July 5, 2022 – Today’s chief product officer is responsible for all product-related matters, and the role is growing in demand, according to executive recruiters who place them. The post typically includes product conception and development, production, innovation, and project and product management. In many IT/ telecommunications companies, the position includes release management and production. Chief product officers generally work on product strategy based on goals set by the CEO and/ or board members. The high demand for chief product officers is keeping executive search firms busy. ON Partners’ Tim Conti and Alex Pelak recently placed Larry Yang as the new chief product officer for Phononic, a Durham, NC-based global provider of solid state cooling technology.
“I’m delighted to introduce Larry Yang as Phononic’s first chief product officer,” said Tony Atti, co-founder and CEO of Phononic. “With a decorated career at some of the most recognized technology companies in the world, Larry’s track record speaks for itself. His product leadership at Phononic will help drive greater growth for the company and expand our presence further into Silicon Valley, and his passion for sustainability will help drive a continued focus on the positive environmental impact of our technology and products. We are truly excited to welcome him to the team.”
Mr. Yang has spent his 30-plus year career building products and platforms that connect people and businesses to groundbreaking new applications, services, and content. As former VP of product at Fitbit (recently acquired by Google), he was responsible for Fitbit’s full $1 billion-plus product portfolio of wearable hardware and software. There, Mr. Yang and his team drove nine product launches that led to massive global awareness and first-of-a-kind health and fitness experiences.
Prior to Fitbit, he spent nine years at Google in senior product roles leading connected TV platforms, gigabit-speed internet and TV services, augmented reality smart phones, and mobile app payments. Prior to Google, Mr. Yang built microprocessors, set-top devices and game consoles, and video conferencing products at Sun Microsystems, Microsoft, and Cisco Systems, respectively.
As Phononic’s chief product officer, Mr. Yang will be responsible for driving the go-to-market strategy and long-term growth of the company’s technology platform and products and associated global market opportunities. He will lead product marketing, management, design engineering, and roadmap to drive further global adoption of the company’s devices and category-making products and services, while supporting sales and licensing opportunities for Phononic products in adjacent and new markets. Mr. Pelak will join Phononic’s chief revenue officer, Kevin Granucci, in building out the company’s product development, sales, and marketing capabilities in Silicon Valley.
“Phononic has developed an amazing solid state cooling technology platform,” said Mr. Yang. “I’m excited about the possibilities of taking this technology to not only unlock solutions that aren’t possible with conventional HFC-based products, but also to reverse the effects of climate change by replacing greenhouse gasses. It’s a privilege to be joining the Phononic team at this phase of their journey.”
Founded in 2008, Phononic is an innovator of semiconductor cooling solutions that sustainably transform refrigeration and cooling. Its breakthrough technology is transforming industries and creating new markets with innovative solid-state solutions that disrupt antiquated business models and incumbent technologies. The company has been named to the 2016, 2017, and 2019 CNBC Disruptor 50 lists, received the U.S. EPA’s 2017 Emerging Tech Award, R&D 100 Award, and more.
With a primary focus on technology, consumer, industrial, and the life science sectors, ON Partners recruits C-level and board talent for public and private companies, as well as venture capital and private equity firms. Founded in 2006, the firm’s consultants work from offices in Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Cleveland; Dallas; Menlo Park, CA; Minneapolis, MN; San Francisco; and New York. ON Partners is one of the fastest growing search firms and this year is ranked as one of the Top 20 recruiting platforms in the nation by Hunt Scanlon Media.
Mr. Conti, who has worked in executive search for more than 15 years, has completed upwards of 150 C-level and board searches across a range of industries. His focus is on public, private equity, and venture capital organizations. Mr. Conti also serves as a member of the ON Partners executive committee.
As a consultant, Mr. Pelak has a strong focus in technology, aerospace and defense, and industrial. His recent work includes senior-level placements for lidar, photonics, semiconductor, advanced materials, and consumer electronics clients.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media