About Us

Navigating an ocean of data, delivering a world of possibilities. Saildrone is the world’s leading collector of in situ data via uncrewed vehicle, above and below the sea surface.

Delivering Knowledge from Our Oceans to Our Customers

Our measurements and observations, from above and below the ocean surface, provide intelligence and insight for subjects ranging from maritime security, to mapping, to earth system processes such as weather forecasting, carbon cycling, global fishing, and climate change. All of which have a tremendous impact on humanity

Saildrone designs, manufactures and operates the world’s most capable, proven and trusted USVs.  Saildrones are wind and solar-powered autonomous surface vehicles which make cost-effective ocean data collection possible at scale. We collect critical marine data, delivered in real-time, from any of our oceans, at any time of year. We are building the world's largest high-resolution ocean data sets, working with governments and private companies around the globe.

Saildrone's patented wing technology was born from 10 years of R&D in pursuit of the land speed record. The company is headquartered in Alameda, CA, and backed by The Schmidt Family Foundation, Social Capital, Capricorn’s Technology Impact Fund, Lux Capital, Exor Seeds, and Horizons Ventures.

Saildrone HQ in Alameda, CA

Saildrone is headquartered in Alameda, CA, in a former Naval Air station hangar with direct access to the waters of San Francisco Bay.

Executive Team

Richard Jenkins

Founder & CEO

Richard Jenkins

Richard Jenkins developed Saildrone’s core technology during a 10-year effort to break the land speed record for wind-powered vehicles, which he achieved in 2009, in Nevada USA, with a speed of 126.2 mph. He then moved to San Francisco and began to apply his now-patented wing technology to uncrewed vehicles capable of collecting high-resolution data in the most remote areas of the ocean. Richard holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College, London.

Barak Ben-Gal

CFO

Barak Ben-Gal

Barak is a seasoned finance executive with a successful track record of scaling enterprises from early-growth stage through profitability and at-scale operations developing and implementing innovative strategies for strategic growth. He has held various CFO, advisory, and senior leadership positions managing M&A, investor relations, finance, tax, HR, legal, facilities, and other G&A functions including strategic forecasting, revenue recognition, core accounting, tax compliance, and talent optimization for privately-held and publicly-traded companies including Sunrun (NASDAQ: RUN), Support.com (NASDAQ: SPRT), and Symphony Talent. Barak has an MBA and Master of Education from Stanford University and a Bachelor of Economics from Harvard University.

Karen Dacres

CLO

Karen Dacres

With a career spanning government and start-up environments, Karen’s specialized legal and policy expertise in advanced technologies, commercial remote sensing, weather, and satellite technologies is a valuable and proven asset as Saildrone’s CLO. She has been formally recognized by the National Security Council, the US Secretary of Commerce, and the Intelligence Community for her leadership of space and technology legal and policy initiatives. Karen holds a JD from George Washington University’s National Law Center specializing in intellectual property and Bachelor of Science degrees in Chemistry and French Studies from Northwestern University.

Andrew Schultz

CTO

Andrew Schultz

Andrew is a hardware and software engineering leader with a background in aerial and ground mapping and self-driving cars. Prior to Saildrone, he co-founded 510 Systems, which was acquired by Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) to kick-start its self-driving car program Waymo. He then spent eight years at Google/Waymo, eventually leading self-driving system development. He holds a MS in Computer Science from UC Berkeley, and BSE in Computer Engineering from University of Michigan.

Brian Connon

VP Ocean Mapping

Brian Connon

Captain Brian Connon (ret.) served 28 years in the US Navy, in posts including director of the Maritime Safety Office at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, superintendent of the US Naval Observatory, and commanding officer of the Navy’s Fleet Survey Team. Prior to Saildrone, he was director of the Hydrographic Science Research Center at the University of Southern Mississippi. A certified hydrographer, Brian has a MS in Meteorology and Oceanography from the Naval Postgraduate School and an MS in Hydrography from the University of Southern Mississippi. He is a Chartered Marine Scientist (Hydrography) serves as editor for the International Hydrographic Review.

