EMERYVILLE, Calif. – (March 31, 2021) – Ambi Robotics, the artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics company that develops advanced supply chain solutions based on simulation-to-reality AI, today announced the appointment of Jim Liefer as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Liefer leads the company out of stealth to expand deployments of AI-powered robotic systems to its customers. Liefer brings more than 30 years of supply chain, e-commerce operations and AI robotic experience from established Fortune 50 companies and Silicon Valley startups. Jeff Mahler, co-founder of Ambi Robotics, will transition from his role as CEO to Chief Technology Officer (CTO), continuing to oversee the development of cutting-edge robotic systems and industry-leading AI.
“Jim has extensive executive leadership experience with a proven ability to build high-growth startups into successful customer-focused organizations. I am thrilled for him to join the team,” said Jeff Mahler, co-founder of Ambi Robotics. “Global brands are experiencing accelerated e-commerce demand and need automated solutions that scale. Jim’s AI robotic experience and supply chain background will elevate Ambi Robotics to an entirely new level.”
Before joining Ambi Robotics, Liefer was CEO of Kindred AI. Through his visionary leadership and hands-on execution, he transformed the company from an AI research lab to a customer-facing organization that develops and deploys business solutions for global retail customers. Under Jim’s leadership, the company scaled AI-powered piece-picking commercial deployments to more than 100 fulfillment systems across seven global retail customers in nine locations in two years. In 2020, the company was acquired by Ocado Group for $262 million.
Prior to Kindred, Liefer was Chief Operating Officer at One Kings Lane and was responsible for supply chain, vendor logistics, distribution and customer care. The company was acquired by Bed Bath & Beyond in 2016. Before One Kings Lane, Liefer served as the VP of Operations at Walmart.com for six years and successfully expanded the company’s e-commerce distribution center locations from five to 12 sites. Additionally, his team saved the organization millions of dollars managing supply chain logistics for e-commerce. Previous to his operations leadership roles, Liefer worked in technology for 23 years, developing customer facing systems at Fritz Companies, which was acquired by United Parcel Service, where Liefer served as VP of Technology, reporting to the CIO.
“The talented team at Ambi Robotics has created incredible technology for global brands to meet accelerated e-commerce demand,” said Jim Liefer, CEO of Ambi Robotics. “I’m honored to be asked to lead the team as we take the preeminent position in the AI robotics space for product and parcel grasping and placement. Together, we will exceed expectations for our valued customers.”
Liefer joins Ambi Robotics as the company emerges from stealth to introduce AI-powered robotics for parcel sortation and ecommerce kitting. AmbiSort and AmbiKit are powered by AmbiOS, the company’s advanced operating system that trains robots in simulation and transfers its deep neural network advancements to highly-dexterous robotic systems. With AmbiOS, robots work alongside warehouse associates to more than double throughput and reduce operating costs by 40 percent.
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