“My team is very technically skilled, but at the same time, they are all business savvy and can effectively communicate with customers. That’s a pretty rare combination.”
Alexey Myakov was the co-founder and CEO of Itseez, a computer vision company in Russia. In 2016, Intel purchased the company and brought Alexey on board as part of Intel Russia. His journey from startup CEO to Intel team leader has given him a unique perspective on his work. Recently, we asked him to share a bit more about himself and the exciting projects he’s leading at Intel.
What do you do at Intel now?
About a year and a half ago, I was asked to create a customer enablement team in our Internet of Things Group. We called it OpenVINO™ Customer Scale Team. Our goal is to work with customers in healthcare, retail, the industrial sector and to encourage them to embrace OpenVINO™, along with the new and existing Intel hardware targets. Our team consists of 20 people globally: three in China, three in Russia, about ten in the U.S., plus a few interns—and we keep growing.
How do customers use Intel products in the real world?
A recent example out of China was Hisense, a company working on computer aided surgery (CAS). This system takes CT scans of the patient’s body and uses them to digitally reconstruct the organs. Then, it lays those reconstructed organs over the shape of the body. The surgeon looks at this overlay to plan the surgery. This type of organ detection is done by deep learning networks. It’s our job to guarantee that the speed of running, or the inference of the deep learning network on our Intel hardware is sufficient for the customer, which we did. This is why our customers choose Intel hardware and Intel software for their solution.
What makes your team successful?
They’re all crazy smart. It’s very easy to work with the team. They all know what needs to be done. They are very technically skilled, but at the same time, they are all business savvy and can effectively communicate with customers. That’s a pretty rare combination. Sometimes I lead and advise them on how we can improve, but I never micro-manage people. This is how my team is unique.
Why did you stay with Intel when your company was purchased?
Because of people. I wanted the team to reach their goals. And I think I have good experience to share. I’ve been working with the customers since 2003. It’s been a long and interesting journey, more than 17 years working with hundreds and hundreds of different customers. That’s what I teach my team. Every one of the people on the team are much smarter than me from a technical standpoint, but I can add value when it comes to interactions with customers. Together, we make an amazing team. My knowledge of how to win deals and how to win customers together with the depth of their technical knowledge is a powerful combination. We are a small team but we have a large impact at Intel.
Which of Intel’s benefits appeal to you?
I have never been managed in my entire life. I have always been led. And I apply the same leadership style with my team. My Intel bosses respect my independence and allow me to work with the utmost flexibility. We discuss the goals or objectives, but I choose the path that will allow me to achieve them. A father of four kids, I work at my own pace; sometimes at home, sometimes while travelling, sometimes from the other side of the world. We are intellectual workers and need not be at our desks from nine to five. At Intel, we are allowed to work at our own pace and build our life around our professional responsibilities. That’s the part I love.
What skills and experience do you need to start working at Intel?
Attitude is very important. You need to be energetic and willing to go above and beyond. In my experience, that’s key to the mindset of people who are very good at working with customers. In our team, it’s important to be technically knowledgeable, as well as easy going and approachable. Strong skills in relation to coding and a desire to learn and have fun are what we look for in new team members.