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Our leadership

Get to know the team leading the way to make data do more around the world.

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Girish Rishi

Chief Executive Officer

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Girish Rishi

Girish Rishi is the Chief Executive Officer at Cognite, the leading Industrial DataOps platform company that harnesses the power of data and AI to deliver actionable insights to the energy and industrial sectors. Most recently, Rishi was the CEO at Blue Yonder, a leading supply chain software company. During his tenure, the business transformed into the cloud, driving strong growth, profitability, innovation, customers, and employee satisfaction. Prior to his CEO position at Blue Yonder, Rishi held executive leadership positions at Motorola, Tyco, and Symbol Technologies, where he led global businesses that delivered IoT, software, and services. Rishi has a master’s degree in public policy from Johns Hopkins University, an MBA from the University of Hartford, and an undergraduate degree from the University of Mumbai.

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John Markus Lervik

Chief Strategy & Development Officer and Co-Founder

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John Markus Lervik

You can’t go green when you’re in the red. Digitalization can make sustainability profitable by enabling cost cuts, improving efficiency and reducing environmental footprint — all at the same time — and in most cases, it comes hand-in-hand.

Dr. John Markus Lervik is the Chief Strategy & Development Officer and co-founder of Cognite, serving as CEO from the foundation to 2022. Throughout his career, Lervik has channelled his passion for liberating data and innovating with technology into companies that revolutionize the ways we work. After finalizing his PhD at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), he co-founded Fast Search & Transfer (FAST) in 1997 and served first as Chief Technology Officer and later as Chief Executive Officer until Microsoft acquired the company in 2008 for USD 1.3 billion. He then took the position of Vice President of Enterprise Search at Microsoft before leaving in 2009 to found the software company Cxense, which was listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange in 2014. In 2005 Lervik was recognized by Forbes as a member of the E-gang for his pioneering work in the technology sector.

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Laxmi Akkaraju

Chief Delivery Officer

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Laxmi Akkaraju

The implementation of smart edge solutions will be key to enable a wide range of applications: from automation and predictive maintenance, monitoring air quality and energy use, to predicting traffic patterns, empowering us to make the right decisions in real time.

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Paul Grenet

Chief Revenue Officer

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Paul Grenet

Paul Grenet brings extensive experience driving global technology companies’ sales organizations and go-to-market strategies. He is heading all aspects of Cognite’s revenue performance, including managing its global sales and customer success organizations and executing its go-to-market strategy. Prior to Cognite, Grenet served as the Global Head of Sales for PTC, an industrial software company, for their Internet of Things (IoT) and Augmented Reality (AR) businesses. He also served as Head of Field Strategy, Operations, and Planning and was the General Manager for the EMEA region for PTC.

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Christine Tønsberg Nilsen

General Counsel

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Christine Tønsberg Nilsen

Christine Tønsberg Nilsen is responsible for all legal operations in Cognite globally. Christine has extensive legal experience and is a specialist in technology law and SaaS, with a focus on strategic and commercial assessments. She is very interested in thinking outside the box and is known for having digitized and streamlined the legal department in Cognite in record time through the implementation and use of legal-tech tools.

Christine has previously worked in the technology department of SANDS and been Chief Legal Officer in the listed technology company NEXT Biometrics. In addition to her law degree, she has a degree in entrepreneurship and a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

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Petteri Vainikka

Chief Marketing Officer

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Petteri Vainikka

Petteri Vainnikka is the Chief Marketing Officer at Cognite. Vainikka’s professional career spans across enterprise SaaS technologies, where he has found himself at the intersection of emerging transformational technology development and its commercial applications for customers. Prior to Cognite, Vainnikka worked in senior product management, marketing, sales, and general management positions for companies such as at Sumea, Rovio, and Cxense. Vainnikka has a master’s degree in technology from Aalto University in Helsinki.

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Elise Sendstad

Chief People & Organization Officer

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Elise Sendstad

Building a company that is capable of powerful transformation requires active engagement from all parts of the organization, and a commitment to finding sustainable, environmental and impactful solutions.

Elise Sendstad has the overall responsibility for human resources operations and the continuous development of the Cognite team. She has spent the past 11 years working with knowledge-intensive organizations in the private and public sectors, including Innovation Norway, where she was responsible for organization and leadership development, and Telenor Norway, as the Head of Strategic HR Development. Sendstad has an executive master’s degree from Copenhagen Business School in leadership and innovation in complex systems.

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Geir Engdahl

Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder

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Geir Engdahl

The great challenge industry faces is speeding up the time it takes to turn a great proof of concept into a quality-controlled, real, cost- and time-saving product. We are committed to helping industry operationalize great ideas better and speedier than ever before.

