Noam Bardin Waze CEO: We are here to stay. Nothing will change at Waze

Noam Bardin feared Waze would no longer be a fun place as an independent company because an IPO would mean keeping Wall Street happy. All the Waze millionaires.
Noam Bardin

Noam Bardin

 

/ Tzahi Hoffman and Shmulik Shelach /

Waze Ltd. CEO Noam Bardin has been blogging about why the navigation and traffic report app decided to accept the acquisition offer of Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG).
He wrote, “Nothing practical will change here at Waze. We will maintain our community, brand, service and organization – the community hierarchy, responsibilities and processes will remain the same. The same Waze people will continue to collaborate with you, and we will continue to innovate our product and services, making them more social, functional and helpful for everyday drivers. Our employees, managers, founders and I are all committed to our vision for many years to come.”

Bardin continued, “Why not stay completely independent? We asked ourselves: ‘Will Waze still be a fun project to participate in, and a fun place to work, as a stand-alone public company?’ Choosing the path of an IPO often shifts attention to bankers, lawyers and the happiness of Wall Street, and we decided we’d rather spend our time with you, the Waze community. Google is committed to help us achieve our common goal and provide us with the independence and resources we need to succeed. We evaluated many options and believe Google is the best partner for Waze, our map editors, area managers, champs and nearly 50 million Wazers globally.
“Together, we can accelerate our mission to outsmart traffic. We will continue to make a real impact on drivers globally, helping them save time and money while making everyone’s daily commute a bit more efficient and fun.”

Bardin concluded, “So, it’s back to work for us with some great new colleagues and resources to enhance our project. Thank you for your participation in shaping Waze to what it is today, and we look forward to continuing to build out Waze together with you.”
Last night Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu phoned Bardin and said, “Congratulations, you reached the goal. You put Israeli technology on the global map. You are also contributing to state coffers, which is welcome at this time. I am waiting for your next start-up. You have done exceptional work.”
Google did not disclose the amount it is paying for Waze but sources close to the deal say it is somewhere around $1.1 billion.

 

The Waze millionaires

 

Ehud Shabtai: $78 million

Waze Ltd. CTO Ehud Shabtai co-founded the company in 2006, after receiving a GPS system from a friend. He was enthusiastic about the product, and decided to write an application that would allow people to share information about speed cameras. The application began to grow, and then he received a letter from Mapa Ltd., which claimed that he had violated its copyright. Mapa was prepared to buy the application from him, but would not allow him to use the maps. At this point, he decided to delete Mapa’s maps and create completely new ones.
Shabtai is rated by the blog “Venturebeat” as one of the ten most influential entrepreneurs in the mobile industry, alongside Twitter and Square founder Jack Dorsey. Before founding Waze, Shabtai was CTO of X.L.Net, and before that he held top development positions at Ascent P1 and Comverse Inc. (Nasdaq: CNSI). He owns 6% of Waze.
Amir and Gili Shinar: $65 million

Waze co-founder and VP R&D AmirShinar has more than 15 years experience as a system architect, senior developer and R&D manager. He currently heads Waze’s development team. He became a co-founder of Waze after founding, and serving as CEO of, X.L.Net, which offered a customized software solution. Before that, he served as an R&D manager at Comverse, specializing in open-source technologies. He started at Waze as one of more than 1, 500 volunteers who mapped Israel in the early stages of the application. He has a B.Sc in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (cum laude) and an M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering, both from Minnesota State University. He owns 2.6% of Waze.

Amir’s brother, Gili Shinar, owns the same sized stake in Waze.

Uri Levine: $38 million

Waze co-founder and president Uri Levine has 20 years experience in marketing and business development in the wireless industry. Before joining Waze, he served as an independent strategic adviser and product manager at Comverse and Celltrex. When Waze launched its application in 2009, he described the company as “the drivers’ Wikipedia. This is the same revolution which Wikipedia led seven years ago, with the potential of a global revolution which originates in Israel.” He has a BA in Economics from Tel Aviv University. He owns 3% of Waze.
Arie Gillon: $4 million

Arie (Arik) Gillon is a Waze co-founder, but holds no position in the company. His CV does not mention this chapter in his professional life. In the past two years, he has been an entrepreneur, and according to IVC, he was involved in the founding of two companies, Spot Wise Ltd. and DreamZon Ltd.
The only mention of Waze in Gillon’s public profile on LinkedIn appears in the box of companies he monitors. Alongside Amdocs Ltd. (NYSE: DOX) and Comverse, where he worked for a long time, Waze is also listed. His involvement in Waze’s founding team included introducing the other partners, which led to the founding of the company.
Like Waze’s other founders, Gillon worked for a long time at Comverse, in 1989-2007, in various R&D positions. He owns a small stake in Waze – 0.3%, according to the Israeli Corporations Authority.
Noam Bardin: Millions of dollars

Waze CEO Noam Bardin is the man who handles its operations in Silicon Valley and in Israel. He co-founded VoIP company Deltathree Inc. (Nasdaq: DDDC), where he held several executive positions, including COO, CEO, and chairman. Before joining Waze, Bardin was CEO of Intercast Networks. He has a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a BA in Economics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Published by www.globes-online.com`

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