Bookend AI Leadership Team Announcement

Vivek Sriram
5 min readJan 8, 2024

Bookend AI is an early-stage startup on a mission to make Safe AI simple. Today, enterprise scale adoption suffers from persistent trust and safety concerns surrounding Large Language Models. We believe that Safe AI happens when full stack application developers can effortlessly build enterprise applications that are trustworthy, safe and secure from prototype to production. That vision is already becoming a reality: More than a dozen enterprise customers are using Bookend to power Generative AI applications reliant on sensitive data for applications ranging from patient care to identity management.

Bookend AI’s next chapter is accelerating from early users to mass adoption. This change is driven by a franchise leadership team who have built some of the most foundational technologies in use today at the most important tech companies in the world — including Google, Microsoft and Wikipedia. Bookend’s new leadership team brings complementary expertise in Generative AI, data and application security, search and NLP, along with decades of experience in conceiving, launching and scaling products that millions of developers worldwide use every day.

Terence Spies, Chief Security Officer

We are excited to add cyber security veteran Terence Spies as our Chief Security Officer. Terence will leverage his decades of experience in security systems and frameworks to lead Bookend’s Safe AI technology strategy.

Terence has architected security products at Microsoft, Voltage, HPE and Opentext that protect critical data at some of the largest payment processors, retailers, banks, and healthcare providers in the world. He led the creation of multiple industry standards in data security, including co-inventing Format-Preserving Encryption, now a NIST standard that enables seamless data encryption.

“The advent of AI as a core enterprise tool brings fundamentally new security challenges, but also an opportunity to create a security-first architecture that enables developers to build on a solid foundation instead of attempting to force-fit existing tools and processes into these new systems. Bookend’s vision of creating a single developer architecture that makes AI easier and safer can deliver on the promise of these new technologies as part of enterprise architectures.”

Grant Ingersoll, Chief Technology Officer

Grant Ingersoll, open source leader and former CTO of the Wikimedia foundation, has joined Bookend AI as CTO, bringing more than 15 years of senior technical leadership experience to drive Bookend AI’s expansion.

Grant is the co-founder of Apache Mahout, and a long-standing committer on the Apache Lucene and Solr projects, and is an expert in software engineering, design and development, search consulting, natural language processing, machine learning, and query processing. He has served as fractional CTO for leading companies and is the former CTO and cofounder of LucidWorks.

“Bookend is focused on two things I’ve long thought are needed in the AI, machine learning and search space: simplicity and trust and safety,” said Grant. “I learned my lesson on simplicity the hard way while at Lucidworks in the early days of Elastic’s rise, and I saw the importance of trust and safety up close while working at the Wikimedia Foundation to launch privacy-preserving, secure machine-learning approaches. I’m excited to be a part of bringing the vision of safe and simple AI to millions of enterprise developers.”

Ben Sprecher, Chief Product Officer

We are also incredibly excited to welcome Ben Sprecher as our new Chief Product Officer to drive our product development and innovations initiatives forward. Ben is an innovative product leader, serial entrepreneur, and hands-on technology executive with deep experience in AI and enterprise SaaS. Ben was a founding employee and the Director of Product Management at HealthEdge (acquired by Blackstone), after which he co-founded Incentive Targeting and helped lead the company to its successful acquisition by Google. He left Google to become CPO at Catalina Marketing, where he founded and led their Innovation Lab. Ben then returned to Google Cloud AI, where he started and led the Retail Supply AI & Data team. Ben has also served on nonprofit and private company boards, including The Capital Network and Nielsen Catalina Solutions, and as an advisor to startups and entrepreneurs.

“For me, it’s obvious — it’s all about customer pain,” said Sprecher. “Interest in AI has exploded faster than anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes, and every software developer is trapped: on the one hand, management, competition, users…the pressure to inject AI into your software is intense from all sides. But, it’s so difficult to deploy, safely, and the risks of messing up are huge. So they’re stuck delaying AI features, hiring experts to harden their home-built AI, or deploying code that isn’t enterprise ready. Developers need safe, simple AI they can trust, so they can focus on what they do best — building great software. Bookend provides that.”

Bookend’s Next Chapter

Bookend AI is already seeing the benefit of this seasoned leadership team. Their combined expertise accelerates the timeline for realizing our vision of making Safe AI simple. We are on our way to enable full stack application developers to easily add safety, trust and compliance to enterprise Generative AI deployments, boosting innovation and growth.

Trust and safety isn’t just checking off a few boxes for access control or compliance; nor is it the exclusive purview of the security engineering ivory tower. Rather, trust and safety should permeate every aspect of application development from model selection to development, deployment and scale. This is why we’re building Bookend — to make safety and security controls easily accessible to the people who are actually building software.

Terence, Ben and Grant embody Bookend AI’s commitment to putting powerful technologies in the hands of the builders, empowering application developers to unleash their imaginations to create the next generation of enterprise applications.

Follow us on Linked In or reach out to us to learn more. We would love to hear from you.

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