November was another busy month of executive musical chairs. Turbulent times continued at Twitter, GoPro got a lot smaller and Google shuffled its Google Cloud and Apps divisions to better compete with the likes of Amazon and Microsoft. Find out which companies and tech high flyers have made it to this months list of tech movers and shakers.
One of the most prominent individuals making it to our tech movers and shakers list, is A16z co-founder Ben Horowitz, who has joined Lyft’s board of directors. Horowitz is replacing a16z partner Scott Weiss who quietly stepped down from the board in August months after announcing he was curbing his day-to-day investment activity. Horowitz joins a six-person board that includes Lyft co-founders Logan Green and John Zimmer; General Motors President Dan Ammann; Icahn Capital’s Jonathan Christodoro; former Trulia CFO Sean Aggarwal; and Floodgate Fund’s Ann Miura-Ko.
Apple has hired one of the top editors, Billy Sorrentino, of Wired magazine. Sorrentino has been the head of creative at Wired since 2013, overseeing the brand’s four creative departments — photo, design, video and production. It is unclear how Apple will utilise Sorrentino’s talents, but he is known for his design skills. Prior to his work at Wired, he was a design director at Condé Nast’s digital publishing arm, he was also head of design at Maxim, Blender and WWE, and ran his own design agency from 2003 to 2010.
AOL UK has appointed Tom Curry as its head of trading. Curry will manage AOL UK’s trading relationships; the appointment follows the recent promotion of John Baylon to head of advertising, AOL International. Previously head of trading at Bauer Media, Curry was responsible for developing the strategic commercial plans and driving trading agreements across digital, radio, magazines and programmatic platforms.
Flipkart’s chief technology officer, Peeyush Ranjan, will leave the company at the end of December marking the exit of yet another top manager from India’s largest online retailer. The top tech mover and shaker Ranjan will join homestay network Airbnb in the United States as vice president of engineering based out of San Francisco. At Flipkart Ranjan held the position of group CTO, overseeing mobile technologies, machine learning and technology strategy at India’s most valuable technology startup.
Fox has hired Hans van Rijn from Discovery to be the general manager of Fox’s international channels and content unit, Fox Networks Group (FNG), in the Nordics. He will run the company’s operations in the region from Copenhagen, Denmark. At Discovery van Rijn was VP, global strategy & business development, DNI Digital Media. Prior to Discovery he was at SBS (now owned by Discovery), and before that at German broadcasting giant ProSieben.
Google is reorganising its Google Cloud division to combine its sales teams for Google Apps — now called G Suite — and its cloud hosting services. Google hopes that unifying the structure will reduce costs and help the company close big deals faster to better compete with Amazon.com and Microsoft. Two Google Cloud executives are in line to lead the combined sales team’s efforts after the reorganisation: Sébastien Marotte, a Google vice president in charge of G Suite, and Carl Schachter, a Google vice president in charge of Google Cloud Platform.
GoPro announced the company will cut 200 jobs, about 15% of its global workforce. This is part of GoPro’s strategy to help to reduce its 2017 non-GAAP operating expenses and will help the company fulfill CEO Nick Woodman’s stated goal of returning the company to profitability in 2017. Tony Bates, who joined as GoPro’s president in June 2014, is stepping down by the end of the year. He was previously an executive vice president at Microsoft Corp. and the chief executive officer of Skype Technologies SA.
HBO is preparing original programming for its new Spanish service and has hired one of the top tech movers and shakers, Miguel Salvat from Movistar to lead the charge. Salvat will oversee original programming out of the Spanish market, reporting to Antony Root, executive VP, original programming and production, HBO Europe. Salvat is an industry veteran having worked in the US and in Spain at Canal+ and Paramount Comedy. Most recently he was running premium channels at Movistar, which is owned by telco giant Telefónica.
Morningstar, a Chicago-based data and investment research provider, has hired James Rhodes as chief data officer, for the vendor’s data operations and technology strategy, including data collection, processing and storage. He was previously partner and chief technology officer at Rocaton Investment Advisors, prior to which he spent 13 years at IBM in a number of roles, including senior technical staff member for advanced financial modeling solutions, master inventor, and IT architect.
Rapid7, a leading provider of security data and analytics solutions, has appointed Judy Bruner, to its Board of Directors. Ms. Bruner is a worthy entrant to the tech movers and shakers list, she served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of SanDisk Corporation from June 2004 until the company’s acquisition by Western Digital Corporation earlier this year. Previously, she was senior vice president and chief financial officer of Palm, Inc. She also held financial management positions at 3Com Corporation, Ridge Computers, and Hewlett-Packard Company.
Seven Peaks Ventures, an early-stage venture capital fund focused on sparking innovation in the Pacific Northwest, has added Tom Gonser, founder of DocuSign, to its roster of partners. Gonser is a worthy entrant to the most recently served as chief strategy officer at DocuSign. He previously worked at Apple, McCaw Cellular, AT&T Wireless and Wildfire Communications.
SoundHound, has brought Michael Zagorsek on board as vice president of product marketing as the company expands its reach to meet the growing demand for voice and AI technology. Zagorsek joins SoundHound from Square, where he was head of product marketing and built the company’s product marketing arm from the ground up. He has previously worked in marketing and analytics at Leap Motion and Apple.
Splunk Operations intelligence platform has expanded its leadership team with two new tech movers and shakers; Brian Goldfarb as chief marketing officer and Richard Campione as chief product officer. Goldfarb is a veteran marketing executive with experience leading marketing efforts for the likes of Salesforce, Google and Microsoft. As CMO, he will oversee the firm’s global marketing strategy and drive revenue growth across the Splunk product portfolio. Campione has been a technology leader for more than 30 years, across both startups and multinational corporations. As CPO, he will oversee product strategy and engineering across the Splunk portfolio and Splunk Cloud.
Several Twitter’s executives made it to the tech movers and shakers list this month. Keith Coleman, whose startup, Yes, Inc., Twitter just acquired, has been named Twitter’s new vice president of product. Prior to founding Yes in 2014, Coleman spent a decade at Google, where he worked on products including Gmail, Inbox, and Gchat. Another executive making it to the tech movers and shakers list this month, is Twitter’s Chief Operating Officer Adam Bain, who will be departing the company. Bain has been with Twitter since 2010, building the company’s ad business and becoming COO last year.