IBM Parts Ways With Aspera Founders Michelle Munson, Serban Simu

UPDATE 6/7/2017: According to a source, Munson and Simu were terminated by IBM last month. SVG's original story follows.

IBM has parted ways with Aspera co-founders Michelle Munson and Serban Simu. Together, Munson and Simu invented Aspera’s FASP high-speed–transport technology and have overseen the company’s direction since it launched in 2004. Munson and Simu stayed on as CEO and VP of engineering, respectively, when IBM completed its acquisition of Aspera in January 2014.

UPDATE 6/7/2017: According to a source, Munson and Simu were terminated by IBM last month. SVG’s original story follows.

Former Aspera CEO Michelle Munson speaks at a recent SVG event.

“We can confirm that Michelle Munson and Serban Simu have left IBM,” IBM said in a statement to SVG. “We thank them for their service and entrepreneurial spirit. IBM continues to provide clients with IBM Aspera’s leading technology to speed the transfer of data over the cloud and around the world.”

Aspera’s FASP (fast, adaptive, secure protocol) technology has helped bring high-speed file transfer into the mainstream for live sports productions and other M&E markets since the company was founded in 2004 by Munson and Simu. The company, now known as IBM Aspera, is headquartered in Emeryville, CA, with satellite offices in the UK, France, and Singapore.

Prior to founding Aspera, Munson served as a software engineer in research and startup companies, including the IBM Almaden Research center. A Kansas native, she has dual B.Sc. degrees in electrical engineering and physics from Kansas State University.

Aspera Co-Founder Serban Simu

She was a Goldwater Scholar for Achievement in Science and Mathematics and later a Fulbright Scholar at Cambridge University, where she earned a postgraduate diploma in computer science. She was the 2006 KSU College of Engineering Alumni Fellow (the youngest recipient ever) and has received national achievement awards from Glamour magazine and USA Today.

Simu has a B.Sc. degree in computer science from the Universitatea Politechnica Bucuresti in Bucharest, Romania, and a master’s degree in telecommunication networks from Ecole Nationale Superieure des Telecommunications, where he finished first in his class. He first came to the U.S. to work for Cisco’s Content Networking group and served as a lead software engineer at Digital Fountain.

Biographical information from Crunchbase was used for this article. 

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