Today, Axiom announced the appointment of technology veteran Doug Hebenthal as chief technology officer. After over three years with Change Healthcare a senior vice president and chief network engineering officer, he will be tasked with building out Axiom’s artificial intelligence (AI) and automation efforts, as well as organizing a team of data scientists and engineers to operate out of an upcoming research and development center.
The new R&D center will operate out of the Seattle area, where Hebenthal is based and set for the 2018 opening. There, he and his team will create and test advanced technology solutions for Axiom, which provides compliance and contract technology for corporations and law firms.
In a statement announcing the appointment, Axiom CEO Elania Donio cited Hebenthal’s “wealth of experience in product development, product marketing, data science” and client relations as reasons why he can carry out Axiom’s goals.
“His talents and leadership will be instrumental to our continued growth at the forefront of innovative legal technology services,” she added.
Hebenthal has worked in the technology sector for the entire 30 years of his professional career, over 20 of which were spent with Microsoft, where he started as a systems engineer and worked his way to partner and executive producer. There, he helped with early developments of “networking and the internet,” a statement from Axiom said, and was a founding member of the team behind Xbox. Hebenthal also has worked for Amazon as director of engineering, where he managed the company’s e-commerce payments platform. In 2012, Hebenthal started a partnership called Real Good Idea that advises small to medium sized startups on marketing, technical strategy and other tasks.
Hebenthal said in a statement that Axiom has an opportunity like that of other companies where he’s worked to bring changes, and that he will be looking to “bring their technology vision of the future of law to life.”
The appointment comes after Axiom’s August announcement of its increased investment in AI intelligence research and development, an effort called AxiomAI. The company had been working on the technology for some years before the announcement, training algorithms in accuracy in speed. Paul Carr, the president of Axiom and the leader of the effort, told Legaltech News that the company sees itself in early AI development stages.
“Even with moving these tools into production, it's still very nascent,” Carr said. “I have no doubt there's going to be more evolution in the coming years. We still have a heavy [research & development] program as part of this program, which involves testing and training of these tools.”