StretchSense (Sensor Holdings Limited) has named Mike Riley executive chair of the board. Other key additions to the board of directors and the company’s management team include Chris Komatas as chief operating officer and Charles Pludthura as chief marketing officer. The news was announced by StretchSense CEO and co-founder Benjamin O’Brien.
A manufacturer of hands for virtual environments and the creator of the MoCap Pro Glove, StretchSense’s hand and finger motion capture solution is used in the games and visual effects industry. The company has emerged as a key player in several markets including motion capture animation, industry applications, and premium gaming glove technology.
“At StretchSense we are building the future of premium hand tracking for the metaverse,” explained O’Brien. “To do this you need an incredible team and Mike, Chris, and Chuck bring the experience we need to move from the launch to growth phase of our business. I am super excited to welcome them onboard and look forward to changing the gaming, visual effects, and virtual reality industries together.”
Riley is managing partner at Cress Global, which provides strategic leadership helping NZ, offshore and global growth-based businesses enhance their success. Before Cress, Riley spent four years as CEO of Compac Sorting Equipment; he led the sale of Compac to TOMRA, and the acquisition of BBC Technologies on behalf of TOMRA. Previously he was CEO of Endace leading it through its acquisition by NYSE-listed Emulex Corporation. Before coming to New Zealand, he was CMO of Network Engines, based in Boston. Riley currently holds board positions at RedShield Security, Framecad Holdings, Pingar, and New Zealand Frost Fans. He is the executive chairman for Teknique Limited, the deputy chair for ExportNZ, and has frequently participated in the judging for the New Zealand High Tech Awards, Export Awards and Amcham Awards.
“I’m so pleased to join StretchSense at this pivotal time in the evolution of its product line and market position,” commented Riley. “StretchSense imagines a future where accessing real-time hand motion data will interact seamlessly with one’s virtual environment and that’s enormously exciting. We’ve got a team of veterans who are bound by this dedication to ingenuity and innovation, so there’s really no limit to the growth that StretchSense can achieve. I’m delighted to bring my experience and problem solving to this dynamic company.”
Newly appointed COO Komatas’ career has included executive tenures in high-growth and high-tech companies, shaping strategy and leading organizational growth across NZ, the US and UK. He has led organizations through significant restructures, secured new market opportunities and guided mergers and acquisitions in his executive roles at companies including Compac, Endace, Juniper Networks USA and Ericsson.
“I’m excited to join the StretchSense team as we scale to meet growing demand as our customers invest in greater levels of motion capture content,” remarked Komatas. “With our ability to track the nuances of hand movement we will be working closely with our customers to unlock new levels of creativity in character development and realistic interaction in virtual environments.”
With MBA and Law degrees, Pludthura has been an entrepreneur with vested interests in multiple businesses across New Zealand. His eight-year tenure at Sage Group included seven years as head of marketing for the Australia, NZ, and Pacific region. He then became general manager of XM Developments, which created Sage eCommerce, a global company focused exclusively on the development of electronic commerce and payment processing solutions. More recently he has overseen the launch of several start-ups in NZ including roles as a founding partner at Prodermal, a NZ eCommerce skincare company, and Foodcraft, a market leader in NZ’s growing premium food tourism sector.
“My marketing and business philosophy isn’t born from theory or best practice literature,” noted Pludthura. “I bring an authentic and practical marketing knowledge gleaned from real-world global corporate experience that I know will assist in achieving StretchSense’s next corporate goals.”