Meet Our Team

Forward thinking. Experienced. Approachable. Our management team embodies vast knowledge and varied backgrounds that translate to a keen sense of the industry and a synergistic vision for the company. The best part? They’re team players, just like the rest of us.

Chris Brennan

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director

Chris leads SLI with the vision and experience to inspire management teams, achieve market leadership, scale global growth and deliver outstanding financial performance. Prior to SLI Systems, Chris’ leadership experience spans technology businesses ranging from pre-revenue start-ups to organizations over $1B. He served as CEO/President of six companies including NetAuthority, Contactual (acquired by 8×8), LogLogic (acquired by Tibco), Banter Systems (merged with iPhrase and acquired by IBM), Roamware and UB Networks (acquired by Newbridge Networks). He also served as CFO of Genesys Telecommunications (acquired by Alcatel) and Diamond Lane Communications (acquired by Nokia). Chris has led or participated in successful initiatives that raised over $100M in capital and created nearly $2B in shareholder value. He was twice given the prestigious award of Red Herring 100 North America Winner. Chris has also been member to a number of public and private boards, including international companies and a public university.

Dr. Shaun Ryan

Non-Executing Director and Co-Founder // PhD, BEng (Hons)

Shaun is an e-commerce visionary. For more than 15 years, he has led the development of innovative solutions to significantly improve site search for online retailers. Ask him how site search became his life’s work, and he will tell you a story about his brother Grant and a Sunday hangover. Grant, Shaun says, had the original idea of improving search results based on relevance. As a result, GlobalBrain was born in 1998 and purchased by NBCi in 2000. In 2001, Shaun and his fellow founders bought back the patented technology and formed SLI Systems. In 2013, SLI Systems (SLI.NZ) launched its IPO on the New Zealand Exchange. Today, SLI is the most chosen SaaS-based site search solution for U.S. Internet Retailers Top 1,000 companies. Shaun has a background in software development and a doctorate in artificial intelligence from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.

Dr. Wayne Munro

Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder // PhD

Wayne oversees SLI’s engineering team. He is responsible for the production and maintenance of the client searches as well as the development of the SLI products. Before joining the company, he held senior technical positions with NBCi and GlobalBrain, specializing in software development and theoretical research. Wayne also worked as a research scientist for the Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand. He has a PhD in engineering from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, where he developed new numerical models for structural simulation. Wayne has also published papers in international journals.

Michael Grantham

Chief Information Officer and Co-Founder

Michael is responsible for SLI’s global technology systems. As a co-founder of SLI, he has helped design and implement many of SLI’s products and infrastructure. Prior to SLI, he gained valuable experience in search and systems design at NBCi and GlobalBrain, where he was a lead developer and systems engineer. Michael has also held lead developer positions at Australia and New Zealand’s largest banks. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Canterbury.

Rod Garrett

Chief Financial Officer

Rod has 20 years’ experience in finance and related roles. He worked for Pricewaterhouse in New Zealand and London working mainly on insolvency and corporate recovery assignments before moving into the commercial sector. Before joining SLI in 2006, he was CFO of Christchurch electronics developer and manufacturer Eaton Power Quality Ltd. Rod originally worked for New Zealand owned Swichtec which was acquired by British company Invensys and, ultimately, by the Eaton group. He has an honours degree in accounting and finance from Otago University.

Dr. Blair Cassidy

Chief Product Officer // PhD

Blair is responsible for product development and on-going product management. He has extensive experience leading high performance technical teams, focusing on the design, implementation and usage of highly scalable IT systems. Previously, he was VP of engineering at Eurekster, the pioneering social search company. He spent several years at PA Consulting Group, an international management consultancy, living and working throughout Asia and the USA. He also worked as the data engineer for the search product at NBCi. Blair has held research positions within New Zealand and Japanese institutions, and holds a PhD in computational modelling from Lincoln University.

Heather Kinghorn

Vice President of Human Resources

Heather has over 25 years’ experience in building highly effective HR programs in high-growth companies. She has been with SLI Systems since 2010 and leads the company in its organisational development, recruitment and strategic human resources planning. Prior to joining SLI, Heather spent more than 15 years in the built environment, which included working for one of the fastest growing global consulting engineering companies where she specialised in acquisitional growth, diversity management and conflict resolution. She was also part of the team making up the largest BEE engineering consulting business in Africa in 2001. In 2004, Heather was nominated as one of the most influential women in government whilst working as the skills development manager for the government-legislated Construction Education and Training Authority (CETA). In 2009, Heather was appointed as chairman of the Human Resources Forum for the South African Association of Engineers (SAACE). Heather holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial psychology and industrial sociology from Rhodes University, South Africa.

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