Geir Engdahl is the Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of Cognite. Engdahl runs Cognite’s R&D department, leading the development of Cognite Data Fusion. In 2011, Engdahl founded Snapsale, a machine learning classifieds startup. He served as CEO and CTO until Schibsted acquired the company in 2017. Before that, he spent three years working as a senior software engineer for Google in Canada. Engdahl has a master’s degree in computational science from the University of Oslo.

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Dr. Francois Laborie

Executive Vice President, Strategic Projects

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Dr. Francois Laborie

There is more pressure than ever before for industry to take transformative action, using the right technology to uncover, understand, and act on data. Understanding our present is the first step towards realizing a more sustainable future, while delivering value to the bottom line.

Francois Laborie has previously run Cognite’s Americas region and managed Cognite’s overall marketing activities, including product marketing, and the Cognite partner network, as Chief Marketing Officer. He spent the preceding 11 years with the software company Vizrt, where he served as COO and CCO, responsible for all commercial and operational activities. Laborie has a Ph.D. in computer science from the Toulouse Research Institute in Computer Science (IRIT).

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Andrezej Golebiowski

Chief Operating Officer

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Andrezej Golebiowski

Only 30% of corporations are successful with digital transformations. Without a laser-focus on your "why" --and without specific business goals--the return on investment can be limited. It’s critical that we work together to develop a common vision and roadmap.

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Nancy Cavanaugh

Senior Vice President, Finance

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Nancy Cavanaugh

I’m inspired by our vision of an industrial world that thrives on data and unleashes human creativity for the greater good. I know what it takes to IPO, and I believe Cognite is poised to succeed on that path.

Nancy Cavanaugh is the Senior Vice President of Finance at Cognite and is responsible for all of the company’s financial functions, including accounting, audit, treasury, and corporate finance. She has spent more than 20 years working across a variety of fields, including financial management, business leadership, and financial reporting. Prior to joining Cognite, Nancy worked in public accounting at PwC and most recently served as vice president of SEC and US GAAP Reporting at Hoegh LNG. Nancy holds a Master of Science in international economics from the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) and a Bachelor of Science in accounting from the University of Albany, NY.

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Jeff Flammer

President, Cognite Americas

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Jeff Flammer

As Cognite continues to lead and define the Industrial DataOps space, a key component is strengthening our presence in the Americas and building Cognite Data Fusion into the leading industrial software and data contextualization platform. As industry is in the midst of massive transformation, enterprises recognize the need for Cognite’s enabling foundation, and we are here to simplify access to complex industrial data around the world.

Jeff Flammer focuses on accelerating Cognite’s growth and strengthening the company’s position as the leading industrial software provider in the Americas. Prior to joining Cognite, Flammer held global go-to-market leadership positions at AWS, Blue Yonder, SAP, Accenture, and GE Power. He has a master’s degree in Manufacturing Systems Engineering from Stanford University.

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Øyvind Eriksen

Chairman of the Board of Directors, Cognite

President and CEO of Aker ASA

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Øyvind Eriksen

Øyvind Eriksen is the President and CEO of Aker ASA and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Cognite. He joined Norwegian law firm BAHR in 1990, where he became a partner in 1996 and a director and chairman in 2003. As a corporate attorney he has worked on strategic and operational development, mergers and acquisitions, and negotiations.

Eriksen has held several board positions in different industries, including shipping, finance, asset management, offshore drilling, fisheries, media, trade, and industry. Eriksen is currently chairman of the board in Aker BP ASA, Cognite AS, Aker Capital AS, Aker Holding AS, Aker Horizons AS, Aker Property Group AS, C4IR Ocean, and REV Ocean AS. He is a board member of several companies, including Aker BioMarine ASA, Aker Energy AS, Aker Carbon Capture AS, The Resource Group TRG AS, TRG Holding AS, and the Norwegian Cancer Society.

Eriksen is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution global network advisory board. *While Eriksen holds no shares or share options in Aker Solutions directly, he has an ownership interest through his holding of 219,072 shares in Aker ASA and 0.20% of the shares in TRG Holding AS through a privately owned company. He has been elected for the period 2021-2023. Eriksen has a law degree from the University of Oslo.

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Karl Johnny Hersvik

Member of the Board of Directors, Cognite

CEO of Aker BP

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Karl Johnny Hersvik

Karl Johnny Hersvik has been the CEO of Aker BP since May 2014. Prior to joining the independent oil and gas company, he served as head of research for Equinor (formerly Statoil). Hersvik has held a number of specialist and executive positions with Norsk Hydro and StatoilHydro. He is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Aker Energy AS and Aize, and a board member of the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association and the Norwegian Church Abroad. Hersvik has a master’s degree in industrial mathematics from the University of Bergen.

