Sentient Names New Chief Financial Officer, Adds New Advisors

We’re proud to welcome three proven industry leaders to the growing Sentient team! These new executive and advisory team members will help us continue our mission of using the world’s most powerful distributed artificial intelligence solution to deliver transformative products to some of the world’s most important industries. With over 100 employees spread across offices in San Francisco, San Jose and Hong Kong, Sentient continues to attract the brightest and most talented people from both business and technology domains.

Anne Brennan


Anne Brennan joins Sentient as chief financial officer from her previous role as CFO of Emotient. Brennan has extensive international financial management experience in both public and private technology companies, managing growth, driving strategic direction, and scaling finance operations.

As CFO of Emotient, a leading cloud-based artificial intelligence startup she led the financial aspects of their successful acquisition. Anne’s prior career highlights include serving as Chief Financial Officer of Sunrun (NASDAQ:RUN), where she was responsible for all aspects of finance and accounting helping to transform the company into an IPO-ready organization. Additionally, Anne served as CFO at Openwave Systems/Unwired Planet (NASDAQ:UPIP), a $250M global SaaS/software services innovator delivering context-aware mobile solutions. Anne began her career at Racal Electronics, a global professional electronics company, where she served in a number of financial roles.

“We’re thrilled to have Anne join the Sentient executive team,” said Antoine Blondeau, chief executive officer of Sentient. “The breadth and depth of her experience in finance and operations will add to our bench strength as we continue to build our leadership position in delivering AI-based products and businesses, and partnering with some of the world’s top companies to achieve that goal.”

“I’m delighted to be joining the industry-leading Sentient team at a time when the company is expanding its AI capabilities into new applications,” said Brennan. “I look forward to driving our next phase of financial growth.”
We’re also happy to welcome to the Sentient advisory board two new advisors, who will help provide our business and technology teams with strategic counsel as we continue to innovate in the retail, e-commerce, healthcare, finance and other industries.

Melissa Taunton


Melissa Taunton is Partner at New Enterprise Associates (NEA), one of the world’s largest and most active venture capital firms, where she’s been a partner since 2015. Melissa began her career in technology at Qualcomm, Hewlett Packard and Netopia, leveraging her deep experience in manufacturing and the supply chain. She then transitioned to healthcare, as President of Drip Drop, Inc., which developed and sold a oral rehydration product for hospital and home use. Prior to joining NEA, Melissa was an operating partner at Khosla Ventures. She focuses on executive talent acquisition and investing in founder/CEOs across health tech, enterprise and consumer sectors. In 2014, Fortune named Melissa one of the most powerful women in the next generation of corporate leaders.

“Sentient’s mission to solve the world’s most complex problems through the modern practice of artificial intelligence is admirable,” explained Taunton. “It connects to my work to improve human lives through emerging technology solutions. I’m delighted to be advising Sentient as they expand the team.”

Lise Getoor


Lise Getoor, a professor in the Computer Science Department at UC Santa Cruz, joins Sentient as an advisor in machine learning and artificial intelligence. Her specialties include probabilistic modeling methods for graph and network data. An overarching theme to her work is building knowledge-enabled structured statistical models to aid in intelligent information gathering and decision-making. A Fellow of the Association for Artificial Intelligence, and an elected board member of the International Machine Learning Society, Lise also serves on the board of the Computing Research Association (CRA), the DARPA ISAT group, and has served on the AAAI Council. She has authored over 200 publications and has received multiple awards, including a NSF Career Award and 11 awards for her publications. She received her PhD from Stanford University in 2001, her MS from UC Berkeley, and her BS from UC Santa Barbara. Prior to coming to UCSC, Lise was a Professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Maryland, College Park.

“Sentient’s distributed AI platform coupled with its growing portfolio of AI technologies make it extremely well-positioned to make a major impact in the new era of data- and knowledge-driven AI. I’m eager to work with the Sentient team to help make this happen!”