Kitu Systems’ veteran team brings together well over a century of experience and proven success across a wide range of environments from entrepreneurial start-ups to Fortune 500 multinationals. Our leadership team’s experience spans a variety of relevant industry segments such as telecommunications, semiconductors or cloud software development. The team has a keen knowledge of the utility industry and deep expertise in communication and smart energy protocols. Active in driving grid communications standards, the Kitu Systems leadership team brings an unmatched combination of business and technology expertise to the fast-growing intelligent energy communications market.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Rick has worked for some of the region’s most notable tech companies, including Linkabit, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments. Currently the President and CEO of Kitu Systems, Rick was most recently EVP & Chief Strategy Officer, NextWave Wireless and NextWave Broadband and previous to that served as President & CEO, Staccato Communications from 2004 to 2006.
Prior to taking the helm of Staccato, Rick was vice president and general manager of Texas Instruments’ Wireless Chipset Business Unit. He joined TI as part of the acquisition of Dot Wireless, where he was co-founder, chairman, and CEO. Prior to founding Dot Wireless, Rick was a founding member of NextWave Telecom, Inc., where he was the senior vice president and general manager of the Consumer Products division. Previously, Rick was vice president of engineering at Qualcomm, leading the development of the first commercial CDMA subscriber equipment. Prior to joining Qualcomm, Rick held technical positions at M/A-Com Linkabit.
Rick holds a B.S. from the University of California, San Diego where he was also named the Alumni of the Year in 2001. He currently serves on the Board of Directors at CommNexus and EvoNexus while also serving on the Council of Advisors of UCSD’s Jacobs School of Engineering.
Chief Technical Officer
Gordon holds a BSEE from MIT and a MSEE from UCSD. He spent his first five years, after obtaining his degrees, working in defense communications at Linkabit. Later, Gordon’s career was dedicated to the early stages of digital satellite TV communications. In the mid-90s, he founded and acted as Vice President of Engineering at Corelent (FKA TurboNet) which developed the first certified DOCSIS cable modem, and he remained at the company for 15 years.
With over 23 years experience in the design, development, and deployment of all types of digital communications equipment, Gordon lead the company’s engineering team with overall responsibility for taking the G2H SEP2 Software to production. He joined Kitu in 2011 as Vice President of Engineering and is now the CTO.
Co-Founder & EVP Business Development
Mike Bourton co-founded Kitu Systems originally as Grid2Home Inc. leveraging more than 25 years of experience in the telecommunications industry.
Mike has extensive experience working with early stage and established telecom companies, developing their strategic plans, business models, product and marketing plans and guiding them through their life cycle. His functional involvements have spanned general management, design and development, marketing, corporate and strategic marketing and planning, market development and product line management, corporate alliance and business development.
Prior to co-founding Kitu Systems, Mike was Director of New Business Development for Texas Instruments in the Home Networking. He also served as vice president and general manager for Agilent Technologies where he was responsible for the design and manufacture of telecommunication testing and service assurance equipment and was vice president and general manager for Acterna Corporation, the largest provider of communications test solutions for telecommunications and cable network operators. While at Acterna, Mike was responsible for the design and marketing of test equipment for the field access network, from voice, DSL to high speed optical. He began his management career in the UK at Telspec and then IPM, providers of communications systems. At IPM he was general manager of Europe and Asia responsible for the development of payphone equipment and marketing in Asia.
Mike received his bachelor’s degree in Communication Engineering from Plymouth University, UK.
Chris Leclercq is the VP of Engineering at Kitu Systems. Chris started her career performing embedded software development in the telecommunications industry, working for notable companies such as Motorola, IBM and Uniden. She spent 8 years at Texas Instruments in various roles from development to Program Management, where her responsibilities included management of software, integration, and verification teams worldwide.
Chris joined Kitu Systems in 2010. During her time with Kitu Systems she has been instrumental in architecting and developing the company's embedded and cloud products, and has been a contributor to the development of the IEEE 2030.5 Smart Energy Protocol standard.
Chris brings 25 years of experience to Kitu Systems. She holds a BA in Math and Computer Science from the University of Illinois and an MBA from San Diego State University.
VP Market Development
Austin has more than 13 years of experience developing and deploying energy programs. Beginning at Comverge in 2009, the industry leader in mass market utility demand response prior to acquisition, Austin grew through telecom and utility networks specialist roles into program deployment and operations management by 2014. Managing a utility workforce that spanned the Midwest and Southeast regions, Austin’s organization installed and maintained over 200 Megawatts of demand response endpoints at customer residences for both investor owned and public utilities.
Following the Itron acquisition of Comverge in 2017, Austin moved to a business development role supporting distributed energy management solutions for all municipal and cooperative utilities in North America. Over 4 years with Itron, Austin became an Enterprise Client Executive, selling Itron’s enterprise-wide products, and leading account strategies for some of Itron’s largest global customers. While at Itron, Austin developed business cases and executed long term relationships for electric vehicle, demand response, metering, IOT network, and smart city solutions.
Austin graduated from Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA.
VP Operations and Enablement
Michael is the VP of Operations and Enablement at Kitu Systems. He manages all areas of operations including IT, DevOps, SRE, Field Service, QA and Cybersecurity.
Prior to joining Kitu, Michael was a technical lead at Zumtobel Lighting/Tridonic on Net4More, an IoT connected lighting solution. During his tenure, he owned all areas of DevOps and IT. After Net4More successfully launched, he lead the migration of Net4More's production team to Porto, Portugal.
He has a Bachelors of Science in Information Technology - Software Engineering and holds various industry certifications.
VP Finance and Administration
Rhonda is the Vice President of Finance and Administration at Kitu Systems. She manages all aspects of accounting, finance, and human resources and supports compliance, legal and other operational needs of the company.
Prior to joining Kitu Systems, Rhonda most recently served as Accounting Manager at Pocket Gems, a San Francisco based mobile game start up. In that role, she managed the day to day accounting as well as the company’s tax compliance and payroll activities. During her tenure at Pocket Gems, the company raised $155 million in funding and the company grew from 2 employees to over 200.
Rhonda holds a Bachelors of Accountancy from the University of San Diego and is a California licensed CPA.
Ross is a Senior Advisor to Kitu Systems and President and CEO of Malme Energy Consulting, providing services to utilities and the energy technology community and specializing in consulting and raising growth capital for early to mid stage energy tech companies. Previously Ross was Senior Advisor at Bowen, Inc. a leading growth capital investment banking advisory firm where he co-managed the firm's Energy Technology practice and has led the Smart Grid practice for Skipping Stone, LLC, an energy consulting firm. He has served on the Advisory Board of DistribuTECH, the largest industry conference in the electric utility industry for over 15 years.
Ross was the inventor of the first utility wireless automatic meter reading system in the industry which became the industry standard for over 25 years and the founder of one of the first successful electricity demand response technology and service companies in North America.