Caruso’s ColdQuanta appoints CEO of quantum computing firm

Caruso’s ColdQuanta appoints CEO to go to market with quantum computing

31 August 2021 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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ColdQuanta, the quantum computing company headed since last year by Zayo founder Dan Caruso, has appointed a specialist in initial public offerings (IPOs) as its CEO.

Scott Faris (pictured), who will join officially in September or October, is chief business officer of Luminar Technologies, a company that makes lidar – light detection and ranging – systems that will be used in autonomous vehicles.

“I am an engineer of companies with a background in finance and business operations,” Faris told Capacity in an exclusive interview just before ColdQuanta made the announcement. “My role is trying to perfect great ideas.”

Caruso became chairman and acting CEO of ColdQuanta last year, after stepping down from Zayo, which he founded in 2007. Two private equity companies, DigitalBridge and EQT, bought Zayo last year for $14.3 billion. From the start, Caruso told Capacity that his aim was to find a fulltime CEO.

He found Faris “via a personal relationship with investors”, the new CEO told Capacity.

“It is an exciting opportunity, with familiar technology. It uses the same toolkit as at Luminar,” he said. “It will be intriguing to take it to stage two and the next stage of quantum engineering.”

ColdQuanta, which began at the University of Colorado at Boulder, has science teams working on a quantum computer in Oxford in the UK, as well as Madison, Wisconsin, and Boulder, Colorado, Caruso told us in an interview published in May 2021.

“The one we’re building will be a cloud-based computer. Multiple users will be able to use it.” ColdQuanta, which already has contracts with the US and UK governments, plans to make a quantum computer available for sale next year.

At the same time as Faris’s appointment ColdQuanta has announced the formation of three divisions, ready to go to market.

The quantum computing division is developing Hilbert, the company’s cold atom quantum computing platform, which will operate at temperatures close to –273°C, absolute zero.

Quantum research as a service (QRaaS) will provide a quantum research platform to create prototypes and offer consulting services across applications including high precision clocks, navigation, radio frequency receivers, and quantum networking and communications.

The third new division is ColdAtom Technologies, which provides critical supply chain quantum devices and machines such as glass vacuum cells and magneto optical traps for quantum computing companies. That is led by Sandi Mays, a former CIO at Zayo.

“Cold quantum technology is the new kid on the block,” Faris told Capacity. “The computing side is enormously exciting. It has mass scaling possibilities, now that Moore’s law has diminishing returns.”

It is “too early to say” when ColdQuanta might go for an IPO, he added. “I haven’t started the new job yet.”

In this morning’s announcement, ColdQuanta described Faris as “an experienced technology company executive with over three decades of operating, venture-financing and scaling experience”. At Luminar, he “built and managed the company’s global business operations and in particular its supply chain and business development organizations”. In earlier roles he has been CEO of a company developing solid state batteries for electric vehicles, and of a company making integrated optical chips.