Management Team

Tom Horgan, CEO

Tom has more than 30 years of experience in commercializing technologies and services, in multiple market segments. Previously, Tom was CEO of Maxwell Technologies, a long-time NASDAQ-listed San Diego company. Maxwell pioneered the ultracapacitor under his guidance, and launched several innovative technologies that arose from more than 30 years of R&D in the defense sector. Barron’s Magazine described Maxwell Technologies’ transformation from a defense technology company into a commercial supplier as one of the best in America under new management during that period. Previously, Tom was a vice president with Conner Peripherals, a multi-billion dollar disk drive manufacturer that was acquired by Seagate in 1996. He also has held senior management positions at Quantum and Digital Equipment Corporation, where he led the establishment of the company’s Information Security service and product initiative in Europe. Tom is actively involved in the San Diego investment community and serves as a director on several boards of privately held companies. He holds a B.E. in Engineering and M.I.E. in Industrial Engineering from University College Dublin, Ireland.

Dr. Joe Daniele, Chief Operating Officer

Joe Daniele is a recognized world expert in Intellectual Property (IP) and Technology Commercialization, with more than 30 years of experience in IP and Technology Commercialization including generating and extracting value from portfolios of patents, technology, software, etc. He has led numerous R&D and licensing efforts and completed roughly 500 IP licenses and arrangements. He has been elected to the IAM 300, The World’s Leading IP Strategists annually from 2009 to present, is a Certified Licensing Professional, and serves on Boards of Advisers at companies in internet security and cancer diagnostics. Prior to Acorn, he was Senior Vice President of IP and Technology Commercialization at SAIC/Leidos, a $10+ billion Washington DC-based company. There, he established the IP Management and Technology Commercialization functions and generated significant revenue and equity commercializing the IP and technology of SAIC/Leidos and its subsidiary, Telcordia. Prior to SAIC, Joe held senior line management and corporate positions at Xerox, and founded and headed the Xerox Intellectual Capital Business Unit and the Corporate Office for Management of Intellectual Property. There, he was responsible for worldwide licensing and commercialization of all Xerox’ IP including roughly 9,000 patent families and related software and technology. In his long Xerox career, he was a VC Partner in the precursor to Xerox New Enterprises, was Corporate Strategist and Science Advisor to the President, and headed Scanned Imaging Technology, and FWA Ink Jet. Prior to Xerox, he was at Philips, where he managed laser R&D through pilot manufacture for the world’s first compact disc readers and burners, and early fiber optic communications.  He has a BS in Electrical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Physics of Solids both from MIT, and an MBA from the University of Rochester. He has published more than 25 papers, contributed to several books, and holds 22 patents.

Dr. Steve Thompson, Chief Technical Officer, Telecom

Dr. Thompson has over 15 years of industrial and academic R&D experience in digital wireless communication theory and systems. He has been a key contributor and technical leader in the development of Acorn’s telecom portfolio. Prior to joining Acorn, Steve gained broad experience working on Office of Naval Research (ONR) and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)-funded wireless communication projects at the San Diego Research Center (now Boeing), and as a post-doctoral fellow at the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology. In his PhD research at the University of California, San Diego Steve worked with highly cited adaptive filter and digital communication experts Professors James R. Zeidler and John G. Proakis in pioneering work on constant envelope OFDM. Dr. Thompson holds a Bachelor of Science from Arizona State University, and a Master of Science and PhD from the University of California, San Diego all in electrical engineering. He is a lead author or co-author of 12 highly cited peer reviewed works and has more than 15 U.S. and international patents issued and pending.

Dr. Steve Caliguri, Vice President, Telecom

Mr. Caliguri has over 25 years of experience in the telecom and technology industries, and has led the Acorn telecom division since its inception. Previously, he was one of eight founders and senior executive officers at Leap Wireless, Inc., an international wireless telecom company with a portfolio of spectrum licenses that began as a 1998 spin-off of Qualcomm. As a key member of Leap’s founding executive management team, Steve helped guide Leap’s three-year transition into a major international wireless competitor and the 10th largest U.S. carrier, with 1,000 employees, revenues exceeding $500M annualized, and more than 1 million wireless customers. In addition, Steve has extensive M&A and corporate development experience, and was responsible for Leap’s profitable investment in the Chilean wireless operating company Smartcom PCS. Prior to Leap Wireless, Steve was senior director of product management for the CDMA Infrastructure Division of Qualcomm, where he focused on the development of world-class products for system-level applications including WLL, mobility systems, data systems, and advanced network solutions. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in physics from Boston College and a Master of Science in electrical engineering from Northeastern University. He also attended Boston College’s MBA program.

Dr. Paul Clifton, Vice President, Semiconductor

Dr. Clifton has broad experience in semiconductor process and device engineering, simulation and optimization gained over more than thirty years in industrial and academic R&D. Prior to joining Acorn Technologies, he worked on performance optimization, reliability, variability and yield ramp of multiple CMOS technology nodes as a semiconductor device specialist at PDF Solutions, a Silicon Valley-based provider of advanced process-design integration solutions to the IC industry. Before PDF Solutions, he held senior application engineering roles in TCAD at Silvaco, TMA, Avant! and ISE. He has specific process engineering expertise in plasma etch, CVD, MBE, including compound semiconductors and strained silicon. Paul has also worked as research team leader at the University of Newcastle on a pioneering development program for strained Si technologies in Europe. In addition, he has wide international experience having worked at ISE AG (Zurich, Switzerland), PDF Solutions (Munich, Germany) and held research fellowships at the Universities of Southampton (UK), Tohoku (Sendai, Japan), and at the CNRS (Toulouse, France) and a lectureship in Microelectronics at the University of Durham (UK).

Dr. Andreas Goebel, Director, Semiconductor R&D

Dr. Goebel has over 20 years of industrial and academic R&D experience across material science, semiconductor physics, semiconductor processes and devices. Prior to joining Acorn Technologies in 2008, he worked on optical interconnect silicon technology combined with GaAs Quantum-Dots comb-laser development at Innolume, a premier manufacturer of ‘quantum dot’-based diode lasers and laser modules. Before Innolume, he held increasing strategic positions within the office of the president at Applied Materials, responsible for their optical interconnect development and roadmaps, along with various positions focused on next generation lithography. Until 1999, Dr. Goebel was educated at the Max-Planck Institute for Solid-State Research under Manuel Cardona, one of the founding directors and a most cited physicist, focusing his Ph.D. research on fundamental optical properties of semiconductors, their electronic band structure and electron-phonon interaction. He holds a Masters in Physics from the University of Ulm in Germany; a Master of Science from Oregon State University and a Ph.D. in fundamental semiconductor physics from the Max-Planck Institute in Germany. Goebel was awarded the Otto-Hahn Medal from the Max-Planck Society and holds over 10 patents on process technology, optical interconnect and integration, transistor technology and materials considerations. Andreas is a leading author and co-author of more than 25 peer-reviewed papers.