Miami-based facial recognition technology company Kairos has replaced Brian Brackeen as CEO.
Melissa Doval, who began consulting with the company in May and came on as full-time CFO in July, has been named interim CEO.
“Although Brian was the face of the company, there is still a team that is essentially the heartbeat of the company,” Doval said in a phone interview. “We’re working tirelessly to continue business as usual.”
In an email, Brackeen said he is fighting his termination.
“The company I founded is trying to remove me as the CEO,” he said in an email. “This is a delicate time for all of those involved, including the management, employees, and investors. While I disagree strongly with this action, there is not much more I can share publicly. My legal counsel has instructed me not to speak about this matter at this time. The truth from me will follow in due course.”
After founding the company in 2012, Brackeen drew headlines for pushing Kairos as a leader in improving facial recognition technology to eliminate its tendency to discriminate against racial and ethnic minorities. He recently was a headline speaker at a TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco.
After an acquisition this summer of EmotionReader, another facial recognition company, Kairos opened an office in Singapore, where it now employs five people. It maintains a majority of its 21 employees in Miami.