Yesterday, in an email to the company, Cofounder and Co-CEO Mark Haidar stepped down from his duties as a Co-CEO at Dialexa to lead Vinli, a Dialexa Labs backed connected car company. Mark will remain as Chairman of Dialexa. Below is his email:
Subject: Ushering in a new era
To my Dialexa family,
When Scott and I founded the company 4 years ago, we wanted to create something big. We didn't know what we were going to do exactly but we knew for sure that we wanted to make an impact on this world. Since we didn’t know which product to build, we decided to create a company that builds products. We were crazy enough to decide that we would create a company that could build any technology product: a company where you could walk into with an idea on a napkin and leave with a world class, elegant, and well crafted product. We wanted to put the innovation horsepower that Apple, Google, and Samsung have into the hands of any company. And to take this insanity to the next level, we decided that we would also build and create our own products and launch them as independent companies. And since we were broke, we put our savings into this, which at the time was $25 (yes twenty five dollars) each. So with a total capital budget of $50, a scrappy office table in my mother in law’s garage, and a founding team of two deranged guys we started the journey. People and industry experts told us repeatedly that many others had tried and failed, and that this couldn’t be done… and boy they were wrong!
What everyone missed is that when you get the best and brightest people working together anything is possible. Even something as absurd as this! So we knew that we needed to hire extremely talented people—people who are naive enough to believe that this can be done, yet smart enough to make it happen. And this is where we got lucky—we met you! The journey was hard and is still challenging but you made it possible. You made it feel and look easy. With your passion, dedication, talent, and unequivocal loyalty to the company, this was possible.
Today marks a new era for Dialexa. After building more than 40 products in the last 4 years through Dialexa Services and launching three companies in the last year through Dialexa Labs, we have achieved what was believed to be impossible. Now it is time to reach for a new frontier. It is time for us to become the next Samsung, Apple, or Google. But this will require ushering the next phase of our evolution, and it starts with me.
Today I am officially stepping down from my role as the Co-CEO of Dialexa Services and passing on my half of the torch to my best friend, Scott Harper. Today is a very emotional day for me. Even though I will still be involved with Dialexa as the Chairman of the Board, I will miss interacting with you every day. However, I feel confident more than ever that things will be great and Dialexa will keep growing because one of the smartest, hardest working, passionate, and ambitious human beings I know is steering the ship now. Today I continue the journey with our sister company, Vinli, to change how people interact with their cars forever and disrupt an industry that has been more than one century in the making.
Let’s keep changing the world, one product at a time! We have a bright future ahead of us!
Mark Haidar, Chairman
Mark’s career started in Lebanon when he was 17 years old. By the age of 21, he had built the first fully integrated web-based university management system in Lebanon, the first 3D game engine built locally in the Middle East, the first wireless application protocol based internet-to-home remote control system in Lebanon, and won a People’s Choice Award for Best Web Product in the Middle East for transforming municipality records from paper to digital. In 2006, Mark received a visa to complete his Master’s degree in the U.S. and three days later he was smuggled out of a war zone in Lebanon. His father emptied his savings account to make sure Mark made it to the US. Mark tells the story, “My dad got an oil smuggler who smuggled oil between Lebanon and Syria to take me over the border.”
After a journey that reads more like a script of a movie, Mark finally arrived in the U.S. with no money to get an education he could no longer pay for. Mark worked at a gas station at night until he convinced a professor to allow him to apply on behalf of the university to a grant for the US Army Tank Automotive Research Development Engineering Center (TARDEC) to help him pay for his education. They received the award and Mark went on to successfully create an original service-oriented intra and inter-vehicle communication system for transportation, robotic, and military systems that enhanced each vehicle’s situation assessment and awareness in military combats and have the potential to help create safer and more efficient highway systems. This is where the idea for Vinli began to take root.
In 2010, Mark and his cofounder Scott Harper started Dialexa. As of today -- Dialexa has built over 40 products and launched three companies: Robin, Vinli and Silvr. It is under the leadership of Mark and Scott that this has been possible.
On behalf of all Dialexians and clients, thank you Mark for your leadership and service. We look forward to seeing what you and the Vinli team build together.
If you liked this article, listen to Dialexa Co-founder and Chairman, and Vinli CEO Mark Haidar, on Custom Made who shares the chapters to date of the connected car platform, Vinli:
Listen to all episodes of Custom Made for insights and perspectives from industry disruptors and technology leaders.