Reflections from Our First Year
By Sanjay Dhawan
Today we celebrate a huge milestone for Cerence: our first anniversary as an independent, standalone company. This first year has been filled with incredible moments and accomplishments, from ringing the bell at NASDAQ and our strong financial performance to our steady cadence of innovative, new products and ongoing partnership with our customers.
To mark the occasion, I asked my leadership team to share their favorite memories and moments of the last year. Let’s take a look back…
“I am especially proud of our inaugural Analyst Day held in NYC in February. We introduced the entire Executive Leadership Team to investors and analysts and shared the Company’s growth strategy and product innovation roadmap. We also had the chance to officially celebrate the successful spin-out from Nuance by ringing the opening bell at NASDAQ.” – Mark Gallenberger, CFO
“I am so proud of the way our team seamlessly transitioned to Cerence. Instead of getting slowed down or distracted, they didn’t miss a beat and instead flourished in our new environment, as evidenced by our ongoing customer successes like the launch of the new MBUX in the Mercedes S-Class and our AI industry leadership with new products like Cerence Reader.” – Stefan Ortmanns, EVP & GM, Core Business Unit
“The first quarter as Cerence was filled with exciting moments. October 1st – day one – when we stepped over the construction materials and crowded into the not-quite-finished Burlington, Mass., office for our very first all-hands meeting. A few weeks later, our first Cerence Sales Meeting, where the leadership team had the chance to meet in person for the first time. And throughout our first year, when all of our new systems and processes have been put to the test and proven successful – only to then be thrown the biggest curveball in the last century and execute a fast, seamless transition to remote operations in the midst of a worldwide pandemic.” – Bridget Collins, CIO
“I’ll never forget our first day as Cerence on October 1 and the subsequent acceptance of the S-1, ending the completion of the formal spin efforts on October 15. These milestones marked the culmination of an extensive process, and the result – standing up the company on such solid ground, with an esteemed board and management team, dedicated employees, and a steady stream of new and innovative products – has been so rewarding to be a part of.” – Leanne Fitzgerald, General Counsel
“For me, there are two major highlights: first, our team’s response to Covid-19. We moved quickly to implement contingency plans that would help ease the transition into a predominantly remote environment – a challenging way of work for engineering teams. I was thrilled by the overwhelming support and how the team embraced the opportunity to change our company. Second, celebrating a major car launch that nearly every team at Cerence contributed to – the new MBUX.” – Udo Haiber, SVP R&D and Services.
“Achieving all of our sales KPIs to date, including bookings and revenue, even during Covid-19, and celebrating two of our largest contracts in company history. Establishing a strong track record for increasing customer-added value YoY and achieving an OEM new program close rate of over 90%.” – Egon Jungheim, SVP, Global Sales
“I’m proud of our team’s intense focus on customer delivery and how we have met our commitments to key customers like BMW, Daimler, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, and Alfa Romeo. Our dedication to our customers has given way to deeper partnership and support from top automakers like Toyota, as evidenced by their participation in our recent Tech Showcase for analysts and investors.” – Prateek Kathpal, CTO
“There have been so many great moments as we celebrate our first anniversary. I cannot believe how much this year has meant to us as a company, a family, and an industry. I’m most proud of the introduction of Cerence ARK and its expansion into English to become a global platform, as well as the many Cerence ARK-powered automotive assistants in China and our expansion into the two-wheeler market. And the establishment of our new, global MIT business unit, which has allowed me to meet and work with global colleagues new and old. ” – Charles Kuai, Corporate SVP & President, Greater China Region
“Our first Consumer Electronics Show (CES) as Cerence was so exciting, and it’s been rewarding to see some of our recent innovations implemented in real-world deployments. In addition, establishing the Apps BU and celebrating the debut of Cerence Car Life and Cerence Pay, two meaningful products that will shape the car ownership experience in the future.” – Nils Lenke, VP & GM, Apps Business Unit
“It’s amazing to think that it was just 15 months ago that we introduced the Cerence name, logo and brand to the world, and it’s particularly gratifying to see how it’s been embraced by our team, our customers and the industry. While it will continue to evolve over time, I’m proud of how the Cerence brand has quickly become known as a staple of innovation, dependability and customer commitment.” – Rick Mack, CMCO
“I have immense pride in our people and how they have adapted in the wake of Covid-19. They drew closer as a result of the challenges facing them: we celebrated our first global wellbeing week, launched a new site in Pune, India, that now has more than 100 employees, and demonstrated little impact on productivity and results despite an entirely new way of working. It’s been impressive to see our employees band together to become an even stronger global team.” – Sachin Sahney, CHRO
It’s clear that while this year has presented unprecedented, global challenges, we have much to celebrate and be proud of, none of which would have been possible without our community. The Cerence team, who demonstrated unmatched grit, dedication and determination as we embarked on this new journey – and navigated a worldwide pandemic – together. And our customers, who have not just stood by us, but have trusted us to be their partners as we together march toward a shared vision for the future.
Cheers to the entire Cerence team, our customers, and our partners, and here’s to many more exciting years ahead.