INTERVIEW: Velo3D’s new CEO Brad Kreger on Vision for Revitalized Operations and Market Resurgence

In a recent conversation, Brad Kreger, the new CEO of Velo3D, shared comprehensive insights into the company’s trajectory, challenges, and strategic adjustments under his leadership. With a background in capital equipment manufacturing and experience in elevating startups to industrial scale, Kreger’s arrival at Velo3D was timed with the company’s rapid expansion phase, which necessitated a […]

Feb 1, 2024 - 13:57
Feb 28, 2024 - 22:50
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INTERVIEW: Velo3D’s new CEO Brad Kreger on Vision for Revitalized Operations and Market Resurgence
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In a recent conversation, Brad Kreger, the new CEO of Velo3D, shared comprehensive insights into the company’s trajectory, challenges, and strategic adjustments under his leadership. With a background in capital equipment manufacturing and experience in elevating startups to industrial scale, Kreger’s arrival at Velo3D was timed with the company’s rapid expansion phase, which necessitated a shift towards enhancing manufacturing processes, quality systems, and commercial strategies to sustain growth and address product reliability issues. He was initially appointed as  Executive Vice President of Operations in December 2022.

Now CEO, Kreger was appointed interim in December 2023, after it was announced Benny Buller, the founder, would be stepping down at the board’s request after a prolonged period where Velo’s share price languished below a dollar.

Under Kreger’s initial stewardship, Velo3D has undertaken significant operational reforms to bolster product quality and refine its commercial execution. Notably, Kreger highlighted a focus on “quality improvements, winning in manufacturing processes” and a substantial percentage increase in its “quality organization” headcount by 40% in the fourth quarter to support this push. This focus on quality has been paralleled by efforts to optimize customer service, evidenced by a 45% reduction in time to resolve customer issues and improvements in installation times.

On the commercial front, the appointment of Michelle Sidwell as EVP of Sales in September 2023 marked a strategic pivot towards a value-led sales methodology, moving away from an engineering-led approach. This shift has yielded a more disciplined and ROI-focused customer engagement strategy, resulting in $12 million in bookings in the latter part of the year and a significant portion of repeat customers, underscoring the effectiveness of Velo3D’s enhanced customer satisfaction and retention strategies.

Kreger candidly acknowledged the pressures of 2023, attributing them to rapid growth and the need for better commercial execution. He stated, “2023 was a challenging time for us. We faced a lot of issues and challenges as a company.” He emphasized the transition from early adopters to a broader customer base necessitated a change in selling strategy, which was not fully anticipated.

Looking ahead, Kreger outlined a commitment to financial sustainability, with aggressive cost management measures leading to a 40% reduction in operating expenses. These measures and strategic leadership appointments have positioned Velo3D toward cash flow neutrality by the end of Q2’24. “We expect to be EBITDA positive by year-end,” said Kreger.

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