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Exclusive sitdown with IAR’s newly appointed CEO Cecilia Wachtmeister

Cecilia Wachtmeister.
Cecilia Wachtmeister.

Sweden’s software company IAR recently completed the hunt for a new chief executive, when the Upsala-based firm confirmed to QA Financial earlier this month that it had appointed Cecilia Wachtmeister as its new CEO.

Wachtmeister plans to take up the role on October 1 when she will succeed current chief executive Richard Lind, who announced his intention to step down at the end of March.

Wachtmeister has held a range of roles in various technology companies in the last decade, with a focus on international sales.

Most recently, she was chief commercial officer at Kambi, a major B2B provider of sports betting services to licensed B2C gambling operators. The company provides a software platform with front end user interface, odds compiling, customer intelligence and risk management.

Ahead of her move into the CEO role, QA Financial sat down with the Nordic industry insider.

Q: First of all, congratulations on your recent appointment as Richard Lind’s successor. Why IAR? Why you? Why now?

Cecilia Wachtmeister: IAR operates in an industry characterized by constant innovation and change. I joined the board of directors at IAR three years ago. Over the past two years, we have conducted a comprehensive review of the company, both in terms of our offering and the organization as a whole. This process has resulted in a new growth strategy that has given us a clear direction forward; much thanks to the current and outgoing CEO, Richard Lind, who has done a great job in driving this change process.

Q: What makes you so suitable for the role?

Cecilia Wachtmeister: With my background in a technology-driven environment where innovation and change are constant, I feel comfortable navigating through the challenges our industry faces. As an engineer, I have a natural inclination towards technical environments, while my experience in sales has provided me with a strong customer focus. To have the opportunity to step in as CEO when the company is so well positioned is a great privilege.

Cecilia Wachtmeister is taking over as CEO at IAR

“While AI offers tremendous opportunities to enhance efficiency and innovation in QA testing, it also presents challenges related to bias, transparency, and accountability.”

– Cecilia Wachtmeister

Q: You were most recently chief commercial officer at Kambi. What is the main takeaway from that role you can utilize at IAR?

Cecilia Wachtmeister: My time at Kambi has provided me with valuable insights into the dynamics of a rapidly evolving industry and the importance of staying very close to our customers and partners. I intend to leverage this knowledge at IAR by further strengthening our relationships with customers, partners, and stakeholders to ensure that we continue to deliver unparalleled value and remain at the forefront of the embedded systems industry.

Q: Testing the functionality and performance of software products is increasingly a complex but vital task. How do you see that?

Cecilia Wachtmeister: Ensuring the functionality and performance of software products is crucial in today’s technology-driven world. As the complexity of software systems continues to grow, so do the challenges associated with testing them effectively. The success of our end customers’ products depends heavily on the reliability and quality of the software they incorporate.

Therefore, we provide solutions that are seamlessly integrated into modern CI/CD workflows and desktop environments, connected with Embedded DevOps. This approach not only mitigates risks and optimizes performance but also ensures that our solutions exceed our customers’ expectations, enabling them to deliver superior products to the market swiftly and efficiently.

Q: Zooming in on the wider industry, what are some of the key challenges that companies like IAR currently face?

Cecilia Wachtmeister: Although it is too early for me to provide detailed answers, it is clear that keeping pace with rapidly evolving technologies and market demands will play a central role. The integration of artificial intelligence into embedded systems is expected to increase, enabling complex tasks of various kinds. Security and regulatory compliance are also priority areas for our customers. The increasing connectivity of embedded devices requires robust encryption techniques, secure boot processes, and improved detection systems.

“As the complexity of software systems continues to grow, so do the challenges associated with testing them effectively.”

– Cecilia Wachtmeister

Q: Looking at oversight, policy and regulation, there is increasingly intense scrutiny of AI-based applications; how do you see this development? Is AI a friend or foe in QA testing?

Cecilia Wachtmeister: The increasing scrutiny of AI-based applications reflects the growing awareness of the potential risks and ethical implications associated with AI technologies. While AI offers tremendous opportunities to enhance efficiency and innovation in QA testing, it also presents challenges related to bias, transparency, and accountability. I view AI as a powerful tool that, when deployed responsibly and ethically, combined with well established solutions can augment QA testing processes and drive improvements in product quality and reliability.

Q: Finally, anything else you would like to share with our readers?

Cecilia Wachtmeister: Just that I would like to express my gratitude for the warm welcome and support I have received since my new position was announced. I am incredibly excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and am fully committed to driving the company’s continued success. I look forward to the future of the embedded systems industry and deliver value that truly makes a difference!

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