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Personnel changes in the Exyte management: Mark Garvey and Elena Bashkeeva are welcomed as new members of the Executive Board



  • High-tech industry expert Mark Garvey is new Segment CEO for Exyte’s Global Business Unit Advanced Technology Facilities
  • Elena Bashkeeva will become CFO at Exyte starting April 1st 2024 and will lead the Finance and Controlling functions as well as IT

STUTTGART, Germany, Feb. 5, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The following personnel changes are taking place in the Executive Board of Exyte. Mark Garvey joined the Executive Board in December 2023. Elena Bashkeeva will join the Executive Board of the global leader in the design, engineering, and delivery of ultra-clean and sustainable facilities for high-tech industries in April 2024.

Mark Garvey has been appointed to the Executive Board of Exyte. As Segment CEO Advanced Technology Facilities, Garvey is responsible for the Global Business Unit Advanced Technology Facilities (ATF). In addition, he is responsible for the corporate functions Environment, Health and Safety, Operational Excellence, as well as Procurement and Subcontracting. His oversight responsibilities also include Exyte Operations in the regions USA, Continental Europe, as well as Northern Europe and Israel.

Exyte CEO Dr. Wolfgang Büchele states, “Mark Garvey is an expert within the global high-tech industries. He has played a crucial role in shaping the strategic development and success of Exyte in his previous roles. Under his leadership, the Global Business Unit Advanced Technology Facilities has progressively expanded its leading role in its markets. I look forward to further collaborate with him.”

Garvey says, “I appreciate the trust placed in me by the shareholders. I look forward to advancing the future of Exyte as a board member with the skilled and dedicated global Exyte team. Our company has promising business opportunities in all our target industries. Exyte has all the prerequisites to continue to be successful in the future and to implement top-notch and innovative solutions for our clients. I am thrilled to be part of the team that makes this exciting future happen.”

Garvey joined Exyte’s predecessor company, M+W Group, in 2015 as the CEO of the Asia Pacific region. In 2020, he took over as President of the Global Business Unit ATF which is the largest business unit of Exyte.

Elena Bashkeeva announced as CFO of Exyte

Effective April 1, 2024, Elena Bashkeeva will join the Executive Board of Exyte. As Chief Financial Officer (CFO), she will be responsible for the Finance and Controlling functions as well as IT. She will oversee the global corporate functions Accounting, Controlling, Tax and Treasury as well as IT in the future.

Georg Stumpf, majority shareholder and chairman of the supervisory board of Exyte, says, “With Elena Bashkeeva an experienced financial expert joins Exyte as CFO coming from General Electric. Throughout her career, she has achieved visible successes and contributed to the positive development of corporate values. In addition to her professional competencies, she impresses with her open and constructive nature, as well as her modern leadership approach.”

Exyte-CEO Büchele says, “I look forward to working with Elena Bashkeeva and warmly welcome her on behalf of the Exyte management. With her broad expertise acquired at an internationally operating corporation, she will provide important impulses for the further development of Exyte. Together with the Exyte team, we will successfully advance the company in the future.”

Elena Bashkeeva says, “I am excited to join Exyte as CFO, and be part of its dynamic development. Exyte’s strategic positioning presents a prime opportunity to capitalize on the growth opportunities in its target markets. Recognizing the pivotal role of a robust and experience-rich Finance function, I am committed to work together to strengthen Exyte’s competitiveness, drive sustained profitable growth, and contribute to continued success of Exyte in the future.”

Elena Bashkeeva is transitioning to Exyte from General Electric (GE), where she currently serves as the CFO of the GE Steam Power business unit. She started her career at Ernst & Young’s auditing and consulting division. Subsequently, she joined GE, where she advanced through progressive finance management roles within GE’s Energy, Healthcare and Corporate divisions. Her experience encompasses corporate finance, risk management, strategic planning, financial analysis, controlling and audit.

Group CEO and Chairman Dr. Wolfgang Büchele retains responsibility for the Corporate Functions Communications and Investor Relations, Compliance, Human Resources, Internal Audit, Legal and Insurance, Opportunity and Risk Management as well as Strategy and M&A. Furthermore, he continues to oversee the Regional Areas Southeast Asia and Northeast Asia, as well as the Global Business Units Biopharma and Life Sciences as well as Data Centers. 

