Move is expected to accelerate global manufacturing capabilities for velocity-enhanced FMCW lidar systems

BOZEMAN, Mont.—Blackmore Sensors and Analytics, Inc., recently announced the appointment of Craig Cocchi as chief operating officer.

In a press release announcing the appointment, Blackmore said that Cocchi’s operational expertise will help the company address demand as interest continues to shift from conventional amplitude modulated (AM) lidar systems to those using a frequency-modulated continuous wave (FMCW) approach. The company said that FMCW lidar instantly delivers precise, real-time velocity measurements of every detected point to make autonomous vehicles smarter and safer than those struggling with the inadequate data created by AM pulse-based lidar systems.

Blackmore (www.blackmorelidar.com) sees Cocchi’s highly relevant experience in—and strategic connections to—the optical telecom space as critical. Specifically, he is expected to expedite Blackmore’s adaptation of frequency domain techniques, mirroring paradigms seen in other chipset-driven industries, such as wireless communications, automotive radar, GPS, and optical telecom. He will be responsible for connecting Blackmore to the existing telecom supply chain to lock in the scale, redundancy, and pricing that OEMs and suppliers require.

Cocchi will also work to expand Blackmore’s manufacturing and supply chain operations to address increasing demand across a number of applications beyond automotive, including defense, transportation, and aerospace industries.

Most recently, he served as chief operating officer at Oclaro, where he was responsible for $600 million in annual revenue. Cocchi successfully managed the daily execution of delivery, cost, and quality for all Oclaro operational sites, including those in the UK, Italy, Japan, China, Thailand and Malaysia, and oversaw approximately 1,400 employees.

Earlier in his career, he was responsible for managing all operations at Lumentum, representing over $800 million in annual business serving telecom, datacom, and laser systems for micro and macro machining. Lumentum finalized its $1.8 billion acquisition of Oclaro on December 10.

“Craig’s wealth of knowledge and insights into supply chain operations will help Blackmore quickly source materials that have proven their reliability in demanding optical telecom applications,” said Dr. Randy Reibel, CEO and co-founder of Blackmore, in the release.  “With his oversight, this combination of reliable materials and established lidar performance will swiftly move Blackmore toward mass production of our lidar systems.”

In previous roles, Cocchi served as executive vice president of operations at Fabrinet, where he was executive vice president of operations and was a member of the CEO’s staff, contributing to Fabrinet’s five-year operational strategic plan. He also held various positions at Read-Rite Corporation over a 10-year period, including vice president of the wafer fab operation, responsible for supporting all disk drive customers and the management of 400 operations employees.

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