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Kjell Inge Røkke

Member of the Board of Directors, Cognite

Chairman of the Board of Directors and primary owner of Aker ASA

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Kjell Inge Røkke

Kjell Inge Røkke, Aker ASA’s main owner, has been a driving force in the development of Aker since the 1990s. Røkke launched his business career with the purchase of a 69-foot trawler in the United States in 1982, and gradually built a leading worldwide fisheries business. In 1996, the Røkke-controlled company RGI purchased enough Aker shares to become Aker’s largest shareholder. RGI later merged with Aker.

Røkke is currently the Chairman of Aker ASA, The Resource Group TRG AS, and TRG Holding AS, and Director of several companies, including Aker BP ASA, Aker Solutions ASA, Ocean Yield ASA, Aker BioMarine ASA, Aker Property Group AS, Aker Energy AS, Aker Horizons AS, Aker Offshore Wind AS, Aize Holding, Aker Clean Hydrogen AS, Cognite AS, Seetee Topco AS, REV Ocean AS, and Rec Silicon ASA.

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Nabil Abdulaziz Al-Nuaim

Vice President of Digital Transformation, Saudi Aramco

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Nabil Abdulaziz Al-Nuaim

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Matt Weigand

Member of the Board of Directors, Cognite

Partner, Accel

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Matt Weigand

Matt Weigand is a partner at the American venture capital firm Accel, focusing on enterprise software, consumer internet, and security businesses. He represents Accel on the Board of Snyk and is actively involved with Accel’s investments in Cognite, Cornershop, G2Crowd, MessageBird, Xero, and GoFundMe. Prior to joining Accel, Weigand worked with William Blair’s technology investment banking group. He has a degree from Miami University of Ohio.

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Jake Reynolds

Member of the Board of Directors, Cognite

General Partner, TCV

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Jake Reynolds

Jake Reynolds is a general partner at TCV, one of the world’s largest growth equity firms. He joined TCV in 1997 and has been a venture capital and technology investor for more than 20 years. While Reynolds has investment experience in multiple technology sectors, his focus has been on the software and tech-enabled services industries and includes both minority and majority investments. In addition to his investment activities, Reynolds is also a member of TCV’s Executive Committee, which oversees general management of the firm and its funds.

Prior to joining TCV, Reynolds was an associate with General Atlantic Partners, a private equity firm focused on late-stage software and service businesses. Before joining General Atlantic, he was a member of the mergers and acquisitions group at Lazard Freres & Co., where he focused on the technology and telecom industries.

Reynolds has been involved with over 30 past and present TCV investments. He is currently on the board of directors of Cognite, OneSource Virtual, Trulioo, Venafi, and Watermark, and is actively involved with Clio and OneTrust. Reynolds has an MBA from Columbia Business School.

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Ole Alexander Pihl Konstad

Employee representative on the Board of Directors, Cognite

Security Culture Director, Cognite

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Ole Alexander Pihl Konstad

Ole Alexander Pihl Konstad joined Cognite in 2019 and is a security engineer focusing on internal security culture, training, and awareness. He leads the Cognite chapter of NITO - The Norwegian Society of Engineers and Technologists. Konstad currently serves on NITO’s advisory committee on ICT, and has represented NITO in discussions with members of the Norwegian parliament. He has also served on the district board of NITO.

Prior to joining Cognite, Konstad worked 21 years for Nagravision AS (formerly Conax AS), a security company focusing on DRM and conditional access for the broadcast and online video industry. He joined when it was a 30-person subsidiary of Telenor and contributed to its growth into a 200-person company that in 2014 sold for 1.5 billion Norwegian kroner to the Kudelski Group. Konstad served as a board member of Nagravision both under Telenor and Kudelski ownership.

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Sofie Berge

Employee representative on the Board of Directors, Cognite

Product Manager, BestDay, Cognite

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Sofie Berge

Sofie Svartdal Berge is the Product Manager of the production optimization application Cognite BestDay.

Throughout her time in Cognite, Berge’s focus has been on production optimization, where she has gathered extensive experience across Cognite’s customer base. She has also held roles spanning project management, establishing and leading the data science-focused production optimization team in Industry Solutions, sales and marketing, and product and engineering. She joined Cognite in 2018 from the world of technical and software consulting.
Berge has a master’s degree in petroleum engineering (specializing in reservoir engineering) from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

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Cim Stordal

Employee representative on the Board of Directors, Cognite

Senior software engineer, Security, Cognite

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Cim Stordal

Cim Stordal is a veteran at Cognite. He joined the company in 2018 and has seen it grow from a startup to a global industrial SaaS company. He got his start in the Computer Vision team, shifted to Data Contextualization, and has for the past year focused on security research.

Stordal knows Cognite’s engineering inside out—the products, the culture, and the opportunities. Prior to joining Cognite, he worked in the security field. His security career started at the age of 15 after he hacked Google, Apple, and Facebook, and he has held both offensive and defensive security roles.