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Validation Cloud Secures $5.8 Million in Inaugural Funding to Propel Web3 Infrastructure




ZUG, Switzerland, Feb. 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — In a significant stride towards revolutionizing Web3 infrastructure, Validation Cloud has proudly announced the successful closure of its first external investment round, amassing $5.8 million. Spearheaded by San Francisco-based Cadenza Ventures, this funding round exceeded expectations with contributions from an impressive roster of international investors, including Blockchain Founders Fund, Bloccelerate, Blockwall, Side Door Ventures, Metamatic, GS Futures, and AP Capital.

Alex Nwaka, Co-Founder of Validation Cloud, expressed enthusiasm about the funding, “This investment marks a pivotal moment for Validation Cloud as we aim to address the urgent demand for scalable and compliant Web3 infrastructure. We’re honored to collaborate with our investors who are instrumental in propelling the global adoption of our platform among cutting-edge networks, developers, and asset managers.”

Validation Cloud is at the forefront of Web3 technology, having developed an innovative system architecture that paves the way for significant advancements in the sector. Known as the “Cloudflare of Web3,” the company offers a robust, scalable, and intelligent platform providing Staking, Node API, and Data services, drawing inspiration from Cloudflare’s transformative impact on Web2 infrastructure.

Founded by veterans in the Proof-of-Stake domain, Validation Cloud boasts a team of highly experienced professionals from renowned organizations such as Uber, Workday, Deloitte, Citadel, Morgan Stanley, Binance,, Figure, R3, and more, emphasizing a talent-first approach with a worldwide workforce.

Kumar Dandapani, Managing Partner at Cadenza Ventures, highlighted the strategic vision behind their investment, “At Cadenza, we do not invest in just any company; we invest in the future of transformative technologies. Validation Cloud’s pioneering role in Proof-of-Stake and their relentless pursuit of next-generation Web3 infrastructure have set them apart as leaders in the Web3 space.”

Aly Madhavji, Managing Partner at Blockchain Founders Fund, shared his thoughts on the investment, “We believe in the transformative power of Web3 and its ability to redefine how businesses operate. Investing in Validation Cloud aligns perfectly with our vision of supporting innovative platforms that are ready to lead the next wave of digital transformation.”

Validation Cloud has earned a reputation for its close partnerships with networks from their nascent stages, supporting a wide array of ecosystems from established ones like Chainlink, Hedera, and Stellar to emerging networks such as Aptos, Eigenlayer, and Berachain. Their platform lays the groundwork for the enterprise adoption of networks, positioning Validation Cloud as a key player in the Web3 infrastructure landscape.

For further details on Validation Cloud and its offerings, please visit

Please contact: Kelly Clark, Director of Communications | [email protected] 

Funding Announcement for Validation Cloud by Alex Nwaka

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Klarna says its AI assistant does the work of 700 people after it laid off 700 people





The Swedish fintech, which was criticized for its handling of a dramatic staff reduction in 2022, is touting new efficiencies powered by OpenAI.

Klarna is bullish on bots.

One month after taking its OpenAI-powered virtual assistant global, the Swedish buy-now, pay-later company has released new data touting its ability to handle customer communications, make shoppers happier, and even drive better financial results.

The app-based AI chatbot already handles two-thirds of all customer service chats, the company said Tuesday—some 2.3 million conversations so far—with the virtual assistant earning customer satisfaction ratings at the same level as human agents. Klarna, which is expected to go public this year and will need all the hype it can get at a time when investors have been generally frosty toward IPOs, estimates that the chatbot could help improve its profits by $40 million in 2024.

Announcing a partnership with OpenAI early last year, Klarna said it was one of the first companies to integrate the firm’s groundbreaking ChatGPT technology into a plug-in for shopping. The natural-language interface initially helped customers choose items and make other shopping-related decisions based on personalized queries, a feature Klarna described as “smooth shopping.”

The company has continued to build out its AI offerings since then. Its app-based assistants are now available to customers worldwide and handle a variety of tasks including refunds, cancellations, and even disputes.

Klarna boasted in its announcement on Tuesday that the AI assistant “is doing the equivalent work of 700 full-time agents.”

