Governing Body Spotlight

Governing Body Member of the San Francisco CDAO Community

Vinesh Sukumar

Head of AI Product


Dr. Vinesh Sukumar currently serves as Senior Director – Head of AI Product at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc (QTI). In this role, he leads AI and Machine Learning (ML) product definition, strategy and translating the vision statement into solution deployment across multiple business units from Mobile to Auto domains.

Vinesh has over 20 years of industry experience spread across AI/ML research, architecture, engineering and application deployment. He currently holds a doctorate degree specializing in imaging and vision systems and a business degree focused on strategy and marketing. He is a regular speaker in many AI industry forums and has authored two technical books and several journal papers.

He spends his spare time as an AI/ML Industry Advisor for a few universities and is an avid follower of Bay Area sports clubs.

Learn more about leaders in the San Francisco CDAO community here.

Give us a brief overview of the path that led to your current role.

I started my career working at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) designing space electronics. I then switched my focus to designing CMOS image sensors, and I worked on commercial cameras for a Motorola Droid Series. This was my first experience with visual analytics.

With time, I became interested in computer vision to enable classification, detection and other aspects of image and video. This led me on a journey of deep learning where I received an advanced degree in this field, and I started to implement AI-based system designs professionally. 

Luckily, with experience and help from mentors, I received some great opportunities and led some great teams that propelled me into the position I’m in today.

What is one of your guiding leadership principles?

Make your team members shine. If the team experiences success, they’ll take responsibility during failures.

With disruption being a key theme of the past year, where do you see your role as a CDAO going in the next 1-2 years?

CDAOs should expect more of a focus on execution and getting the ecosystem excited about the role AI can play across the business.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in the CDAO role?

Be an avid listener.

Tell us 3 fun facts about yourself.

  1. I’m a former Olympian.
  2. I love Bay Area sports clubs.
  3. I’m a Nick Saban fanatic.



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