Todd Davis

VP People

Todd Davis

Todd brings over 25 years experience building and transforming global talent functions, enabling growth with a customer-centric approach. He comes to Saildrone from IBM (NASDAQ: IBM) where he led enterprise global competitive talent strategy. Before this, he held senior executive roles at Ancestry, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), and WarnerMedia. His early career includes roles in international business. Todd has a Bachelor of Science from the University of New Hampshire.

Robbie Dean

VP Operations

Robbie Dean

Robbie is a maritime specialist with 25+ years in professional sailing, fleet management, event production, coaching, and marine education. Prior to joining Saildrone, he was Director of Race Operations at St. Francis Yacht Club and led on-water operations for SailGP. He co-founded the Kite Foil Gold Cup and Hydrofoil Pro Tour, and was head coach of the US Olympic Kiteboarding Team. Robbie currently serves as an advisory board member of California International Sailing Association.

Eric Lindstrom

Chief Scientist

Eric Lindstrom

Dr. Eric Lindstrom oversees Saildrone’s science efforts, including observing system design, research data quality, and the inclusion of Saildrone in global ocean observing systems. Prior to joining Saildrone, he served 22 years at NASA as the Physical Oceanography Program Scientist in the Science Mission Directorate, working with the QuikSCAT, Jason-2, Jason-3, SWOT, and Aquarius satellite missions, as well as leading the Earth Science Division Climate Focus Area.

David Russell

VP Production

David Russell

David’s career spans small and large manufacturing companies introducing, ramping up, and building high-tech products for Silicon Valley companies. He has held various senior leadership roles in manufacturing and production, including at Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO), Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), and Wrightspeed. David has a Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Auckland and an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley.

Susan Ryan

VP Marketing

Susan Ryan

Susan brings a wealth of expertise in marketing, strategy, and communications. She comes to Saildrone following more than 20 years at The Boeing Company (NASDAQ: BA), where she held senior positions in the corporate, defense, services, and commercial divisions. Prior to Boeing, she was the marketing director for a simulation and software development company in Australia and led a marketing and advertising agency working with a range of clients across various B2G, B2B, and B2C industries. Susan holds a Master of International Marketing from the University of Technology, Sydney, and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

Kimberly Sparling

VP Product

Kimberly Sparling

Kim is a leader with a track record of designing and delivering products for big data visualization, integration, and analysis across commercial and government sectors. She comes to Saildrone from Palantir Technologies (NASDAQ: PLTR), where she worked in business operations and strategy, and product management. She has a double Bachelor of Science in Civil/Environmental Engineering and Urban Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Chris Sullivan

VP Software Engineering

Chris Sullivan

Chris is an aerospace engineer with more than a decade of experience developing software for rockets, autonomous aircraft, manned aircraft, and marine vehicles. He has a passion for guidance, navigation, and control systems from his time at NASA. Saildrone is Chris’s third drone startup, having previously worked on geospatial mapping at DroneDeploy and autonomous logistics at Matternet.

Andy Ziegwied

VP Ocean Data

Andy Ziegwied

Andy Ziegwied is an applied oceanographer and seasoned veteran in the field of global sales and business development. He comes to Saildrone from L3Harris Technologies, Inc (NASDAQ: LHX) where he delivered uncrewed scientific solutions. Previously, he served as vice president of ocean science and systems sales for MacArtney, Inc. His background includes application engineering with instrument manufacturer Sea-Bird Electronics, Inc. and oceanographic fieldwork and project management with Evans-Hamilton, Inc. He holds a BS in Oceanography from the University of Washington. Ziegwied is the chair of the Marine Technology Society Uncrewed Maritime Systems Committee and serves on the AUVSI Cascade Chapter Board and Maritime Advocacy Committee.