That statement may raise eyebrows for anyone who remembers the middle of 2022, when the company laid off roughly the same number of employees, then about 10% of its staff. At the time, CEO Sebastian Siemiatkowski cited economic uncertainty, inflation, and the likelihood of a recession as reasons for the cuts. He was criticized for his handling of the staff reduction after he shared a public spreadsheet on LinkedIn that contained the names of many of the laid-off workers.

Fast Company asked Klarna how the company arrived at its calculation for its AI assistant’s human-equivalent productivity. The company said the number of equivalent jobs the AI could perform wasn’t related to the layoffs. In a statement, a spokesperson said the company’s customer service is supported by four to five large third-parties that collectively have over 650,000 employees, and that it offers customers the option to speak with human agents if that’s what they prefer.

“This is in no way connected to the workforce reductions in May 2022, and making that conclusion would be incorrect,” the statement read. “We chose to share the figure of 700 to indicate the more long-term consequences of AI technology, where we believe it is important to be transparent in order to create an understanding in society. We think [it’s] important to proactively address these issues and encourage a thoughtful discussion around how society can meet and navigate this transformation.”

Companies have used chatbots for years to handle low-level customer queries and other interactions, although these tools are expected to become more versatile in the wake of advancements in artificial intellegence.

Source: Fast Company

The post Klarna says its AI assistant does the work of 700 people after it laid off 700 people appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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KAPSARC Launches Saudi Arabia’s First School of Public Policy



  • Inspired by His Royal Highness, the Minister of Energy, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud’s passion for education, human capital development and innovation, the KAPSARC School of Public Policy (KSPP) was founded as the first institution in Saudi Arabia dedicated to graduate studies and executive education in public policy.
  • Through its academic offerings, KSPP empowers individuals to tackle pressing public policy challenges and embrace the promising opportunities shaping the future.
  • KSPP’s facilities will run on 100% renewable energy, setting a precedent as one of the first net-zero facilities in the Saudi educational sector.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Feb. 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) has been granted an establishment license for its School of Public Policy (KSPP) after the recent approval by the Council of Ministers, and which was announced during the Human Capability Initiative (HCI) on February 28, 2024, conducted under the patronage of Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Prime Minister, and the Chairman of the Human Capability Development Program Committee, one of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 Realization Programs.

Aiming to set new standards in policy studies, the school offers a two-year master’s degree and executive education programs designed to enable and empower future policy leaders and professionals within Saudi Arabia and globally to address the most pressing domestic and international public policy challenges in the public, non-profit and private sectors.

This significant achievement was announced by His Royal Highness, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud, the Minister of Energy, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of KAPSARC: “The vision for KAPSARC School of Public Policy is to develop the knowledge and skills that the new generation needs to shape public policy both locally and globally. Our mission is to empower and equip future policy leaders and professionals within Saudi Arabia and internationally to make informed socio-economic decisions.”

In a statement on the sidelines of the school’s launch, Fahad Alajlan, President of KAPSARC, stressed the Center’s mission to impact public policy on national, regional, and global levels. “Our new School of Public Policy will equip future leaders with the right skills to create data-driven and evidence-based public policy in line with Vision 2030 goals.”

Dr. Ghadah Alarifi, Founding Dean of KSPP, stated that, “Public policy serves as the foundation of societal progress. At KSPP, we aim to be a catalyst for collaboration, building a robust ecosystem that bridges academia, industry, and government in the public policy arena.”

By leveraging KAPSARC’s network, KSPP provides a platform for global engagement and career growth opportunities, offering practical application and flexible courses tailored to empower policymakers in different tracks including energy policy.

The school is committed to achieving high sustainability standards in the Saudi educational sector, including the goal of running on 100% renewable energy. This dedication ensures that KSPP meets its annual energy needs through on-site renewable resources, eliminating the use of fossil fuels.

For more information about KSPP, visit

Follow KSPP on social media:

  • LinkedIn: @ KAPSARC School of Public Policy


KAPSARC is a leading think tank dedicated to advancing knowledge on energy, environment, and regional economic issues. Accredited observer of UNFCCC, KAPSARC actively contributes to global climate action. The mission of KAPSARC is to advance Saudi Arabia’s energy sector and inform global policies through evidence-based advice and applied research. For more information about the center please visit:

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