Michael Klitgaard (ex Meta) joins MediaCatch as Head of Infrastructure

Written by Lars Damgaard Nielsen
Michael Klitgaard (ex Meta) joins MediaCatch as Head of Infrastructure

In this short interview, Michael shares a little about his professional career, and his vision for his new challenge at MediaCatch.´

“After some talks with, first Filip (our CTO), then Anders (our CAIO), and Lars (our CEO), their vision for the company, and the growth potential was just too interesting to pass up, so I decided to jump on board.” Michael Says.

It's been a month now since Michael said yes, and joined the MediaCatch team as Head of Infrastructure. He joined us, coming from a position at Meta, where he was one of the first Data Center Engineers in Odense, Denmark.

The charm between the MediaCatch team and Michael was mutual and instant.

“In MediaCatch we hire people, who can push stuff from an idea to production. Michael is that kind of a person. Michaels focus on infrastructure, network, performance, stability and so much more. He brings a new skill set into the company to support the need to grow fast without jeopardizing reliability and performance.” Filip Wallberg, MediaCatch Co-Founder and CTO

MC: Welcome to the team Michael! We know it's a bit early to tell, but what is a day in the life of a Head of Infrastructure?

The workday is very dynamic, there are some requirements to transform our infrastructure, so it’s all very centered around strategic discussions with Filip, Anders and Lars. We are adapting current solutions to make them able to scale to the rapid onboarding of new customers.

MC: As the Head of Infrastructure, what are your immediate ambitions?

As we are a rapidly growing company, some of our infrastructure was not built to scale as easily as possible. So, my role, together with the rest of the engineering team, is to untie scaling issues and have a very dynamic infrastructure that adapts to our future customer needs, and at the same time, meet the internal engineering requirements for training of AI models.

MC: You’ve worked in a series of senior technology roles. What is a common denominator you’ve witnessed within companies that successfully deploy innovative new tech?

I consider that the common denominator is that they maintain the focus on what differentiates them from the others. The ability to focus on what they do well, which distinguishes them, and makes them unique.

MC: In your personal point of view, what makes MediaCatch AI technology unique within the industry?

We have a state of the art facial and logo recognition technology, which is being deployed in different ways, and are still coming up with new areas to enter and solve business needs. Also, our speech to text models are some of the best in the Scandinavian countries, and are helping us to enter into whole new industries in very efficient ways.

MC: Name a hard project that you worked on in the past that tried your patience, ability to collaborate and leadership skills.

I haven’t always worked in IT. I entered the field of servers and services, almost 15 years ago, while working in a small team of highly skilled engineers with Masters and PhDs in aerospace.

We designed Wind Turbine blades for customers. This involved simulations and numerical optimization. Our group needed much more computing capacity than we had, but it was difficult to prove that need to our management, and get the support from our IT department.

I somehow managed to convince our IT department to let me take over a dozen servers, built a Linux cluster, and together with my team, we ported over our tools. We showed a huge efficiency gain in our designs, and reduced our development time.

My role was to explain and showcase how crucial this was for the business and the products that we developed. This led to larger investments to acquire larger and larger Linux clusters. This experience showed me the potential computing can unlock in an organization. And ever since then, my career has been centered around communicating and implementing infrastructure to unlock this potential in the organizations.

What is your hope for MediaCatch in the coming year?

My role is to build an infrastructure in a way it's easy to scale the business. We need to figure out which services we will move to cloud or on site hybrid scenarios for AI cluster, network APIs. In the coming years we will change a lot on how we do computing. I see us grow our infrastructure ten times, or more, within a year, and that's my task and ambition.

Sounds like a huge growth, that will definitely be an outstanding challenge! Just before finishing, can you give some advice or recommendation to the professionals that are just starting in similar positions?

First, it's important to understand the business you are in, the current tools used, and understand a bit of the history of why infrastructure was built-up. After you understand that, try to leverage it. Take some of the constraints that were imposed, revisit them, go back and see if that is a real restriction and how you can solve them.

Tak for sharing Michael!

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