Leadership

Babur Ozden

Babur Ozden
Founder & Chief Executive Officer

Donald Thompson

Donald Thompson
Founder, President &
Chief Operating Officer

Rob Povey
Chief Software Engineer

Steve Gustafson
Chief Scientist

Babur Ozden

Babur Ozden is founder and CEO of Maana, the Knowledge Platform that accelerates enterprise profitability. Maana is backed by Chevron Technology Ventures, Frost Data Capital, GE Ventures, Intel Capital, Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, and Shell Technology Ventures. Babur served as the president of DataCert, the largest SaaS legal billing and payment provider in the world (acquired by Wolters Kluwer WLSNC:NA); and was the founder and CEO of Superonline, the largest Internet services provider in Turkey (acquired by Turkcell NYSE:TKC). Babur founded TurkishSpark, a non-profit ambition helping immigrant engineers to become American entrepreneurs. He holds an M.B.A. from Rice University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin.

Donald Thompson

As founder, President and Chief Operating Officer, Donald Thompson leads Maana’s product vision, oversees technology and product management, and is responsible for building and delivering cutting-edge solutions to Maana’s customers, some of the world’s largest corporations. With over 25 years of experience delivering high-profile, large-scale software and services, Donald has worked closely with top executives at Fortune 30 companies to develop and implement computing strategy across an array of industries, including oil and gas, health care, finance, retail, and travel. Prior to Maana, Donald spent 15 years at Microsoft as director of engineering, architect, and development manager within multiple divisions. He founded Bing’s Knowledge and Reasoning Team (project Satori); was co-founder of project Arena, which shipped as the SQL Server 2012 Semantic Engine; created Microsoft’s first contextual ad delivery system, spanning multiple international data centers to deliver over 14 billion targeted ads daily and generating $700MM annual revenue. Donald also oversaw numerous incubations in Microsoft Research and Windows.

Prior to Microsoft, Donald was architect for a financial services startup, lead developer on a cellular billing system, and an independent consultant working on 3D graphics and physics engines for computer games.

Donald earned a Master of Science in Computer Science from the University of Oxford. He has authored several technical publications and holds an array of patents covering data, wireless, search, and other technologies.

Rob Povey

Rob Povey is chief software engineer at Maana in charge of software development across the company’s product line. Rob’s broad experience, spanning from video games through search and knowledge representations, gives him a unique perspective in guiding Maana’s evolution. Prior to joining Maana in 2013, Rob worked at Sony Computer Entertainment where he was a principle engineer with the Worldwide Studios Tools and Technology Group during the development and launch of PlayStation 4. Before joining Sony, Rob worked at Microsoft, initially joining the CTO’s office before moving to the SQL Server Team where he was the development manager on semantic search, and later a founding member of Bing’s Knowledge and Reasoning Team (project Satori). Previously, Rob spent 20 years in the video games industry in both management and individual contributor roles, working on titles such as Spore, The Sims, The Godfather, and The Lion King.

Rob holds a Bachelor of Science with honors in Computer Science from the University of York.

Rob Povey is chief software engineer at Maana in charge of software development across the company’s product line. Rob’s depth of experience in software development, spanning from video games to search and knowledge representations, gives him a unique perspective in guiding Maana’s evolution. Prior to joining Maana in 2013, Rob worked at Sony Computer Entertainment where he was a principle engineer with the world wide studios, tools and technology group during the development and launch of PlayStation 4.Before joining Sony, Rob worked at Microsoft, initially joining the CTO’s office before moving to the SQL Server team where he was the development manager on semantic search, and later a founding member of Bing’s knowledge and reasoning team (project Satori). Previously, Rob spent 20 years in the video games industry in both management and individual contributor roles, working on titles such as Spore, The Sims, The Godfather and The Lion King.

Steven Gustafson is Chief Scientist overseeing research and data science at Maana. Previously, he spent over 10 years at General Electric’s Global Research Center in New York, developing novel solutions for massive-scale, click-stream log mining for media and industrial equipment businesses, open source intelligence, and network analysis for the intelligence communities; and knowledge-driven data and analytical solutions across the finance, healthcare, and industrial sectors. Steven drove several company-wide strategies for Big Data, Semantics, and most recently Artificial Intelligence. He founded the Knowledge Discovery Lab at GE and co-founded the journal of Memetic Computing, where he was the Technical Editor-in-Chief. Steven has chaired conferences and program committees, and serves on several editorial boards. Steven is a former winner of the IEEE Intelligent System’s “AI’s 10 to Watch” award, holds over 10 patents, and has authored more than 40 peer reviewed articles.

 

Steven earned a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Nottingham, UK, and was a research fellow in the Automated Scheduling, Optimization and Planning Research Group.  He received his BS and MS in Computer Science from Kansas State University, and served as research assistant in the Knowledge Discovery in Databases Laboratory.