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Uber, Apple Veteran Joins Very as Chief Product Officer

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Very today announced the hire of Luke Wilhelm as Chief Product Officer. Formerly the Director of Hardware Engineering at Uber Elevate and a Senior Manager of Product Design at Apple, Wilhelm will lead Very’s team of senior engineers, designers, and data scientists in the strategic development of products that solve critical challenges in the IoT space and beyond. 

Meet Luke Wilhelm, Chief Product Officer at Very

“The level of innovation and high quality of the products that Very builds for their customers impressed me immediately. I’m excited to lead this team in identifying and solving some of the world’s most pressing technology challenges.”

Flying Cars and Clean Lines

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When I found out that Very was planning to hire the head of flying cars at Uber, I was personally surprised to learn that Uber had a “flying cars” department. (Officially, as referenced above, it’s called Uber Elevate, and was acquired in December 2020 by Joby Aviation, a result of Luke’s dynamic leadership.) 

Uber isn’t the only impressive company on Luke’s resume. Prior to his tenure there, he was a senior manager of product design at Apple. While there, he gained a deeper understanding of how focusing on cleanliness, efficiency, and beauty in product design impacts not only a solution’s look and feel, but its utility as well. 

The Unconventional Candidate Delivers Unconventional Results

Luke’s most recent successful career ventures are the result of more than 20 years of experience in product leadership that began with a passion for cars he developed at a young age. In college, he spent as much time as he could hanging out in the automotive labs at University of Maryland College Park. His enthusiasm for the technology was so pervasive that the leader of the lab invited him to join a Future Truck program sponsored by General Motors and the Department of Energy. 

Luke was an unconventional candidate for the program — at the time, he sported long dreadlocks and an irreverent speaking style. Yet shortly after he started working there, he was invited to take over the motor, controller, and battery team, and ultimately the entire vehicle, propelling him into an auspicious career leading battery architecture and engineering that is rife with achievements. 

While at Cobasys, for example, Luke developed a next-generation battery module, built a green-field plant in Ohio to manufacture it, and certified it for production for GM. At A123 Systems, he developed battery systems for hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), and his handiwork can be found on just about any early GM or BMW hybrid vehicle or commuter bus.

Vision for Very: Solving Technology’s Most Pressing Challenges

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After spending more than 10 years delivering superior products for clients ranging from Vizio to Clear, iHeart Radio, Complex Media, Shopkeep, and more, Very is ready to take the next step and build our own product catalog. 

Luke’s depth and breadth of experience gives him a unique perspective on IoT engineering to lead our team in reaching that goal. He’s been everywhere from executives’ offices in Cupertino to live manufacturing lines in China, seeing where the most pressing needs and biggest opportunities in technology lie. 

All in all, it’s a winning combination, and I’m excited to see where we go from here. Follow Very on social media and subscribe to our blog newsletter to access all the latest updates. 

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