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Meet our Chief Technical Officer, Pierre Martin

What do you do at Beacon?

As Beacon’s CTO, I oversee the development of innovative products and technology which enable businesses to move freight around the world with efficiency and ease. I spend most of my time seeking technical talent to add to our team, and ensuring that every engineer, scientist and product designer in the team is empowered to innovate on behalf of our customers at the speed of light.

Why did you join Beacon?

I’ve had a passion for solving computer science puzzles since I was young, and I ended up getting a PhD in Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (USA). Most recently I spent 5.5 years at Amazon, overseeing the development of Amazon’s core package and freight routing technology. Have you ever shopped on Amazon and seen the “order in the next 12 minutes, get it today” messages? This is what my team did – work out how to get products into the hands of customers anywhere in the world at the highest speed and lowest cost, millions of times per second. I also contributed to the development of a few cloud-based consumer products, including Xbox One’s cloud gaming platform and Amazon’s Prime Video Live broadcasts.

Why Beacon?

The impact of what we do. Global freight transport is the backbone of modern commerce. It is also an old industry which can highly benefit from data-driven and cloud-driven technology to become more efficient. Imagine what supply-demand matching algorithms similar to Uber Pool can bring to this industry: lower costs, lower carbon-footprint, higher reliability. We have a shot at fundamentally changing how the world trades and moves goods. Automating freight transport also brings together interesting aspects of computer science: from optimization, search, and graph theory, to classification, pattern detection and prediction. There are also many relevant ideas in the fields of telecommunications and computer networking. These fundamental principles can be applied to solving new problems in a very large industry. Finally, I love the team. We have brought together a top-notch team with varied backgrounds and expertise, and everyone has the freedom and passion to create and innovate.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I spend most of my time with my wife and young son. We love any activities involving being outside, and particularly winter sports. Climbing is a Beacon team favorite which I really enjoy. I still dream of re-launching my former university alt-rock band. Ever since I left the Xbox One launch team, I have urges to regularly “test” the functionalities of the platform.