Hypergiant Industries, the fast-growing enterprise AI solutions and platform company, has appointed a new leader amidst the news that Founder and current CEO Ben Lamm is stepping down.
Mike Betzer, a longtime executive in the enterprise software space, was appointed as president, CEO, and to the Board of Directors. He joins the artificial intelligence company from Khoros, where he served as chief product officer and most recently, chief digital transformation officer.
“As Hypergiant enters this next phase of scale and explosive growth, it’s critical for us to bring in additional world-class team members to help in this period of rapid scale,” Lamm said in a statement. “I could not be more excited to have him take on day-to-day operational oversight and focus on our long-term growth.”
Hypergiant calls Betzer an “incredibly talented software exec” who is best known for his ability to build winning teams and scale enterprise software startups. To Lamm, he sits among a class of the best enterprise software and SaaS entrepreneurs and leaders in the country—and is one of the few who can guide Hypergiant to the next phase of AI growth.
Betzer’s resume includes C-suite stints at numerous companies over the past three decades. Before his role at Khoros, he was SVP of Lithium Technologies and CEO of Humanify, and has also held positions at Social Dynamx Inc., Convergys, and Siebel Systems.
“I’m so honored to be joining this team,” Betzer said in a statement. “Hypergiant’s AI Applied AI solutions and platform are on a path that will continue to show huge growth in the years ahead. I couldn’t be more humbled to be entrusted with driving the Hypergiant vision and mission forward.”
Lamm told Dallas Innovates that overall, Betzer will continue to focus on Hypergiant’s core industry sectors of space, critical infrastructure, and defense. With offices in Dallas, Austin, and Houston, the team of more than 180 focuses on developing world-changing technologies in those areas to prepare companies and governments for the future of AI.
Since the company is “sector agnostic,” it plans to continue expanding into sub-industry verticals like industrial supply change, telcos, and high-tech, according to Lamm.
Betzer will be based out of Austin, but some of his notable direct reports in Dallas include Chief Delivery Officer C.K. Sample, Chief Revenue Officer David Young, and EVP of Design Chris Klee.
The new CEO’s first order of business will be helping to roll out Hypergiant’s core platform, Hyperdrive, which is meant to provide open AI integration for those building AI models.
Hyperdrive is described by the Hypergiant team as “the industry’s first enterprise AI operations management system that unifies devOps, modelOps, and dataOps into a single management control panel that spans hybrid-multi cloud, 5G, and IoT ecosystems.” It drives collaboration between data scientists, ML engineers, data engineers, business operators and more by democratizing AI development, operations, and governance.
Betzer will be focused on getting the platform to strategic partners and current customers including Sumitomo Corporation, Boeing, Schlumberger, Booz Allen Hamilton, the United States Department of Defense, and more. From there, he’ll work to scale the platform into new channels and sectors.
“Mike Betzer’s outstanding experience in building enterprise software offerings and scaling them with large clients provides Hypergiant with a leader that knows how to get it done in the enterprise,” said Mohammed Farooq, chairman and Global CTO of Hypergiant, in a statement. “This is a very promising time for the company.”
Ben Lamm to pursue “the most pressing issues of our lifetime”
Serial entrepreneur Lamm, who launched Hypergiant from stealth in 2018 with John Fremont and Will Womble, will continue supporting the company’s strategic vision and direction in the position of vice chairman. The move allows him to pursue what he thinks are the most pressing issues of our lifetime: “AI for good, climate change, and the continued positive impact of technology both on the planet and on the human condition.”
“This is where the world needs my time and attention. There are a few great people, like Mike, who are amazing at building, leading, and continuing to scale enterprise software companies,” Lamm says. “But running a business once it’s established isn’t where my passion lies.”
Hypergiant has been rapidly expanding in the past three years, and the hire represents the next phase of scale. To Lamm, bringing in key personnel to take that to the next level is his job as an entrepreneur and founder.
When Hypergiant was founded, it took a somewhat holistic view of the AI landscape. At the time, Lamm said the company doesn’t believe any one company will “win AI” and that Hypergiant’s three-pronged approach—in the enterprise, scientific, and startup sectors—is the right model in the emerging AI frontier.
“Many people forget that building a startup is a team sport—and teams need to change to meet new market demands, new strengths, and new opportunities,” he told Dallas Innovates. “As the founding CEO of Hypergiant, my job was to set a giant vision for the company, help it to raise money, grow our customer base, and support our shareholders and, importantly, our team.”
Now Lamm can focus on figuring out more ways to leverage AI for good.
Some of Hypergiant’s innovations over the years include a disaster mapping system to help first responders prioritize relief efforts, mission control software that can operate satellite constellations from mobile phones in the field, a green energy solution that uses algae to “sequester” carbon from the atmosphere, and a helmet prototype that could make firefighters, police, soldiers, and search-and-rescue teams safer than ever.
“I’m a builder who likes to create solutions where there were none,” Lamm says. “Mike is more of an endurance athlete. He wants to run a corporation for as long as possible. That makes him an incredible complement to what we’ve created.”
The growing Hypergiant family
Betzer’s appointment follows multiple executive hires that Hypergiant has made in the past few months, including NetApp VP David Young as chief revenue officer and former IBM AI Architect Prasad Bandreddi as VP of Engineering.
Farooq, who has more than 25 years of enterprise software experience, took on his role of global chief technology officer in September. Prior to that, he served as a GM at IBM Global Technology Services, where he helped grow the $35 billion IBM GTS group from a single cloud provider business to a hybrid and multi-cloud managed services business.
Then, in December, former WiPro CEO Abidali Neemuchwala joined Hypergiant’s all-star executive advisory board, which includes Bill Nye, a former astronaut, and a retired four-star general. While at WiPro, Neemuchwala oversaw $8 billion in revenue and 185,000 employees.
It’s “safe to assume” additional exec announcements are in the future, Lamm says, as Hypergiant is “always looking for the best and brightest” to join the family. The team is currently working remote and distributed—like it has since the start of COVID—and comes together for client meetings or brainstorming sessions.
Get on the list.
Dallas Innovates, every day.
Sign up to keep your eye on what’s new and next in Dallas-Fort Worth, every day.