Leadership Team

Leadership Team

Alex Balkanski

President and CEO

Alex Balkanski is an industry leader with a demonstrated record of delivering growth in revenue and profits in tandem with outstanding customer satisfaction. Prior to joining Picarro, Alex was a managing partner at Benchmark Capital and served on the board of directors at Picarro. Alex led C-Cube and DiviCom, two pioneering companies that drove the MPEG standard to dominance in consumer electronics and broadcasting. Alex founded C-Cube in 1988. In 1994, he took the company public, and in 1998 he orchestrated C-Cube's acquisition of DiviCom. Previously, he was a board member of Ambarella (AMBA), Decru (acquired by Network Appliance), Entrisphere (acquired by Ericsson), and Infinera (INFN). Alex holds a Ph.D. and M.S. from Harvard University, as well as a B.S. from Harvard College.


Andre Bals

Vice President, Sales, Europe, Middle-East, Africa

Andre is responsible for sales and business development in Europe, the Middle-East and Africa for our scientific instruments, energy and semiconductor businesses.  Prior to joining Picarro, Andre worked at Arthur Anderson Consulting in Geneva. He later founded Omnisens, a technology start-up active in asset integrity management of large energy infrastructures, including downstream pipeline leak detection, offshore umbilicals and power cable monitoring. He helped develop a trace gas technology which monitors environmental and semiconductor molecular contamination.  Andre has held several executive positions at Picarro with experiences in corporate strategy, sales, marketing, operations and finance. Andre holds an M.A. in materials and engineering from Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne and University of California, Los Angeles.

Betsy Kais

Vice President, Finance

Betsy has over twenty-five years of experience in accounting and finance. Prior to joining Picarro, she was Vice President of Finance at Talari Networks, a private producer of software-defined wide area networks (SD-WAN). She started her career in the technology company audit practice at Price Waterhouse, and subsequently held management positions in finance at Hewlett Packard's printer and personal computer operations. She spent ten years as an independent consultant providing a wide range of finance and accounting services to technology company clients. Betsy earned her B.S. in business administration with a concentration in accounting from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Dan Martinson

Vice President, Operations

Dan manages the operations team at Picarro. He has over twenty years of experience at companies including KLA-Tencor, Packeteer, LumaSense and various small capital equipment companies in a wide range of industries. Dan has held roles in engineering, supply chain, services and led operations departments. Dan received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Dan Nagao

Vice President, Human Resources

Dan has over twenty-five years of experience in human resources at companies including Johnson & Johnson, Citicorp, Raychem, Sony Computer Entertainment America, Adaptec, and The Quicksilver Group. In addition to large-company experience, he has held the role of Vice President, Human Resources at five start-ups. Prior to joining Picarro, he owned and led his own human resources consulting firm, providing HR support to over 100 clients. Dan earned his B.S. from the United States Naval Academy and his M.B.A. from Columbia University.

Jeff Braggin

Chief Quality Officer

Jeff brings extensive experience in advanced Quality Management Systems for global technology-based businesses. His knowledge includes specialty chemical manufacturing, electronics, semiconductor wafer fabrication equipment, photonics and lasers, telecommunications/data transmission, and alternative power generation. He was appointed to three terms as a Board Member of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Board of Examiners, receiving a U.S. Department of Commerce Certificate of Appreciation "For outstanding service to the Nation as a member of the 1996, 1997, 1998 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Board of Examiners." Jeff has a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University. He is also a graduate of Executive Management Programs at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business and Columbia University's Graduate School of Business.

Peter Noland

Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Energy

Peter has over twenty years of experience providing technology and consulting solutions to the energy and utility industry. Before joining Picarro, he was senior vice president of business development for the utility services practice of Nexant. Prior to Nexant, he developed the initial business plan and oversaw strategy implementation and business development activities for a natural gas marketing and data services subsidiary of Nana Development Corporation, a global energy and oil services company. Peter earned his B.S. in finance and marketing from the University of Richmond (VA).

Yonggang He

Vice President, Systems and Hardware Engineering

Yonggang leads the product development team, as well as the systems and hardware engineering groups. He works closely with Picarro’s business units to define technology strategy, research and development priorities and execute the product development roadmap. Prior to joining Picarro, Yonggang held various senior engineering roles at NewFocus, Oclaro and LGR. Yonggang received his B.S., M.S. in physical chemistry and his Ph.D. in spectroscopy from Nanjing University and Oregon State University respectively. He was a Postdoctoral Scholar at California Technology Institute.