There we were, racing along the internet in 2013. Enjoying all the rewards of participating in the bright, shiny world of technology. Sure, there were a few headlines that gave us pause that someone might be watching or listening or worse, but it was the days of innocence. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long. Article after article, hack after hack, leak after leak shattered the illusions of security and privacy that most of us held. But Mike Fong thought, “This is unacceptable, how can I create a company that will help businesses, governments and individuals take control of when they allow access to their most important and most sensitive information?” And then he set out to do just that. Since those early days we’ve wrestled with the challenges of packing unsurpassed audio, video and location tracking protections into a device that fits seamlessly around a smartphone.
We set the bar high, and poured time and cost into getting there – and beyond. Because of that, our first product will not be for everyone. But, for those who believe as we do, that the information they hold and share, both personally and professionally, should be theirs and theirs alone to give access – and especially those whose lives may depend on controlling that information – we think you’ll find the cost of our rigor worth every penny.
It’s remarkable how a big idea — that has never been achieved — driven by a philosophy rooted in a fundamental right attracts the brightest minds from engineering, industrial design, marketing, sales, IT, business operations — all the way through to our interns, Investors and advisors. Sure, it started out as a traditional search for those most qualified, but we quickly discovered those along the way who were more than people willing to do a job, but kindred spirits who believed in our philosophy. And they told a friend, who knew a guy, who knew a manufacturer and before we knew it we had attracted some of the most accomplished engineers, business leaders and advisors from across the country.
Mike Fong is the Founder and CEO of Privoro. He is an experienced technology executive and entrepreneur who decided to start a company focusing on security and privacy, allowing people to protect their sensitive information, be they businesses, governments or individuals. Smartphones are central to daily life and they can access the most sensitive personal and corporate information. Recognizing that smartphones are becoming ground zero for data collection and increasingly targeted by sophisticated hackers, Mike decided to initially focus Privoro on protecting these important devices.
The realization that smartphones are packed with sensors that can be leveraged or taken over to listen, watch and track users, when many of us have sensitive conversations or meetings while carrying our phone, compelled Mike to create a product that puts people back in control of when they can be tracked and monitored.
Prior to founding Privoro in 2013. Mike founded Calence LLC and took the company from a startup organization to the largest pure-play networking integrator in the United States at the time of its sale, with $300+ million in sales to prestigious corporate and government clients. Prior to its acquisition by Insight Enterprises Inc. Calence was recognized as a leading network consulting firm, a Gartner magic quadrant managed services provider and one of Cisco’s top US partners. Mike has consulted and/or served as a board member for companies across many industries, including chairing the Arizona Governor’s Council on Innovation and Technology. He is a two- time Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist and was named the Ed Denison Business Leader of the Year for the State of Arizona. Mike started his career at Arthur Andersen Consulting and holds a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University.
David Husband has served as a CFO and COO for both private and public companies for 20 years. He possesses a wealth of knowledge in process optimization, accounting, financial reporting and corporate finance, including domestic and international merger and acquisition transactions and public and private financing. Prior to his role at Privoro, David served as CFO, Secretary and Treasurer of Calence LLC. David led the process of the company’s acquisition by Insight Enterprises, Inc. in 2008. David also served as CFO of Vodavi Technology, Inc., a leading supplier of small business telephone systems and EVP and COO of Action Performance Companies, Inc., a $400+M consumer products company. He began his career with Arthur Andersen LLP and is a CPA in the state of Arizona. He holds a BS degree, Magna Cum Laude, in Finance and Accounting from Humboldt State University.
Neric Fong is Privoro’s Chief Technology Officer and comes to the team with over 15 years of industrial experience in RF systems and circuit design. Neric spent 6 years at MediaTek Inc. in San Jose, CA growing and scaling products from system definition to mass-production. During his tenure, he was responsible for leading design teams across a broad spectrum of radio design, including 2G/3G/LTE cellular RF chipsets and 802.11ax WiFi RF systems. The RF chipset is widely adopted in the high-volume smartphone market, with over 140 million units shipped per year. He also initiated an ultra-low-power R&D project for wearable and IoT applications, and kick-started the WiFi 802.11ax product development. Prior to MediaTek, Neric served as a design engineer for Marvell Semiconductor, VIA Technologies in the Bay Area and Cognio Inc. in Ottawa, Canada. Neric is the author of 9 patents in the areas of RF/RFIC, amplification, circuits, on-chip gain calibration, and gain asymmetry. He is a co-author of numerous peer-reviewed journals and conference papers, and received best paper awards in IEEE, ISSCC and RFIC symposiums. Neric holds both a PhD and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.
Haydn Taylor leads all aspects of product design for Privoro. His 20-year career in industrial design has focused on best practices for technical innovation across a diverse portfolio of complex device product development including medical pharmaceutical and surgical devices, life sciences instrumentation and consumer products. Haydn started his career at IDEO, growing to serve in senior roles with some of the world’s top design and engineering firms, most recently as a design expert at Cooper Perkins Inc., an engineering firm specializing in highly integrated, electromechanical systems. His diverse background also includes work in the film, TV and theme park industries as a producer and mechanical special effects designer. Haydn is the author of more than 10 US patents along with a number of international patents and design registrations. He holds a BA in Industrial Design (with engineering) from The University of Teesside, Middlesbrough, UK.
Ted Thomas is Privoro’s senior engineering executive and is a key member of Privoro’s product strategy team. Prior to Privoro, Ted drove major product and business initiatives at Texas Instruments for nearly two decades. During his tenure with TI, Ted led teams across a broad range of technologies, including signal conditioning and audio and power products. Under his leadership, the company delivered several first-to-market products such as the first integrated Class-D amplifiers for computer, handset and other low-power consumer applications. He and his team also developed TI’s first LED Light Bulb reference design. Ted is the author of 7 patents in efficient power conversion, data acquisition and audio amplifier systems. He holds a BS degree in Electrical Engineering, Summa Cum Laude, from West Virginia University.