D-Wave is finishing the year with a pair of announcements. First, it indicated that CEO Vern Brownell will be retiring at the end of the year and that current chief product officer and executive vice president of research and development Alan Baratz will take over as CEO. Baratz joined D-Wave in 2017 and has overseen many of the recent developments including launch of the Leap™ Cloud Service as well as the development of D-Wave’s next-generation Advantage™ quantum system. At this time, we are not expecting any significant changes in D-Wave’s strategy due to this management change.
The agreements with NEC will include several areas of activity. NEC will be able to act as an authorized reseller of D-Wave’s Leap cloud service, they will jointly work with D-Wave to provide applications support and development for customers in Japan, and finally, the two companies will jointly develop hybrid services that combine the power of NEC’s supercomputers and other classical systems with D-Wave’s quantum technology including D-Wave Hybrid™, an open-source workflow platform for building and running quantum-classical hybrid applications. NEC will also be making a financial investment of $10 million into D-Wave and this is expected to close shortly.