Enterprise AI Veteran Dana Jones Joins Zapata Computing’s Board of Directors

Former CEO of Sparta Systems brings valuable expertise in enterprise software leadership, most recently in AI applications for life sciences 

June 22, 2021 Zapata Computing, a leading enterprise software company for NISQ-based quantum applications, today announced that Dana Jones will join Zapata’s Board of Directors. As the former CEO of Sparta Systems, a pioneer in Digital Enterprise Quality Management for the life sciences space, and an executive who has scaled multiple software businesses, Dana brings extensive leadership experience and a track record of accelerating growth and innovation across public, private and PE stages.   

“We could not be more thrilled to have Dana as an independent board member,” said Christopher Savoie, CEO and co-founder of Zapata Computing. “Her expertise in moving AI software platforms from R&D to large-scale enterprise adoption aligns perfectly with our vision for Orquestra®, our platform for building and deploying quantum-ready applications™. Quantum has enormous potential to unlock value in life sciences, and Dana’s background in an analogous, adjacent category will help us deliver that value to the industry’s largest enterprises.” 

As CEO, Jones drove the strategic sale of Sparta Systems to Honeywell for $1.3 billion in December, 2020. Her extensive enterprise technology background with SaaS, on prem and complex mission critical software will help Zapata to deepen its understanding of enterprises’ technical and operational needs in creating business value from AI software. As a result, Zapata will be better positioned to help these companies deliver quantum-enabled workflows® to solve their most complex business challenges.  

“Zapata is primed to play a leading role in empowering enterprises to harness the coming revolution in quantum computing power, using the latest quantum algorithms and hybrid classical-quantum infrastructure to solve optimization, machine learning and simulation problems across industries,” said Jones. “I continue to be impressed by Zapata’s talented team and the innovative work they deliver. They’re not waiting for the hardware to mature — they’re actively collaborating with the world’s biggest organizations to build production-ready quantum applications that can be run on the most powerful devices of the future.” 

“Dana is one of the most focused executives I know. She consistently leverages innovation to accelerate profitable growth across SaaS companies,” said Zapata board member Clark Golestani, managing director of C Sensei Group LLC. “The proof is in the multiple unicorn exits she has achieved in her career. Her ability to build, scale and transform enterprise software companies is extensive, and her market leadership consistently yields high shareholder returns.” 

Quantum-enabled AI has the potential to transform the life sciences industry, with use cases ranging from accelerating drug discovery, to improving clinical trial selection, to optimizing supply chains. Zapata is already working with life science heavyweights to develop quantum-enabled applications. The team has also been busy advancing the field of quantum AI, recently publishing research that demonstrated a quantum advantage over classical computers in a generative adversarial network (GAN) problem.