Movers and Shakers in March 2017

7 min readApr 10, 2017

The spring has kicked off with a flurry of tech movers and shakers announcements. MarketInvoice has hired a banking veteran as its new Head of Risk, becoming the latest fintech startup to poach talent from traditional finance players in this crucial area. Uber and Twitter’s struggles continue as we see more of their senior executives resign, whilst six of Yahoo’s executives step down from the board of the internet giant following the completion of the $4.8bn acquisition by Verizon.

Appboy has appointed Daniel Head as Senior Vice President of Global Sales and James Manderson as General Manager and Regional Success Lead for EMEA. Manderson was previously Head of CRM at Universal Music Group International where he headed CRM for Shelter. Head, with over 20 years’ experience, will oversee the global sales organisation and work to grow the customer base while working across the globe.

Apple’s long-time Head of Apple Mail Terry Blanchard is leaving the company, but he will continue working on mail apps for iOS and Mac as he joins software company Readdle as the VP of Engineering for its Spark email app. Blanchard joined Apple in 2011 and led the development and QA teams for Apple Mail until joining Readdle last month.

Early investor and Executive Chairman of ClassPass, Fritz Lanman, will be taking over as CEO of the company, with Cofounder and former CEO Payal Kadakia swapping with him for the Executive Chairman role. Lanman is a former Microsofter who has gone on to angel invest in companies like Wish, Pinterest, and Square. He’s also the Chairman of the Board on two of his other portfolio companies, Verst and Doppler Labs.

Criteo has announced the appointment of industry veteran Greg Archibald as Executive Vice President of Sales. Archibald will head up the sales operations across the continent and report directly to Criteo’s Chief Revenue Officer Mollie Spillman. Archibald joins directly from NinthDecimal, having formerly served at Datalogix, Yahoo as well as Intuit.

Tesco and dunnhumby have jointly announced the appointment of Guillaume Bacuvier, currently Vice President of Advertising Solutions at Google, to the role of CEO. Bacuvier succeeds Simon Hay, who left the company in February after 25 years of service, including the last six as CEO. Prior to his role at Google, Bacuvier worked at Orange Group, having begun his career at Booz Allen Hamilton.

MarketInvoice named a banking veteran Shaun Alexander as its new Head of Risk. Shaun is joining the fintech company, bringing over 30 years of experience at retail and corporate banks. He began his career at Barclays and has worked in Santander since 2008, serving as their Head of Risk for Asset-Based Lending. Alexander is MarketInvoice’s first Head of Risk and will sit above the company’s Head of Underwriting who has been heading up the function to date.

LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman recently announced that he’s joined the board of directors at Microsoft. His primary job is still as a partner at Greylock, but he’s “maintained an office next to Jeff Weiner’s at LinkedIn for the last nine years”. As a Microsoft board member, Hoffman’s focus will remain on LinkedIn itself, while also working to help Microsoft build more connections in Silicon Valley.

Facebook’s Oculus virtual reality business has hired Michael Hillman, a 15-year Apple veteran who helped manage several of the technology giant’s big hardware projects like its iMac personal computers. He eventually became the Chief Architect for all of Apple’s desktop computers. Hillman left Apple in 2015 and became a Vice President at the robotics startup Zoox, where he worked for a little over a year. Hillman will report to Oculus Chief Operating Officer Hans Hartmann.

OpenX has decided to shake up its EMEA business by appointing Dominic Trigg as Vice President for the region and the promotion of Richard Kidd to Head of Business Development. In their new roles, Kidd will be responsible for accelerating OpenX’s reach in the DACH region, while Trigg will take the lead on their partner services business.

Sound Ventures has hired a new Managing Partner and COO, Effie Epstein, who most recently led global strategy at Marsh & McLennan subsidiary Marsh. Epstein has a wide variety of operational experience in technology and finance: Prior to Marsh, she served as SVP of Planning and Head of Investor Relations at iHeartMedia, and before that she worked in business development at Clear. At Sound she’ll be working on new deals as an Investment Partner, but also implementing strategy around the firm’s investment processes and overseeing all fund operations.

Entrepreneur-investor Kevin Rose is relinquishing his role as CEO of Hodinkee, a New York-based site for wristwatch enthusiasts, and moving back to California. Rose will work as a Venture Partner at the early-stage venture firm True Ventures. Rose was famously the co-founder of Digg, the once-popular link-sharing message board that was later sold to Betaworks.

Twitter is losing the head of its Asia Pacific business, Aliza Knox, after she announced the end of her near-five year tenure with the company. Knox was Twitter’s first hire in Asia — minus Japan — when she joined the company in 2012. Prior to that, she spent five years at Google, rising to the position of APAC MD of commerce. Knox built out Twitter’s presence in Asia, which started with an office in Singapore (now APAC HQ) and currently spans nine locations (including Tokyo) and over 100 staff.

Uber’s president of ride-sharing, Jeff Jones, is leaving the company after less than a year in the job. His departure is the latest in a string of high profile leadership departures. On a more positive note, Uber has appointed Zoubin Ghahramani as its new Chief Scientist overseeing its Uber A.I. Labs, its new research arm dedicated to A.I. and machine learning. Ghahramani was part of the A.I. startup Geometric Intelligence team that Uber acquired back in December. In his new role, Ghahramani will oversee Uber’s A.I. Labs initiative and lead machine learning strategy across the company.

Verizon Communications is changing its operating structure to focus on three areas, and named former Ericsson Chief Executive Officer Hans Vestberg to lead its newly created network and technology team. Vestberg’s team will work on building out the company’s fiber network infrastructures, Verizon said. He will initially be based in Sweden, and is expected to join the U.S.-based team later this spring.

Waymo, the Google self-driving project that spun out to become a business under Alphabet, has hired away an eBay executive to head up its public policy and government affairs department as the company races to commercialise its autonomous vehicle technology. The company hired Tekedra Mawakana as Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs. Mawakana held a similar position at eBay. She also held Public Policy and Deputy General Counsel positions at Yahoo and AOL.

Xaxis has appointed Bob Walczak as Executive Vice President of Global Products. Having formally been Chief Executive of Light Reaction, Xaxis’ performance advertising business, Walczak is no stranger to the company. In his new role, Walczak will lead the newly created team of global products which will focus on development of outcome-based media solutions.

Xumo, which offers a range of live and on-demand channels via smart TVs, set-tops and mobile devices, has hired Chris Hall to drive product strategy across its core native TV experiences in partnership with television brands, as well as take the lead in creating a personalised viewing experience for Xumo’s user base. Hall previously headed connected device product development for the re-launch of Red Bull TV. Prior to that he worked as Product Lead for NFL Now, the US Football Association’s freemium video service.

Yahoo Chief Executive Officer Marissa Mayer will step down from the board after the tech giant completes its $4.8bn (£3.9bn) deal with Verizon. Mayer joined Yahoo from Google in 2012 and was tasked with turning around the tech titan using her product and engineering expertise. She joined Google in 1999 and was the search giant’s first woman engineer.




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