Raja joins Virgin Hyperloop from Hyundai Aptiv Joint Venture where he focused on enabling the commercialization of L4 autonomous driving technology
LOS ANGELES, July 22, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Today, Virgin Hyperloop announced the appointment of Raja Narayanan as Chief Financial Officer. Raja will oversee all finance and business development functions for Virgin Hyperloop as the company drives hyperloop technology towards commercialization.
“Raja has an unprecedented background in creating value in disruptive transportation opportunities and operationalizing large scale industrial projects,” said Jay Walder, CEO of Virgin Hyperloop. “We are excited to have him join Virgin Hyperloop at this pivotal time where the world is adapting to the new normal and realizing we need solutions like hyperloop that allow us to not just rebuild, but evolve.”
“I have built my career around things that fly and things that move,” said Raja Narayanan, CFO of Virgin Hyperloop. “For the next chapter, I am excited to be joining Virgin Hyperloop, the company truly pioneering the future of autonomous mass transit. I am convinced in the value of hyperloop to unlock exponential growth and impact millions in generations to come by creating a safe, sustainable mode of transportation.”
This new industry and partnership ecosystem is already coming to life. In June, Virgin Hyperloop and Spirit AeroSystems, one of the world’s largest aerospace manufacturers, announced a collaboration agreement. The collaboration will see Spirit AeroSystems’ engineers, fabricators, builders, supply chain and certification experts, and technicians helping to bring hyperloop closer to commercialization in the United States. Other industry-leading partners include Virgin, DP World, KPMG, Foster + Partners, Systra, BIG, SNCF, GE, Deutsche Bahn, Black & Veatch, McKinsey, Deloitte, Jacobs, Turner & Townsend, ARUP, and Steer, among others.
Before joining Virgin Hyperloop, Raja was most recently an SVP at Hyundai-Aptiv Autonomous Driving Joint Venture, focused on commercializing L4 autonomous driving technology. He was part of a broader executive team at Aptiv that led to the creation of the joint venture (JV) valued at $4 billion. At the JV, he was responsible for developing, nurturing, and maintaining a broad swath of partnerships which included maximizing commercial value into the program ecosystem.
Prior to that, Raja was involved with OneWeb, where he led the creation of a financially compelling offering for commercial aviation. As a VP at Panasonic, he led the strategic plan and P&L transformation of the appliances business unit into IoT-based automation. In a previous assignment, he was responsible for driving the re-imagination of the business and technology architecture of the in-flight platform for commercial aviation.
Raja holds a master’s degree in computer science from University of Louisiana, Lafayette, and dual bachelor’s degrees in engineering and physics from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India, and the University of Madras, India, respectively. He is also a co-author of 6 wireless networking patents that have been granted by the U.S. patent office.
About Virgin Hyperloop
Virgin Hyperloop is the first company in the world that has successfully tested its hyperloop technology at scale, launching the first new mode of mass transportation in over 100 years. The company successfully operated a full-scale hyperloop vehicle using electric propulsion and electromagnetic levitation under near-vacuum conditions, realizing a fundamentally new form of transportation that is faster, safer, cheaper, and more sustainable than existing modes. Learn more about Virgin Hyperloop’s technology, vision, and ongoing projects here.
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