Lak is the Managing Partner of Siemens' new startup unit, next47, established in 2016 to pool all of its existing startup activities into one business unit, with the goal of fostering disruptive ideas more vigorously and to accelerating the development of new technologies. The group's activities will focus on 5 areas: artificial intelligence; autonomous machines; distributed electrification; connected mobility; and blockchain applications, which are designed to simplify and increase the security of data transfers in areas such as industrial operations and energy trading.
Previously, Lak was VP, Corporate Development, at Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE), developing strategies and driving all aspects of M&A for businesses with over $40 billion in revenue. He served as an important partner to the CFO, CEO, and board, providing input on strategy and build-buy-partner decisions. Prior to joining HP, Lak worked in the Corporate Development group at Cisco Systems where he led a broad range of large-scale, high-impact transactions including acquisitions, investments, joint ventures, investment-backed alliances, and divestitures. Most notably, he co-led the $2.9 billion acquisition of Starent Networks, which positioned Cisco as the leader in Mobile Internet infrastructure. His board responsibilities with investments included Control4, GridNet, and Vocera.
During his fellowship, Lak was an active venture capital investor in Silicon Valley, where he participated in investments in several companies such as Cortina Systems, Digital Chocolate, IMVU, Jasper Wireless, Open-Silicon, and Snapvine (acquired by WhitePages.com). Before his fellowship, Lak was with the private equity group of 3i in Asia, where he specialized in growth capital investments in India and formulated 3i's venture capital strategy for that geography. Earlier, he was a Director with Cambridge Technology Partners, managing large product development teams for clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 50 companies.
Education, Personal, and Fellowship
Lak earned an MBA, with Distinction, in 2005 from INSEAD, where he completed an exchange program with the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Lak holds an MS in electrical engineering from Kansas State University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Tau Beta Pi. He also holds a BE in electrical and electronics engineering from Guindy Engineering College, India, where he was a Gold Medalist.
Lak is a published author and has several research papers in IEEE to his credit. He and his wife, Preethi, have traveled abroad extensively and share a passion for south Indian classical music. Lak also loves spending time with his son, Jayanth.
Lak Ananth is a member of Kauffman Fellows Class 12 and served his fellowship at Bridgescale Partners under mentor Matthew Cowan.