Blog - Company

Jul 28, 2023 | Read time 4 min

DeepMind and Tessian alumni join Speechmatics' leadership team

Speech technology scale-up strengthens its leadership team with new Chief Product Officer and Chief Revenue Officer, doubling down on its mission to understand every voice globally.

Speechmatics Team

Speechmatics is delighted to announce the appointment of two new senior hires – Trevor Back as Chief Product Officer and Usman Gulfaraz as Chief Revenue Officer.

Trevor Back brings over a decade’s experience in machine learning. Before founding intelligence platform Shift Lab, Back spent nine years at DeepMind where he was the company’s first product manager and a founding member of DeepMind Health. During his tenure, he grew his team more than twelvefold, built and launched multiple machine learning products, and launched applications that are still in place today including AlphaFold, a program which performs predictions of protein structure. Back was also fundamental to the formation of DeepMind spin-off, Isomorphic Labs.

At Speechmatics, Back will be responsible for product strategy and execution, as well as leading the product development team. Back brings the ability to translate AI and machine learning to problems across industries, experience as a team leader, and a PhD in Computational Astrophysics to Speechmatics. He will use his track record to bridge the gap between academic AI research and real-world production software to create intelligence that will have a radical and long-lasting impact in the real world.

Commenting on his appointment, Back said, Every business leader, policymaker, and consumer is sitting up and taking note of AI and that makes it an incredibly exciting time to be joining any company at the cutting edge of AI innovation. We're seeing a shift in focus towards language being a key enabler and driver of new innovation in AI. The importance of understanding human speech has never been higher, and therefore Speechmatics is in a unique position of influence.

I’m looking forward to working with the fantastic team and bringing my experience to help Speechmatics continue to make its products as inclusive and diverse as possible. AI is a global affair and every decision within AI – from governance to product development – should be treated as such. This means it has never been more important to ensure every voice is both heard and understood and I’m delighted to be joining a company leading the way on this.

Usman Gulfaraz joins Speechmatics as Chief Revenue Officer. As the former Vice President of Sales EMEA/APAC at Tessian, a prominent machine learning based cybersecurity solutions provider, Gulfaraz has played a pivotal role in opening-up new markets and driving substantial growth for the company, making him an ideal fit for Speechmatics' ambitious growth plans.

As Chief Revenue Officer at Speechmatics, Gulfaraz will play a vital role in accelerating revenue generation and spearheading the company's global expansion efforts. His deep understanding of the technology industry, coupled with his ability to forge strategic partnerships and build strong customer relationships, positions him as a highly regarded industry leader.

Commenting on his appointment, Gulfaraz said, "The evolution that Speechmatics is taking now, the journey that it is on, this is exactly the kind of journey that really exciting companies full of potential are on. We are now entering the hypergrowth ecosystem of a company that has a very big story to tell.

"I’m extremely excited about this. I think it’s an incredible opportunity. My job is very simple. I’m going to be here to ensure that we get Speechmatics to every corner of the globe.

Katy Wigdahl, CEO of Speechmatics said,Trevor and Usman are fantastic additions to the Speechmatics team. Their deep and far-reaching expertise will be invaluable for us as we continue to drive innovation globally and set the market standard for speech-to-text and translation offerings.

These appointments come at a key moment for the world’s leading expert in speech-to-text, which in the past twelve months has closed a $62 million Series B funding round, announced Ursa (the world’s most accurate speech-to-text engine), launched its real-time translation and transcription services, as well as summarization which enables long transcriptions to be summarized and shared in a variety of formats, and partnered with Ubisoft’s Brawlhalla to push the industry benchmark on accessibility in gaming with the launch of real-time captioning.