFO and a key member of the executive business team of International Petroleum Products and Additives Company, Inc. (IPAC), where he managed all aspects of finance, tax and human resources. Prior to IPAC, Netter was a Regional Managing Director for Focus LLC (2004-2009), a national Investment Banking firm where he successfully completed several M&A and related transactions. The investment banking engagements included venture capital and private equity transactions, M&A transactions, debt restructurings and private placements including conventional, asset based and mezzanine debt as well as turn-around assistance. Prior to Focus Netter held CFO positions with Lexar Media (LEXR), a leader in flash memory technology, FormFactor (FORM), a developer of advanced semiconductor wafer probe cards and AKG Acoustics, now part of Harman International Industries, Inc. (HAR), a publicly held international manufacturer of world leading analog and digital audio products. Netter is a licensed CPA and a former licensed FINRA Registered Representative; he received a BA in Accounting from Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY.
Dr. Yiming Huai – CTO/VP of Technology & Foundry Business
Yiming Huai serves as CTO, and the VP of Technology & Foundry Business. Huai is a highly accomplished technologist and entrepreneur in magnetic and semiconductor technologies. He was a co-founder, board member, CTO and VP of Engineering of Grandis, Inc, a pioneer in Spin Transfer Torque MRAM (STT-MRAM). While at Grandis, Huai successfully raised more than $30M in private and government funding. He also established the Grandis experienced engineering team and extensive patent portfolio. He played critical role for Grandis in establishing strategic partnerships with Renesas and Hynix. Grandis was acquired by Samsung in 2011. Prior to Grandis, Huai served as Sr. Director of Thin Film of Manufacturing at Read-Rite Corporation (now Western Digital) from 1996 to 2002, where he led the development and volume production of industry-leading GMR heads for hard disk drives. He previously worked as a Staff Scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the National Research Council in Ottawa, Canada. He received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, both in Physics, from the University of Montreal in Canada. He has published over 120 papers in scientific journals, holds more than 180 issued patents. He has given over 90 keynote and invited talks on STT-MRAM technology, and has served as Conference Chairman and Organizer for major international magnetic conferences and workshops. In 1996, he received the prestigious R&D 100 Award with his peers for his outstanding work on Ultra-High Density Magnetic Sensors.
Ebrahim Abedifard – VP of Engineering
Ebrahim Abedifard has served as VP of Engineering for Avalanche Technology since September 2008. Abedifard has more than 28 years of experience in the design of non-volatile memories. Most recently he served as Director of Design Engineering at Micron Technology, where he led multiple design teams on key high speed non-volatile memory products, including the fastest NAND Flash (200MB/S, 8Gb, 50nm) and 143MHz Synchronous NOR Flash memory. His most recent project was leading the design of Micron’s 34nm 32Gb NAND flash; he also successfully designed and transferred to production multiple other high volume NAND flash memories. He holds more than 100 U.S. patents with many additional patents pending. Prior to Micron he served as Design Manager for Xicor Inc. for EEPROM and NOVRAM products. Abedifard holds a B.S.E.E. from Utah State University and a M.S.E.E. from California State University, Fullerton.
Danny Sabour – VP of Sales & Marketing
Danny Sabour has more than 30 years of experience in the high-tech industry building and leading successful business development, marketing organizations. Prior to joining Avalanche, Sabour was VP of New Memory Business Development at Cypress Semiconductor focusing on new memory architectures. Prior to that, Sabour was VP of new Technology Marketing at Spansion which held the number 1 position for NOR Flash memory. Previous executive positions included director of strategic marketing at MicroChip, Lecroy and most notably Intel where he held many positions in the mobile group, the chipset group and microprocessor division. At Intel he held positions defining the roadmap and owning the executive relationships at multi-national PC OEMs. Sabour received a Master of Science degree in Computer Science and Electronic Engineering from the University College London.
Sam Nemazie – VP of Operations
Sam Nemazie has more than 35 years of experience in silicon and system level architecture, design and manufacturing. Before joining Avalanche as VP of System and Applications Engineering, Nemazie led the development and release to production of many SSD and Flash Controllers at Micron Technology. Prior to that, he served as VP of Engineering at Lexar Media where he again released to production numerous generations of CF, USB and Memory products. Nemazie received his Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical & Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan.