Leadership team

Vladimir B. Grachev
Founder & Chairman

Favorite quote:

“Life without a goal, suffocates” – Fyodor Dostoevsky

What drove you to create Smilart?

“I have a deep passion for science and it is this passion that drives me to want to share its benefits with everyone else.”

Personal interests:

Vladimir enjoys all kinds of sports and outdoor activities including hiking and fishing. He plays amateur hockey on a regular basis and is the captain with his local community hockey league. They won the regional championships in 2008 and 2013 and came in second and third place just about every other year for the last six. He stays fit by attending a health club almost every day, even when he travels.

Bio:

As the chief visionary, Vladimir steers Smilart through a global strategy roadmap to position us as the world’s foremost player in FRT. His ultimate goal is to shed the old stereotyped notion that facial recognition is designed for only a few specialized industry segments that have restricted and finite needs, and is taking the technology into almost every area of industry where it can work for every customer.

A proven leader and inherent entrepreneur, his passion for science is homogenized with his pedigree in business management and finance. Before Smilart became the company it is today Vladimir formed a successful photo and video editing software startup. After realizing the potential of the technology’s biometric algorithms it became the catalyst for what Smilart is today. From 1998 through 2006 Vladimir worked for a major bank as executive vice president where his knowledge of finance and business processes eventually led him to head the institution as president and CEO. Before that he directed the trade brokerage and derivatives division of a major insurance company where he established himself as an expert risk manager, investment whiz, and brilliant trade finance professional.

Vladimir holds two master’s degrees; one in economics and one in optical and electrical engineering.

Alexander Syrovatko
President & CEO

Favorite quote:

“No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.” -Isaac Asimov

Why Smilart?

“I’ve been interested in biometrics for over a decade, but in following trends and research I was unable to find a company whose product overcame most of the fictitious claims out there. That is until I met the senior managers at Smilart a few years ago and began observing their progress. I do not invest my time and resources into anything that is uncertain. Having seen what Smilart can do, it would have been a tragic miscalculation on my part if I did not seize on the opportunity and become a part of this amazing company right when it is poised to steal the show. I am here to make sure that happens. The talent and camaraderie is top notch and together we are realizing the future of facial recognition and having a blast along the way.”

Personal interests:

Alexander is a proficient downhill skier and has been hitting the slopes since childhood. As of late he has taken up riding and owns several motorcycles. IT, both software and hardware however, have been a primary obsession of his since the early 1990’s.

Bio:

As President and CEO Alexander is responsible for every aspect of the company’s roadmap and positioning strategy. Tested and experienced in leadership roles from back office, front office and as chief executive, his portfolio of success stories makes his knowledge and experience critical to the overall success of Smilart.

Before Smilart Alexander was CEO of a major retailer. Having worked there for sixteen years and in various senior management positions until he became its leader, he took the company from a strict wholesale distributor to a major retail chain and then added an online e-commerce store that became a household name in Eastern Europe. He created and managed its IT infrastructure buildup to support online retail while also managing everything from the company’s supply chain and back office operations, to sales, marketing and e-commerce. He then developed strategic partnership channels with several well positioned online organizations of which he served on the board as either co-chair or as a minority stakeholder, to help promote and later merge the companies into a conglomerate group that is now enjoying unprecedented success and returns. Prior to that Alexander worked his way up from the trading floor of Trinfico, a major trading and investment firm, to global head of its government bond department until he left in 1998 to pursue entrepreneurship. For a short while thereafter he created an internet payment systems company which he later sold to his partners.

Alexander holds a Bachelor’s in Mechanics and Master’s in Mathematics from the Moscow State University Department of Mechanics and Composites where he graduated in 1991.

Yury Sokolov
CFO

Favorite quote:

“You can take my factories, burn up my buildings, but give me my people and I’ll build the business right back again.” -Henry Ford

What do you enjoy most about working at Smilart?

“The inventiveness of its people and the positive results their innovations are bringing to the whole world. What I see created daily here, to me, is like witnessing magic happen.”

