MENLO PARK, Calif., Jan. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- SRI International President and CEO Curtis R. Carlson, 68, has informed SRI's Board of Directors of his plans to retire as President and CEO after 16 years in the position and 40 years of service with the organization. Carlson will remain in his present position pending the appointment of a successor. He will then become Vice Chairman for Innovation, assisting SRI with business development and innovation initiatives.
"The world of research and development is changing rapidly," said Carlson. "I have been working with SRI's Board of Directors on management succession, and now it's time to pass the baton. I will continue to work with SRI's terrific management team and staff to launch our 2014 operating plan, and of course to ensure a smooth leadership transition. My new position as Vice Chairman for Innovation will permit me to continue to advance SRI as an innovation powerhouse, while spending more time on advancing innovation for our nation's competitiveness."
Under Carlson's leadership, SRI has become one of the country's preeminent research and innovation centers. SRI has grown to 2,500 staff members, entered new technical fields, and spun-off high-value ventures such as Siri (acquired by Apple) and Redwood Robotics (acquired by Google).
Mariann Byerwalter, SRI's Chairman of the Board, praised Carlson's commitment to SRI, its clients, and its mission: "Throughout his tenure, Curt has dedicated himself and inspired others to deliver a new level of innovation. He has sharpened SRI's focus on its mission, updated its vision, and set in motion powerful strategies for SRI's growth. Curt has developed a world-class senior leadership team that is delivering transformational ideas and technologies to SRI's government and commercial clients. He has also pioneered what is now recognized around the world as the most successful innovation process, the SRI Five Disciplines of Innovation®. His many contributions will leave an enduring legacy of which the Board and SRI are immensely proud."
SRI's Board of Directors will conduct a nationwide search for a successor that will encompass both internal and external candidates.
Carlson's 40 years with SRI trace back to his early career with RCA Laboratories, which was acquired by GE and became the David Sarnoff Research Center that then became an SRI subsidiary, Sarnoff Corporation. The subsidiary was fully integrated into SRI in 2011. While at Sarnoff, Carlson started and helped lead the high-definition television (HDTV) program that became the U.S. standard, and in 1997 his team won an Emmy Award for outstanding technical achievement. In 2000, another team started and led by Carlson won an Emmy for a system to optimize satellite broadcast image quality. He also helped found more than 12 companies.
He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Innovators and has received four honorary doctorates. Carlson won the Otto Schade Prize for contributions to imaging sciences from the Society for Information Display. He holds fundamental patents in the fields of image quality, image coding, and computer vision. His book, Innovation: The Five Disciplines for Creating What Customers Want, co-authored by William Wilmot, was selected by Business Week as one of the top 10 business books for 2006.
Carlson serves on many boards including President Obama's National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He is co-chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Singapore National Research Foundation and was a founding member of the Innovation Leadership Council for the World Economic Forum. He has been a member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, the Defense Science Board on bioterrorism, and the National Academy of Engineering Committee on Manufacturing, Design, and Innovation.
About SRI International
SRI International is a nonprofit research and innovation center headquartered in Silicon Valley. Government and business clients worldwide come to SRI for pioneering solutions in biomedical sciences and health, chemistry and materials, computing, education, economic development, energy, security and defense, robotics, sensing, and more. We provide research, laboratory and advisory services, technology development and licenses, deployable systems, products, and venture opportunities. Our innovations have created new industries and marketplace value, and lasting benefits to society.
SOURCE SRI International