Hybrid quantum-classical computing company Rigetti Computing plans to lay off 28 percent of its staff, and replace its CFO and CTO.
The company faces a possible delisting from the Nasdaq stock exchange over the low value of its stock, and has until July 24 to maintain a $1 stock price for 10 consecutive days.
Rigetti has named Jeffrey Bertelsen as its new CFO, replacing Brian Sereda. Bertelsen previously worked at CyberOptics, a developer and manufacturer of high precision sensors and inspection systems for the semiconductor and electronics industry.
David Rivas has been promoted to CTO, replacing Mike Harburn, who is leaving the company. Rivas previously ran the engineering and operations of Rigetti’s Quantum Cloud Services platform.
CEO Dr. Subodh Kulkarni - who was only appointed in December, and previously ran CyberOptics - said that the cuts and changes would coincide with a plan to refocus around its core technology.
“Upon assuming my role as CEO, we have moved quickly to review and confirm key strategic priorities for the nearer term,” he said. “The Company’s revised technology roadmap will, (i) concentrate on the goal to deliver the anticipated Ankaa-1 84-qubit system in Q1 2023, aiming to deliver denser qubit spacing and tunable couplers expected to enable better performance compared to Rigetti’s current 80-qubit Aspen-M system; (ii) prioritize increasing the performance of the anticipated Ankaa-1 84-qubit system once it is launched and (iii) focus efforts to achieve narrow quantum advantage, the point at which a quantum computer is able to solve a practical, operationally relevant problem significantly better, faster, or cheaper than a current classical solution.
"Specifically, upon the anticipated launch of the Ankaa-1 84-qubit system, Rigetti plans to focus its efforts on improving the performance of the system with the goal of reaching at least 99 percent two-qubit gate fidelity on the anticipated Ankaa-2 84-qubit system, and if this target is achieved, Rigetti plans to shift its focus to scaling to develop the anticipated Lyra 336-qubit system.”
Rigetti went public in March 2022 via a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) merger with Supernova Partners Acquisition Company II, Ltd. Its stock reached a high of around $8.81 in May 2022 and has been trending downwards since.
In its most recent results, the company posted third-quarter 2022 revenues of $2.8 million; Net GAAP and Adjusted EBITDA losses for the period were $18.8 million and $14.8 million respectively. The company had cash equivalents of $161m.