Monday, 20 July 2020 10:57

Vell Recruits Canadian Quantum Computing Company CFO

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D Wave

Dan Cohrs

Chief Financial Officer

> Location: Los Angeles to Vancouver, BC
> Industry: Quantum Computing
> Other experience: EVP & CFO, Rentech, Inc. | EVP & CFO, Global Crossing
> Ownership: Venture-backed

D-Wave Systems Inc., the world's first quantum computing company, announced that Dan Cohrs has joined the team as chief financial officer.

Mr. Cohrs brings an extensive and diverse background to D-Wave, having served in senior positions in corporate strategy, development and finance at Marriott, Northwest Airlines, GTE, Global Crossing and most recently at Rentech, Inc. and Rentech Nitrogen Partners in Los Angeles. With experience at both start-ups and multinational corporations, Mr. Cohrs is an expert in global finance and planning, M&A, IPOs and investor relations. He has also served as a faculty member at Cornell University and Harvard University. Mr. Cohrs earned a B.S. degree in engineering from Michigan State University, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in economics, finance and public policy from Cornell University's Johnson School of Management.

"Dan's broad expertise in finance and his tremendous success in building capital and leading corporate strategy in companies large and small makes him the ideal CFO for DWave," said Vern Brownell, CEO of D-Wave. "Over the course of his career, Dan has raised over $25 billion of capital, successfully executed IPOs and mergers and acquisitions, and has been an outstanding executive known for his integrity and leadership. We are all pleased Dan has joined D-Wave and know he will make important contributions as we continue on this exciting journey into the future of computing."

Prior to joining D-Wave, Mr. Cohrs was executive vice president and chief financial officer of Rentech, Inc. and Rentech Nitrogen Partners, where he led the IPO and refinancing of Rentech Nitrogen and executed a number of acquisitions and partnerships in the fuels technology, fibre and fertilizer businesses. Mr. Cohrs served for five years as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Global Crossing (since acquired by Level 3 Communications), where he built a worldwide finance function to support the global operations of a $5 billion company and raised over $20 billion of capital.

As a visiting senior lecturer at Cornell University, Mr. Cohrs developed and taught an executive course in corporate governance at the Johnson Graduate School of Management. He previously taught corporate finance as an assistant professor at the Harvard University Graduate School of Business.

"What D-Wave has already achieved as the first quantum computing company is awe-inspiring," said Dan Cohrs. "There are just a handful of companies in the world willing to tackle the most complex challenges, and fewer still that have succeeded. D-Wave has already demonstrated the ability to design, manufacture and sell the only scalable quantum computer ever built. I am very excited to join the team of amazing people who have accomplished this."

About D-Wave Systems Inc.

D-Wave Systems is the first quantum computing company. Its mission is to integrate new discoveries in physics, engineering, manufacturing and computer science into breakthrough approaches to computation to help solve some of the world's most complex challenges. The company's quantum computers are built using a novel type of superconducting processor that uses quantum mechanics to massively accelerate computation. D-Wave's customers include some of the world's most prominent organizations including Lockheed Martin and Google, whose system is hosted at NASA's Ames Research Center. With headquarters near Vancouver, Canada, D-Wave U.S. is based in Palo Alto, California. D-Wave has a blue-chip investor base including Bezos Expeditions, BDC Capital, DFJ, Goldman Sachs, Growthworks, Harris & Harris Group, InQ-Tel, International Investment and Underwriting, and Kensington Partners Limited.

Read 723 times Last modified on Tuesday, 08 December 2020 15:57
Dora Vell

Managing Partner

Dora Vell is the CEO of Vell Executive Search, a boutique executive search firm in Boston that recruits technology executives and board members for companies ranging from promising tech startups to Fortune 100 companies. Throughout her 22-year career in executive search, she has successfully completed hundreds of assignments, placing board members, CEOs, COOs, CIOs, technology officers, vice presidents and many other C-level executives. Vell’s clients span both private and public companies and her work has included searches in markets large and small across the U.S. and Canada.

Prior to founding Vell Executive Search in 2005, she was a partner at the executive search consulting firm Heidrick & Struggles for seven years. She started in the Technology Practice in the Toronto office, became the firm’s Technology Practice leader for Canada, and then joined the firm’s Boston office.

Before her career in executive search, Vell worked for 11 years at IBM Canada in software-related roles of increasing responsibility. She started as a software engineer, managed a software engineering team of 100, and then led software sales for IBM Canada. She holds seven worldwide software patents. This deep industry understanding has helped Vell Executive Search become a recognized leader in finding senior executive and board talent for software and SaaS companies.

Vell is a recognized industry thought leader who has published several reports on governance and leadership topics. She has been frequently quoted as an expert on executive and board leadership by outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Business Week, Fortune, Agenda Week, MSNBC, Mass High Tech, The OPUS for the World Economic Forum, Boston Business Journal, The Globe & Mail, CIO Magazine, and IEEE. She has been a featured speaker on leadership at numerous conferences and at Columbia University's MBA program.

Vell has been a Fellow of the National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) and the Boston CEO Roundtable. She has served on the boards of Framingham State University, Entrepreneur's Organization, Goodwill, Mary Centre for Developmentally Handicapped Adults,, and RBC Capital Partners.

The trilingual daughter of a diplomat, Vell grew up in Canada, Greece, France, Switzerland and China. Her unique multicultural and international perspective, experiences as a woman in the male-dominated software field, and insights as a dual Canadian and U.S. citizen inform all her work for clients.

Vell received an MBA from the University of Toronto, a master’s in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo, and a bachelor’s in Computer Science from Carleton University.  She has also completed the MIT Entrepreneurial Master’s program.

Areas of Practice:

  • C-Level Technology Executives
  • CEOs, CROs, Heads of Sales, Heads of Marketing, Chief Product Officers
  • Technology Officers: CTOs, CIOs, Heads of Engineering, CISOs, Chief Data Officers
  • Board Directors
  • Diversity Executives and Board Directors
  • Canadian Executives and Board Directors


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