Today, Latch announced that David Austin has joined the executive team as Senior Vice President of Partnerships and Integrations. Based in San Francisco, he will establish and oversee the development of products that shape the company’s services offering.
“We have always believed that getting locks on doors was just the beginning,” said Latch CEO and Co-Founder Luke Schoenfelder. “We’ve grown to the point where 1 in 10 new apartments in the U.S. are being built with our products, and now we’re ready to show the world that the right access solution can facilitate amazing experiences. David is the person to help make that happen.”
Austin brings decades of product, engineering, entrepreneurial, and investment experience to Latch, where he has served as a professional and personal advisor since the company’s earliest days. After beginning his career developing operating systems and applications at companies like Itron, he spent more than 17 years in product development and corporate strategy at Apple. There, he led the development of hardware and software products including Keynote, Pages, Numbers, iCal, Final Cut Pro, and Newton, and oversaw their acquisition of multiple companies, assets and development teams.
Austin has been an active angel investor and advisor to startups since leaving Apple. While serving as the General Manager of Startup Services at PCH International, David met the early Latch team while they participated in a three-month accelerator program led by TechStars and R/GA Ventures. As an advisor to the program, he helped the company develop their first products and supply chain, and led an investment in their seed round. David continued to invest in Latch after leaving PCH in 2017.
At Latch, Austin will build on the existing partnerships that the company has established with brands like UPS, Jet.com, and Airbnb’s home-sharing product, Niido.
“Since the beginning, I’ve been excited about the potential Latch has to shape not just the access industry, but to partner with other innovators that share the same values and vision,” Austin said. “As Latch moves towards a more open ecosystem, I’m beyond thrilled to work with the amazing team to bring about these new experiences.”
“David is the type of person that I’d feel fortunate to share a cup of coffee with, and I’m honored that he is joining our team at such a pivotal moment. Without his support, I don’t know that we would have been able to make it through the production of our first devices. I know that he will be every bit as instrumental in this next phase of growth,” said Schoenfelder.