Personal interests:

Yury enjoys physical activity and the outdoors. He explains that his daughter engendered a love of horses in him and so they spend as much quality time riding together as possible. If the weather is bleak, they still manage to at least get to the stables. Although his daughter is not a professional yet, her riding skills are quite extraordinary and Yury thinks this hobby of hers may well mature into involvement on a professional sporting level. He is quite the do-it-yourselfer and has even won awards for his craftsmanship which he claims has come in handy around the house on more than one occasion.

Bio:

Yury leads Smilart’s financial strategy and investment portfolio. As the CFO he is responsible for all areas of finance including managing, budgeting, valuation and risk management, as well as the short and long term growth financing plan. He has an extensive background in business finance and audit with over 20 years of experience in venture backed capital management with particular emphasis on taking technology companies from the startup phase to prognosticated accomplishment. He is an astute decision-maker with an impressive record of supporting and growing portfolios, asset value and intellectual property.

Before joining Smilart he managed his own firm from 2004 to 2011 before selling it to the finance division of a major technology giant. Before venturing out on his own he was vice president of finance at one of Eastern Europe’s largest internet companies until its acquisition in 2004. He has worked as an analyst and as an executive in several notable enterprise organizations.

Yury holds a master’s degree in business finance and a bachelor’s in economics.

Alexey “Alex” Aristov
Managing Director & CTO

Favorite quote:

“The danger of computers becoming like humans is not as great as the danger of humans becoming like computers.” –Konrad Zuse

What do you enjoy most about working at Smilart?

“At Smilart I like the opportunity to work in the field, which is challenging and at the same time not very common for a role like mine. There are thousands of companies that make software for the internet, for banking and for business in general, but there are only a few which have true expertise in facial recognition, and Smilart is the best of them.”

Personal interests:

Alex says that he loves his job, so it is sometimes hard to separate it from his other interests. In his spare time he reads and educates himself about new technologies and methods in software engineering. Whenever he needs to unwind, Alex goes hiking in the forests and hills that surround his home in Stuttgart.

Bio:

Alex is the CTO for Smilart and his primary objective is running the intellectual machine that crafts, supports and constantly refines, as well as invents new versions of the solutions we are so very proud of. He is a pro at responding to customer demand and has a very special gift to conceptualize the architecture and programming building blocks in advance, and in such a way, that makes the development staff’s job a breeze and the final product a work of art. He has lived in Hungary, Germany, Luxembourg, and in the USA. We are extremely lucky to have him!

Before joining Smilart in 2012, Alex worked for several global companies as the technology lead. Before that he was vice president of research and development for Weigle Wilczek GmbH, a software development and IT consulting firm. Prior to that Alex worked as a freelance IT consultant with a proven track record of project development for a number of companies that ranged from Silicon Valley startups to major banks in Europe.

Alex holds a degree in applied mathematics from LETU, Leningradskii Electrotechnical University in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Sergey Dyachenko
VP Project Management & Delivery
Gene Ozhogin
Senior Director of Marketing & Communications

Favorite quote:

“Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.” – Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

What do you enjoy most about working at Smilart?

“Simple. This is a company that allows me to improve, transform and materialize my goals.”

Personal interests:

Gene is another in a series of travel junkies at Smilart; however, his voyage philosophy is best summed up in his own words: “I take the time to live like the locals live, to taste the life and soul of a country, to settle in, because I realize that very shortly I will become but a distant memory to that place.” He is also a cross country cyclist and unofficial film critic.

Bio:

Gene oversees the company’s internal and external corporate communications. He works closely with all the departments, back office to front office, in order to support the company’s message and manage the bridges between investor, product and customer. He has over ten years of experience working in high tech software companies.

Before joining Smilart in 2011 he was director of business development for Playrix, one of the world’s largest computer gaming systems companies. There he oversaw sales and market development where he helped them conquer close to a dozen new geographical regions and more than double their customer base and revenue.

Gene holds a Ph.D. of applied mathematics in computer science.