May 21, 2019
Amazon Prime Boss Named CEO of Google-Backed IonQ
Peter Chapman has had a varied career. The son of an astronaut, Chapman started programming at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s famed Artificial Intelligence Lab at the age of 16.
He founded a company, Level Systems, that created video games based on Dungeons and Dragons, Star Trek, and Indiana Jones in the late ’80s. After an early retirement, prompted by the sale of another one of his startups to Thomson Financial in the early 2000s, he re-emerged in 2007 to build tools for the blind at the helm of a Ray Kurzweil-inspired organization, K-NFB Reading Technologies.
Since 2014, Chapman has worked at Amazon as an engineering director. He headed a 260-person technology team that handled “delivery experience” for Amazon Prime, the company’s super-popular subscription business. But as of last Thursday, Chapman had made yet another career jump; he has been named the chief executive of IonQ, a College Park, Md.-based quantum computing startup backed by GV, the venture capital arm of Alphabet, parent of Google.
The quantum computing technology developed by IonQ, called the “ion trap” approach, uses charged atoms suspended in a vacuum chamber as the particles on which to run computations. Unlike classical computers, quantum computers are theoretically capable of storing far more information and running many more operations simultaneously, thus allowing them to tackle seemingly insoluble problems with ease.
[Originally posted by Fortune — May 21, 2019]